15/03/09: The sun has got his hat on

First, an apology over yesterday’s post.  Lengthy rambling Lord of the Rings analogies?  By Odin’s Beard, I really shouldn’t post at one in the morning!  With that out of the way…

Went over the Chase again – it would have been criminal not to whilst we’re having a sunny spell!  Today’s run was a bit of a mixed bag – I pushed myself harder, and had shorter breaks (if any) between sections.  However, I didn’t ride as well yesterday – I made some really iffy line choices, catching my pedals and nearly losing control a couple of times.

I don’t know whether I was still a bit knackered from yesterday, or whether not giving myself as much time to recover between sections meant I was flagging too early.  I really struggled to get off the saddle and keep my head up…and I threw up after Ill Phil’s Hill.

On the plus side, even though today’s performance wasn’t as good as yesterday’s, I was still better than I was last week.  Plus I got up the fireroad hill.  Huzzah!

I had a moment of eye-rolling wonderment as I approached the exit of section 11.  A family were walking up the track, the wrong way, with the young children waving long branches around, pretending to sword fight.  I just don’t get it – they were passed by a number of bikers, travelling at speed.  There were a number of bikers on the fireroad, near the exit.  The family were very close to the exit, which suggests that they came onto the trail via the fireroad.  There’s a clear ‘No entry sign’, with an explanation that the enticing forest path is a mountain biking red route, and shouldn’t be used by walkers, horse riders or leisure cyclists.  It was an accident waiting to happen, and a completely avoidable one at that.

I slowed and informed them (politely!) that they were on a dedicated mountain biking trail, and told them to be careful as there were likely to be bikers coming down a lot faster than me.  They seemed a little put out, but hopefully they’ll have gotten off the trail and realised that it was meant for their benefit as much as anyone else’s.  I can’t imagine the collision between a five year old child and a 20-35lb bike carrying a fully grown adult would result in a pretty sight.

It makes me cross, but sometimes you have to give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume they’re on the track out of ignorance rather than because of wilful stupidity or spite.  I think a lot of bikers just try to ignore walkers on the track, instead of informing them of their mistake.  But if they’re not told, how will they ever know?  They’ll probably just assume that the mountain bikers are arseholes who run along the forest trails like complete lunatics. Which is probably a fair assessment, which is why we get our own segregated trails. 😉

Anyhoo, I wore my new shinies both rides this weekend.  The leggings are possibly a little on the large side, but are otherwise fine – they don’t bunch up too much, and they fit a lot better around the ankles.

The Dhb glasses are great – much better quality and looks than Mr Toast’s bloke’s equivalent from a year or so ago (they’ve got this psuedo-Oakley iPod feel), they fit on my head just dandy (even with the helmet on), and they don’t mist.  The only problem is that, due to my rather hamster-esque face, the bottom of the lenses sit on my cheeks, and are completely lifted off my ears when I smile.

Perhaps this by design, so that mountain bikers are forced to look cool and serious – without them, we’d be compelled to grin like idiots a good 90% of the time.

Mountain biking.  Serious business.

Ride: Cannock Chase

Trail: All of FtD, with the exception of sections 6, 7 and 16.

Highlights: Getting up the fireroad hill – I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t make it yesterday

Bad bits: Feeling a bit spaced out and out of control on the trail, making silly mistakes.  Plus being ill between sections 14 and 15 was pretty rough.

Post ride food snaffled: Bacon sandwich, and Heaven’s Own Cookie.  A smartie one this time, instead of triple choc fudge

Good dogs seen:  A daschund, with a dapper walk and proud buttocks.  Another schnauzer – it’s been a veritable schnauzer bonanza this weekend!  Good jack russells with pleasing head-to-body ratio.  Plus some sort of crazy sitcom-in-the-making comedy couple of a Westie and a greyhound, having a sit in the lake.  The moorhens looked unimpressed, however.

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