While out on Thursday I was having a chat with Catherine about the fact that I need to build up more confidence and that it has been suggested that I go back to Leith Hill and practise on the Bomb Holes.
Catherine asked me “what are Bomb Holes?” and I tried to explain. I then figured that a good ride for today would be a new trail over Headley Heath!
So today 4 of us headed out, it looked a bit murky and rain was forecast but only a mere cooling drizzle accompanied us.
Starting from Bockett’s Farm we made our way towards Alsation. As some may have read I have a personal time goal for Alsation and I set my watch as always just by the end of the fence where the shed is and hurried along trying to tail Dave and Jill as much as possible.
I was making good progress until the first lip where it steepens further and they flew off, I carried on pushing as hard as I could and reached the flatter part much sooner than I expected, I had knocked another 15 seconds off my time making my new time 5mins and 8 seconds. My new goal to do it in under 5 minutes!
It was up this climb though that my trials with nutrition told an important tale. With no breakfast—just a black coffee with 2 sugars—and the choice I made last night to skip my dinner and replace it with a small bag of crisps and half a bag of microwave popcorn, I was remembering how much better I have felt with a better meal the day before and an oaty breakfast.
Starting up the next section I started to get a bit of a headache just above my eye (I never get headaches) and I found it quite annoying and needed to start on my “naked” bar much earlier than normal.
Following on from there up towards Headley Golf course Dave showed us “Life on Mars”, crikey! that’s quite hard work, I really enjoyed it but did find it quite challenging, a really good piece of singletrack to practise on. I certainly think we will be in there in the future.
Up to the car park and a right along the bridleway, across the road and on towards Headley Heath, up that yucky climb that is sand and boulders, through the gate to Headley Heath, here we found the playground of Bomb Holes and lots of people “playing”.
“These” I explained to Catherine “are bomb holes”. Dave took some time to show some of the riding and Catherine made a really good point about the climb being more of a problem than the drop, not a way I have looked at it in the past and I found the difference in approach refreshing.
On we went to a descent that I have done many times but this time Dave described it as a bomb hole on a larger scale and I saw this descent in a different light. Down the gravelly descent and on my new bike I was much faster over the loose gravel, then straight up (I think I may start to have a little more confidence to tackle bomb holes again).
This is another trail that I really enjoy it has a really good balance of up and down, some of which is quite challenging, some you are just destroyed if you don’t get in the right gear, a trail I feel makes you shift your weight around on the bike and really work with your bike.
Back out towards Box Hill with a comfortable ride down Juniper Bottom, the ground wet enough to have the top section not too loose and not so wet that it is “slidey, slidey” 😉
Across the A24, up the bridleway, up to Norbury park and up to the saw mill where I managed to really race myself to catch up with Dave hoping to surprise him that I was on his heel! From the sawmill, hugging the trees, down the gravelly section and back up to Bockett’s farm which Dave and I raced up, I am sure he probably let me beat him but I was pushing out whatever energy I had left to race up the hill.
A really fantastic ride today, another step of experience, another fun morning!
A lesson learned about fuel for the ride!
As we approach the Autumn and my hardtail starts peeking out of the garage I know new seasons are going to bring new fun too!