Eugh, cars. Or more accurately, “Eugh, my car”. It recently started to cough, splutter, and lose all energy – a bit like Mr Toast in the height of hay fever season. Fortunately with Mr Toast, we can look at him and say, “He has hay fever! Let’s give him antihistamines and have his asthma medication on standby!”
What happens with my car when anything goes wrong? It stays in the garage for a couple of days, and then they say, “Well, we can’t find anything wrong with it, but there’s definitely something wrong”.
This has now happened twice, at two different garages. It’s like Nissan used strange alien technology to build the Micra. “Hey Hiro, put that…thing in there. You know, next to the…other…thing. I don’t know what it does, but it makes it go bruum!”
Anyhoo, bringing this post dangerously back on topic, it means that there was AN ENTIRE WEEKEND WITHOUT TRAIL RIDING. Just after the aforementioned weekend, I got my car back with a new fuel filter and a tank full of Redex, which worked for approximately five days before returning to a spluttering unpredictable mess. Deciding to risk it, we set off to Hammerwich in the zombie car, our carbon footprint visibly pooting out of the exhaust.
We stayed at my mother’s on the Saturday, and went for our ride on the Sunday. At the unholy hour of 9.30am, might I add – Mr Toast was meeting up with some of the Chase Trails forumites for an explore of the Chase.
I settled for…Follow the Dog (yes, I’m horribly predictable). Only this time, as we were parked at the other car park, I started on section 13 – an interesting start to the day for someone who’s not a morning person.
This ride was a mixed bag. On one hand, I felt that I took a lot of stuff with a bit more technical prowess than usual. On the other, it took me a lot longer than usual to complete a lap. That said, I did have a Swinnerton’s stop after four sections (as I started from the other carpark), and got some water and hobnobs.
I also contemplated getting some clear glasses for eye protection – it was very muddy and I’ve now taken to wearing my contacts when biking, as I like having peripheral vision. Unfortunately, all of the£14.99 glasses were too big for my peanut head, and I’m too much of a cheap ass for fork out any more cash than that for something that will essentially make me look like a twat.
Hmmm, I should probably time my accessory stops…
I also spent a lot of time between sections letting people pass – despite the ungodly hour and crap weather, it was actually busier than usual. And, truth be told, I think my fitness might have dropped off a little – before the wedding I was going to the gym twice a week as well. Still, nowt that can’t be remedied.
I had a top experience on section 8 (the longer route). I was chased by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – lovely, friendly dog, running with his biking owners. However, as lovely as he was, it was also slightly disconcerting – in addition to worrying about him running into my wheels, I was riding as fast as I could, listening to the footfalls and heavy breathing of an unseen animal right behind me. ACTIVATE PREY INSTINCT!!
I have never, ever ridden that section so fast.
In other news, I should be seeing a specialist on Tuesday about my knees. Here’s to fully functioning limbs!
Ride: Cannock Chase
Trail: FtD – long route, including the reopened section 16.
Highlights: Being encouraged to new speeds by a friendly Staffie
Bad bits: Riding for my life whilst being pursued by a snarling hellbeast
Post ride food snaffled: Had a bacon sandwich. The Marquis Drive Cafe is rubbish. On the other hand, the Visitor Centre and its staff are awesome.
Good dogs seen: Snarling hellbeast/affectionate Staffie