Twas a good weekend, very hot and sunny, and the first time I’ve been over the Chase this year when it’s been pretty much dry.
I felt a bit more confident as the ground was drier, so pushed myself a bit more, going faster, braking less. Unfortunately, as a result, I have come out of the weekend slightly injured.
My first minor injury was a result of my greatest feat so far – on Saturday, I actually cycled all the way up the fire road hill. Admittedly, I was very slow (lowest gear possible, or ‘Granny gear’ as Mr Toast calls it), but I had a huge sense of accomplishment when I got to the top. I had a little sit down, admired the view, and set off again. As I was still in granny gear, however, the pedal span round a bit quick and scraped my leg. Yes, I am indeed a pro.
The second was on a wooded section – there’s a short but steep uphill, with a nasty root at the top. There was a small child with two guys waiting at the top, so I attempted it. I nearly made it…but then my bike skidded backwards, and I capsized at the bottom, scraping my elbow and banging my shin. The small child (he was no older than 8 ) then proceeded to defeat what had just conquered me. Oh dear…
The third injury was today – I was going down Ill Phil’s Hill (or section 14, to give it its official name), and I was going down the last big descent. I picked my line a bit iffily, and, unused to dry sand, skidded. I didn’t come off completely, but my bike skidded slightly underneath me and I caught the back of my calf on the chain ring.
Despite all that, I feel that I did well over the weekend – two entire laps faster than I’ve ever done them before (including two lots of the fire road hill!). Woot!
Ride: Cannock Chase
Trail: Follow the Dog, bits of green
Highlights: Just the overall sense of getting better – taking the jumps without hesitation on the new section, cycling up the fire road instead of pushing up it, taking the berms a bit better. Overtaking people! And of course, section 13.
Bad bits: Falling off, although its never as bad as you think it’s going to be. Getting pwn3d by a small child who’s biking skills far surpass your own. That is as bad as you think it is.
Post ride food snaffled: Ham and cheese sandwich and honeycomb ice-cream.
Good dogs seen: Lots, including plenty running with their biker owners – spaniels, jack russels, and something that looked like a cross between a schnauzer and a spaniel. Oh my!