Another weekend, another pootle around Follow the Dog. You know that bit in The Two Towers movie, where Theoden is released from Saruman’s spell – he goes from being all cobwebby and geriatric, to kick ass warrior king? That’s a bit like me recovering from winter, that is.
Well, OK, to continue this quite frankly ridiculous Lord of the Rings analogy, I’m not quite chopping orcs yet. Or I might be, I just need a good long rest and a biscuit between each kill. But I definitely feel like I’m actually getting my confidence back on the trail – I just need the fitness to follow! On the plus side, I rode most of Follow the Dog, and rode most of it fairly well (by my standards).
I did the boardwalk easily, no wobbles, rode the wooded sections after section 8 pretty fast, and sections 13 and 14 were awesome. However, I felt really knackered on the climbs – I didn’t make it all the way up the fireroad hill in one go this time (but I didn’t get off to push!). I don’t know if I was just having an off-day, or didn’t give myself enough time to recover before tackling the hill, or if the Rebas were bobbing a bit too much (which would be an issue with my weighting). The sheer joy of trying to go as fast as possible quickly destroyed the memory of the nasty climbs though.
I even overtook people! Admittedly, they were a family with young children (section 7), a couple who were obviously new to the Chase (section 12), and some poor sod who was obviously dragged there by his more experienced mates and was struggling a bit with the trail (sections 13 and 14).
I actually rode all of section 14 without my usual stop to ‘admire the scenery’ at the top if Ill Phil’s Hill. I think this was actually the first time I’ve done this! Unfortunately I paid the price at the start of 15, where I had to sit down for a bit until my eyesight returned to normal, and the compulsion to be violently sick passed. Ah, the cobwebs of winter. Damn you, Saruman.
Now I really hope that I do get a Meta 5.5.2, just because it’s white, and I can call it ‘Snowmane’. Hopefully it won’t crush me to death…
Ride: Cannock Chase
Trail: All of FtD, with the exception of sections 6 and 16.
Highlights: Ill Phils Hill – fast replacing section 13 in my affections.
Bad bits: My chronic lack of fitness, and lengthy recovery periods.
Post ride food snaffled: Bacon sandwich, and Heaven’s Own Cookie
Good dogs seen: A schnauzer. They are just unbelievably awesome!