This weekend I bid a fond farewell to my Trekkadee. Since getting the Professor, I’d been umming and aahing over what to do with it. The Trek 4500 WSD was my first ever mountain bike, and the only bike I’d ever owned that I’d ever ridden to any great degree. I’d pondered putting slicks on it, and using it as a commuting bike, but the Stumpjumper made me realise that the Trek really, really was too small for me – and if it was too small for me on the trails, it’d certainly be too small on road commutes.
I couldn’t quite bring myself to put it on eBay though. Quite apart from the sheer ballache of extortionate PayPal fees and the logistics of posting a bike out to the winner, I didn’t want my bike going to a new home where he’d be left languishing in the shed, unridden.
A solution presented itself when trailbuilding last week. One of the trailbuilders mentioned that his 10-year old had outgrown her bike, and he was now looking at buying her a small adults bike. His daughter was also trailbuilding, and clearly enthusiastic about this mountain biking malarky. It seemed like an obvious match. One week later, I took the bike along to let her try it out, and it seemed to fit her really well – certainly a lot better than it fitted me! Now the Trek has a new lease of life, and is probably being ridden a lot faster than under its previous ownership!
After that, it was business as usual on FtD. Despite the forecast predicting rain, the weather was hot and mostly sunny, and the trail mostly dry – just the odd puddle here and there. FtD drains and dries out pretty quickly, and for those bits that don’t, the trail pixies were there draining the larger puddles.*
Again, I didn’t ride particularly well this week (although the Captains are a lot better in the dry than the wet), but I put in a decent (for me!) laptime, even with the breaks between sections to let groups past. I pondered Evil Roots 1 & 2, still can’t muster up the testicular fortitude to actually attempt to ride them. Which obviously makes practicing them a bit difficult. “MTFU” indeed…
I really wasn’t pushing too hard though – my knees were still playing up from last week, although they’ve eased up with the weekend’s riding activities. I was also severely regretting my choice of long-sleeve jersey, as I was boiling. I ran out of water just before 14, which is pretty unusual for me.
After a sandwich and a cup of tea, I decided to have a pootle around the green. I did sections 2, 6 and 7 on the way to the green though – I wanted to get another section 7 in so that I could do the boardwalk, as I’d skipped it first time around due to people being stopped on it.
Met some trail pixies on the way, they spoke of large puddles and steak as they drained the end of section 13. The green was pleasant as usual – I rode it anti-clockwise for a change, which makes for a faster ride. I saw a huge group of at least 15 horses riding on the path on the opposite side of one area, and was deeply grateful that I didn’t have to ride around them – or their horsey deposits. Did 13 on the way back to Birches Valley, inspecting the trail pixies’ work. The job’s a good’un!
Ride: Cannock Chase
Trail: Follow the Dog, followed by more FtD, followed by the green, and some more FtD
Highlights: Nice weather, dry trails
Bad bits: None really, although I swear I’m getting steadily worse on the jumps/drops on 8
Post ride food snaffled: Had a ham salad sandwich mid-ride
Good dogs seen: An adorable wire-haired Jack Russel/corgi type pup. He had awesome stubular legs.
* About trail pixies: They’re not actually pixies, they’re people. They’re passionate mountain bikers who give up valuable riding time to build and maintain the trails of Cannock Chase, and generally promoting mountain biking to the Forestry Commission. You can help them – even if you can’t make it to a Big Build Day, they have regular building sessions every Sunday. If you can’t build on Sunday, join as a member and help fund the trails.
If you see ’em about, give ’em a hand, even if it’s just for half an hour. And don’t complain about breaking bumps, or ask when Phase II is going to be open if you don’t plan on helping build it! 😉