Yesterday morning I took my first ride off-road after breaking my collarbone back in July — July 13th if we’re counting, which I am! When I say off-road, that’s a relative statement. Put it this way, it was only partially on tarmac which is ‘A Good Thing’.
I was looking forward immensely to it, first because it is actually quite a milestone for me, second because the weather over the weekend was sublime and third because having assisted with Colin’s new bike build the night before (in a classic ‘kitchen workshop’ scenario) I certainly had the taste for riding.
Dave and I headed off from his place across Bookham Common to Downside near Cobham, then round the back on some lovely quiet roads to Ockham and from there to Effingham and back to Bookham, taking in tarmac and easy trail over the course of 9 miles.
I was on Dave’s singlespeed since it’s been deemed socially inappropriate to sport gears this past week and enjoyed it hugely thanks to the miles I’ve been putting in on my slick shod Inbred. Having 29 inch wheels and a carbon fork certainly brought a new perspective to the ride too, the combination of a light bike and easily spinnable trails meant I was topping out regularly at about 13 miles an hour unless I succumbed to a mad pedal frenzy.
After nine miles I was feeling quite shaken and my shoulder has certainly felt stiff and sore today but now I know the thing works OK I’ll be increasing my efforts to get out there for real. I have to comment how the Inbred 29er singlespeed made such a complete contrast to my normal Orange Five. Not only the hardtail aspect but the rigid fork, high volume 29 inch wheels and tyres and rigid fork really made me want to try it in earnest.
Probably best to take small steps down the comeback trail first though…