When the whippet brings the snow…

Oh dear, I went biking last weekend and have only just got around to making a post!  Christmas tends to make everything sparkly, but slightly hectic!

Last Sunday I did a couple of sections of FtD, and the green loop.  It was a freezing but entertaining ride, although I do sometimes wonder if going out at the moment does me more harm than good. :s  Started with sections 1 & 2, rode a little shakily, and couldn’t do the exit – I haven’t ridden it since the ‘ribs’ incident last month, and certainly couldn’t ride it with Mr  Toast and Ovide standing at the end, looking at me!

Did the green loop, and my knees were giving me grief.  They weren’t really hurting (not at the start, anyway…), just felt very tight, and I struggled to put any pressure on them on the climbs. Once I’d warmed up, I could absolutely fly down the flat sections and had no trouble keeping up, but I fell behind on any climbs.  I’m just incapable of giving them any welly at the moment without my knees going on strike.

Naturally on the green you have to slow down a lot for walkers and horse riders, and Sunday was no different.  And, I’m pleased to report, there were some EXCEPTIONALLY good (if slightly dim) dogs about!  We approached a family with some sort of mid-sized dog that looked like a mini-lurcher and a black poodley-terrier thing.   Slowed right down, naturally, but we were still expecting the dogs to move as we got near – most do it automatically.  Mr Mini-Lurcher just stood his ground however, like a smaller, hairer Gandalf.  “You shall not pass”, indeed!  Instead of having a bit of a scuffle and pulling him into the fiery depths of a Dwarven mine, I came to a complete stop waited for him to move.  And waited.  Gandalf just looked at me, looked around, and ignored his owners slightly bemused calls, and I eventually had to shuffle around him.

As we slowly set off, Gandalf’s smaller poodley friend decided that this would be a good time to launch himself in front of Ovide’s wheel.  As I said, we were going slowly, so Ovide stopped with no incident, except that his slightly shonky v-brakes sound like something dying.   This noise seemed to be slightly more effective at getting dogs (and pedestrians!) to shift…

We also saw the world’s happiest whippet.  Now, I’m a huge fan of whippets, I think they’re adorable.  But there’s no denying that both whippets and their larger cousin, the greyhound, generally look a bit…folorn.  Not this chappy though!  It’s the first time I’ve seen a grinning whippet, but he was loving his life, bounding all over the place.  Like Gandalf and his poodley friend, he wasn’t the most obidient of dogs, with his exasperated owners trying to call him back.  But no, he was flying up the hills, down the hills, all over the shop!  Shortly after we saw him, we saw our first frost on the trail – not sure why we hadn’t seen any up to that point, whether it was down to shelter or height of the route at that point.  Regardless, we decided that the Whippet brought the winter.  The Whippet Of Winter!

Just before the big climb at the end, my iPod died (my own fault, haven’t recharged it in weeks), so I climbed up with nothing except the sound of my own wheezing.  Found the big climb quite hard – not only were my knees protesting, but my lungs and throat decided to join in, and the steady production of phlegm that I’d been suffering throughout the ride kicked into overdrive.  Bit hard to explain (and possibly too much information), but it felt like my throat was completely slimed up, and every time I coughed, my noise was exploding as well.  My face was a slime factory, which was making breathing a bit tricky.  Got to the top (all in middle ring, it’s not all bad news!), had a coughing fit, and was slightly sick.  Epic!

Carried on over the top and through the Tackeroo, then back to the start of 13.  Seemed a bit rude to ignore it, so I rode 13 and it was ace.  Given Toast’s recent reports I was a bit worried what it would be like, but it was reasonably smooth and well drained, and rode really well.  It was evident that the trail pixies had been about!  I didn’t join Toast and Ovide on 14 onwards, as I really didn’t feel too sparky by that point, but they said that the rest of the sections had been given some TLC as well, with 14 riding as well as it does during the summer.  Had a look at the Chase Trails blog when we got back, and it’s certainly impressive how they can make trail mashed by bad weather and make it rideable again in the space of a week.  Good work, Chase Trails!

Got backed to the cafe, nearly passed out.  Feasted on a scone, because there’s nothing like good nutrition to speed recovery!

I’ve got a blood test on Monday to see how I can get rid of this cough, as after a few months, it’s getting to be a bit annoying.  It’s been six weeks since the antibiotics, so…meh.  Modern science 0, virus/bacteria 1.  On the plus side, I’ll be humanity’s salvation if Martians ever invade.  In other news, Chase Trails have another Big Build Day coming up!  The first build day of 2010 will be on Sunday 3rd January – what better way to welcome in the new year!  And what better way to welcome a Big  Build Day than a new poster!  Possibly my most self-indulgent and nerdy BBD poster yet!


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