Weekend ride reports in reverse order – we had 2 rides this weekend but I am drawn to write about Sunday’s ride first.
Could be the bruises that inspire me or the fact that I fell and it didn’t hurt or the fact that us femoles stopped for coffee that make this a memorable ride for me…
Having been out on Saturday morning Rachel and I were keen to keep up our Sunday rides and go out this Sunday as well, having been in a position 2 years ago when a Saturday ride wiped me out for the weekend I was pleased at my fitness to be up bright and early Sunday morning following a Saturday morning ride, bright eyed and bushy tailed all ready for more… much more!
We had discussed that we would do about a 4 hour ride and contemplated Newlands corner, we met in the fresh chilly morning 9am at the Bell pub, wearing less than the day before where we had been too warm, wondering if we had made the right choice. I think we had, for us anyway being too hot is not comfortable and I was happy with my wicking layer under a short sleeved top to keep the chill from my arms and not so hot as my fleece the day before.
We headed off to Bocketts Farm, the roads were so clear it was great, from there up Admirals track out towards Polesden Lacey but taking the left turn before the main building, climbing across the rooty section and down under the bridge.
The ground as we had noticed Saturday has just been washed away leaving the trails very new, very loose and unfamiliar.
From there we climbed up to Tanners Hatch and took the left road up what I call the red road to Ranmore. Even the Red road has been washed away making the long climb even harder as you need to negotiate the best sections to ride on.
Relieved to get up to Ranmore we had a short stretch of road and then turned left into the campsite area leading us to Badger Run, Collarbone and White Down.
It was lovely heading out on routes we hadn’t done for a while and the muddy rooty sections were looking better than the stoney trails, they were a bit slidey though!
White Down was so different to the summer, normally a wonderful swooping descent was full of deep gulleys and required much concentration, the views were still amazing though and certainly worth heading out that way.
To go to Newlands Corner required a right hand bend at the bottom but I was mistaken and chose the left turn and so we travelled along a muddy track to the bottom of High Mediterranean, which we climbed at a social pace while we chatted about all sorts (do bear this in mind for later ;-0)
At the top we climbed the bank back up to Ranmore where we decided we still had plenty of time, the sky was still blue, the sun was still warm so we would do Denbies then up to Box Hill for a coffee.
So we discussed taking the stoney trail down to Denbies, I have never done the chalky descent, I have heard it talked about and have avoided, normally taking the rooty section instead.
At the top of the chalky descent Rachel assured me that it was no worse than anything else I had done that day/weekend and so down we went, it was pretty loose and gravelly again with the ground washed away but we made it and I achieved something I had avoided, I was very grateful to have been convinced to at least try it let alone achieve it 😉
From there we sped through a quiet Denbies, under the A24 and up to Box Hill taking the stoney climb across the front.
Unbeknown to me Rachel hadn’t done this climb before, it is a full mile of slog uphill and again very stoney, you will note our chatter up High Mediterranean is quite relevant now because the climb up Box Hill I noted was in complete silence with all our energy and breathing focused on achieving the climb and not a spare breath for chat until near the top when Rachel said “are we nearly there yet” 😉 that’s the thing with that climb you just can’t see the end until you are on it.
The joy of that climb is the sense of achievement and the fact that it is over, if you are lucky your wobbly legs will carry you to the cafe where you can sit outside basking in the sun drinking a coffee.
We did happen to come across Mark and family who had been out walking and recognised two weary MTBers as myself and Rachel and came over to chat.
From the top of Box Hill both feeling happy that we had achieved something new we headed round to little Switzerland, we had done this the day before and knew it was slippy and the gulleys pronounced, the top section is the worse but we cleared this no problem, a little further down though I needed to cross from one side to the other to avoid a gulley and I skidded and me and bike hit the ground with a thud.
I am told my rear wheel slipped on the slope as I crossed and I know I hit the ground on my left side, it all happened so quickly really and the only place I noticed any pain was the palm of my left hand which tingled, moments later I was on my feet and on my bike and pleased of the experience, I fell, I checked, I wasn’t hurt and I got up.
I am (and have been) too focused sometimes on worrying about getting hurt, this was a great experience for me, a type of tumble that I haven’t had before, on a route that I have worried about, to fall and get up and get on is great and I am actually pleased I fell because it was no where as bad as I had feared!
From there now quite tired we headed down and past the Running Horses, across the A24 and along past the farms, through the back of the leisure centre and home.
A healthy 20 miles and a fantastic Sunday morning ride!
I was happy to get home to Dave and do a copy of him and say “feed me” in a deep hungry voice 😉
Some ride notes – 4.5 hour ride I only drank half my bottle and a small amount of bladder pack, I can be very guilty of not drinking enough on rides when I consider I drink at least 2 pints of water in a morning I drank less than that and was cycling.
nak’d cocoa bar certainly works for me if I can’t face food before a ride.
A jolly good excuse to indulge in a nice long bath after a ride and rest those achey muscles.
Saturday’s ride report to follow…