Saturday Ride

Posted: August 1, 2011 in Rides

West Stow Loop (easy) by slowjo61 at Garmin Connect – Details.

Another opportunity for an early morning ride grasped with both hands albeit rather bleary eyed. A large Leffe and a bottle of red wine the night before rather coloured my joie de vivre as I emerged from the pit. It was bright -ish but cool so, as I gazed out of the open door while munching my breakfast, I decided long arms were the name of the game today.

The evening before, I had already decided on a route, the intensity and the bike I was to use on today’s ride. Given the number of miles I have been putting in of late, I felt that a short (15 mile) spin around a truncated West Stow loop would be more than adequate to spin any tiredness out of my legs in preparation for the next day’s ride. So it was that I headed out, feeling somewhat chillier than anticipated and wishing that I had put on another layer: experience told me this would have been overkill later so I let the thought go.

A few miles in and my legs came to life but I resisted the temptation to open the throttle and I made myself stay in the little ring and as the trail opened up before me I started to add little loops, then to plan even further ahead and follow new loops off the new loops and while this still took me over the ground I had planned to cover, the 15 mile plan soon went out the window.

As anyone who knows it will attest, Kings Forest is generally devoid of any decent singletrack and it is therefore avoided by riders who think the only way to enjoy their bike is linked to singletrack. Well bit by bit, I have been beginning to map a series of singletrack sections in my mind; they will have to wait for winter (they are mostly neck deep in nettles at the moment) but I think there is limited potential. On Saturday for example, I found a new (to me) bombhole just off one of the trails I have been using. It has a well worn (but not recently used) trail around the perimeter and down into the bottom with some nice off camber sections. Fallen branches seem to be blocking it in places but nothing major. There was no sign of animal life, no trails or hoof prints or other footmarks to suggest it is a frequent haunt of deer, game birds or other fauna so I reckon it could be one to have a look at.

Anyway, the ride continued, I warmed up and then got warmer still until the inevitable happened, I got a flat. It was a pinch flat, only to be expected on a crosser being asked to cover the terrain I was on with 14 and a half stone on top! A few minutes to apply a patch and I was off on the road again. It is strange but I got to a piece of road and my head said ‘that’s it, you have finished, time to warm down now’. It always happens here, probably because it is one of the ways back from my longer rides and it really is relatively close to the finish). The thing is, once I get here, I still have about 7 miles to go! It was of little import today as I was not gunning the bike for extra speed.

When I did eventually get home after 31 miles not 15, it was to a large mug of tea and a hobbit-like second breakfast of a large bacon sandwich.

Tune of the ride:


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