Short, mainly because for me the ride itself was short! I have been distracted these past weeks and have stayed deep in the burrow. Small wonder with weeks of rain, followed by heavy frost and sub-zero temperatures.
This has conspired to leave me considerably less fit than my norm, meaning regular riding is tiring me out. So today I decided to join the group for a truncated ride, aiming to get home with some energy remaining.
It didn’t quite work out that way.
I rode with Lloyd on Friday evening and just 19 miles of cross country left me with a headache all day Saturday. Today Lloyd, Tony, MarkC and Elliot were heading to Reigate, after unexpectedly soft conditions near Thorncroft on Friday night left Lloyd with a bashed knee. I decided to tag along, to kick start a Sunday habit and say hi to the chaps if nothing else.
It was pretty cold this morning though, a bit of a shock to my system. So cold in fact that my ride ended up averaging -3° and dropped as low as -7° at the outset. It certainly made my forehead freeze, but at least provided some sparkly photos.
We rode through Norbury and on up to Mickleham, following a familiar route. At Headley cricket ground I parted from the group to head back, having done enough exercise for my first Sunday ride of 2023.
I took a meandering route home, via Secret Singletrack at Headley, then Pot Noodle on Mickleham and on to Norbury Park where I winched up and rode along to Crabtree Lane. After climbing up to the car park I followed the old Norbury driveway to the sawmill and back down to Roaring House Farm and round the big field to Bookham in the weak winter sun.
Even this relatively easy route, covering a total of just under 17 miles left me tired, and Sunday evening gifted me another headache. Not enough miles in my legs, not enough core strength to support myself on the bike – I guess I am riding back to fitness…
My fellow riders managed 22 miles and a lot more climbing, and I heard Lloyd found more mud to stretch out on. With the rain and then the big freeze the trails are a bit porridge-y when the ice softens, we can expect the next week or so to be a little mucky as a result.
As it was, with the mud largely frozen I quite enjoyed myself on Pot Noodle, but the priority was to keep moving and to keep warm.
I was rather glad to get home, with quite dense freezing fog as I came down the last hill. As always, it was good to be out, but the bike is going to have to wait a while to be washed.