“Restless leg syndrome is a disorder in which there is an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations. Causes, incidence, and risk factors; Restless leg syndrome (RLS) occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults.”
I don’t think that MTB is usually causative but it was tonight.
Deciding at 7:20pm that it had stopped raining and a Moles ride might be fun isn’t the best idea when Moles rides start at 7:30-7:45pm. I should have sent a mail to let the others know, then set a Strava section for the route up to Hylands Garage (judging by how fast I rode up) and not have been suprised to see the twinkling red LED’s of Lloyd, D’Andy, JohnH and Lee (remember him) disappearing along Up and Away.
Lee was keeping it simple on his Cotic Simple singlespeed and without waiting for stragglers (me!) they had left early (7:41 – damn early) with a route to Ranmore and Effingham in mind. After some pressing the pedals I caught them just before the start of the bridleways.
Well I was glad that we’d all made the effort since after some heavy rain during the day, it was a beautiful evening and quite warm out of the breeze. With a lovely harvest moon according to Lee (I don’t even think that he was referring to the Urban Profanisaurus this time).
Wiggly wood was slightly slippy, as I caught my breath at the back of the pack, then with a foretaste of things to come, the bridleway down to Chaplehill wood was narrowed with lots of nettles that were weighed down from the day’s rain. The first of many stings started to make the legs tingle. Lee and I saw Lloyd catch a big slide on the off camber right turn on the hill – nice riding.
We crossed Freehold Wood to Tanners hatch then up to Ranmore and thanks to Lloyds warning missing the dodgily placed log at the bottom of the bermed bank just as you drop into Connicut Lane.
The summer had definitely gone, as the trails showed the first signs of returning to deeper mud, particularly as we crossed Ranmore to Bagder run and Collarbone, then especially as we headed over to the top of White Down and round to Sheep Walk Lane.
At this point we headed over to one of those trails that we don’t ride very often but which is an excellent decsent. The trail under the bridges, across the excellently named Dick Focks Common. We don’t even have a name for this trail – very unusually for the Moles. Maybe Dick Focks down? Tonight it was a real challenge to ride quickly since it was very overgrown in places and you couldn’t pick any lines, see any rocks, or in my case with the dubious honor of going first, follow a rider in front. It was real hold on and hope stuff in places, or in Lloyd’s case, stop when you had gone too far off the track into the undergrowth. At least this time I came down with a chain remaining on my bike.
Regrouping at Honeysuckle Bottom we were a buzz with adrenalin and masses of nettle stings. We gently rode up to the saw mill and made variously terrible attempts to clean the impossible climb. I passed a walking Lee with me going at a glacial speed and sort of slowly rode into a tree, blocking JohH behind me. Anyway it was a nice walk to the top.
The drop to Coombe Lane seemed a bit trickier than normal – maybe the rain had washed some of the track away, but we all just about made the stop for the road and were intact as we headed over to Sheepleas. Here it was a bit of a memory test where to go, but we made it around and spun on the road to East Horsley, before dropping into Effingham.
As we got into Effingham we split up and I headed back on the road to Fetcham. Just over 17.6 miles on the GPS.
It wasn’t until I started washing the bike that I noticed how much I’d been stung. “an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations” indeed. After a long bath things weren’t improving and I certainly went to bed with Restless legs syndrome.
It seems that at the moment we sort of have the worst of both worlds on the trails. Mud and nettles. Still it was a great evening to be out with some fellow Moles.