I gathered the boys together for a road trip on Thursday of a different kind! All over 40 (!), we went mountain biking up at Gawton Woods near Tavistock. They've got three man made downhill tracks that are amazing! We stuck to the one marked as 'difficult' (which is the easiest) - we left the 'Extreme' and 'Very Extreme' routes to the young lads who presumably had spent their college grants on serious bits of kit! They were getting big air!
Poor Old Mikey - I have yet to go on a ride where he hasn't had a puncture (I think he does it on purpose). The HSD trail took about 4 minutes to go down and about 20 minutes to get back up again! Nick's main bike was out of action so he brought along an old one - but he was seriously under-gunned. You really can't be taking on these trails without brakes! You need brakes! Three spills later, Nick made it to the bottom - alive but bruised! We did some bike swapping and I got my dirt bike out as an experiment. Turned out it was just the ticket - the perfect machine. Except that it's a single speed ie no gears, and it's heavy. This made for a big push back up to the top! Anyway despite some initial bike and tyre failures we had a great time. we headed home pretty shot!
I went back up again there yesterday on my own. There's another wood nearby that has loads of tracks some of which were super extreme. Being the only one there was bit intimidating! And going nervously down trails is not the way to do it! On one run, the track drops off steeply into a banking turn. Half way through the turn I was surprised to see another drop off. I got it all completely wrong and the front wheel dug in, at which point I made the amateur mistake of reaching for the brake .. the front one. I went flying through the air, my feet fully clearing the handle bars - it was like slow motion running in the air. Fortunately the landing, a good distance further down the slope was soft and the only damage was to my self esteem! In the past there's no question that an accident such as this would have resulted in a pulled hamstring and that's what was going through my mind before hitting the ground. I've done it so many times and each time really gets me down. I'm hoping that all this cycling has actually strengthened all the bits that need strengthening and maybe, just maybe this achilles heel will be a bit more resilient. Fingers crossed. I dusted myself off and headed back to Gawton Woods, a couple of miles away to the HSD track. Great, great fun ... and a great work out.