Did two days at the Chase at the weekend. Saturday was glorious – beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Did a lap in just over an hour (1 hour 5 minutes, to be exact) – I was going fairly speedy on the trail, but I found the warmth, although very welcome, to be a bit draining. I took a fair few breaks at the end of certain sections, especially when there were already riders congregated there. Rode everything with no trouble with the exception of the Evil Roots and the Werewolf Drop – I think I need to be in the presence of small children to shame me into it…
To be fair, the Werewolf Drop genuinely doesn’t look too bad from the bottom. It doesn’t really look any steeper than the exit to 8. I think that the main thing that worries me about it is the turn – if it went in a straight line ahead like the exit to 8, I’d probably ride it. But then again, it took me two years before I’d ride the exit to 8 on a regular basis. Ho hum. I don’t think my confidence is helped much watching other riders go down it – so many skip it, a lot come down it in a wobbly fashion and struggle to take the turn, or get their wheel wedged between the rock and the tree… given my innate belief that I’m possibly the worst rider on the trail, I can’t help but feel that if they struggle then I’m doomed to painful failure.
Got back in time for a rounders match and barbecue. I’m not sure, but I’m fairly certain our team (go Team Charlotte!) beat the other team eleventy hundred to three. The match was somewhat hampered by the fact that nobody knew or could remember the rules of rounders, and that nobody on either team could catch. Or throw. Alex reflected that the reason most people became mountain bikers was because they were rubbish at team based sports featuring balls…
After Team Charlotte’s glorious victory, it was time for a barbecue. After nomming through a variety of meat and an obscene (but delicious) amount of cake, Mr Toast and I eventually decided to go on a second lap. To our credit, we managed the first few seconds before deciding we were too sausage filled to manage the fireroad hill, and elected to go home.
On Sunday we decided to hit the trails again – we still had a lot of barbecue and cake to work off (note: despite what certain Forestry officials may say, barbecued cakes don’t work…)! Bizarrely, the trails were transformed – it had evidentally been raining heavily Saturday night, so there were puddles! Puddles!
I’m not sure what happens to me when the trails are a bit damp. I find them so much harder to ride, my confidence drops right down – I don’t know if it’s because I’m going more cautiously, which in turn amplifies every little bump and slid which I’d ignore (or wouldn’t happen) if I was going faster. I don’t know whether I’d benefit from changing the tyres – tempted to go for some Minions or High Rollers. Or maybe I’m just solar powered, and don’t fare as well when the weather’s poor.
Nearly had a comedy off on the Stegosaurus, coming off the last rock onto the bridge. Took it a bit wide, nearly went off to the right, panicked and nearly went over the handlebars. Some part of my bike smacked into my knee, making me wish my MBR subscription knee pads would arrive. Feeling a bit wonky, I gave the rocks and the boardwalk on 7 a miss, despite riding them twice the day before. My cowadice is fuelled by precipitation. 🙁
Second lap I went around with Mr Toast – we did the first few sections, then went up the Heritage trail to take the Tackaroo sections. And it was awesome… sproingy, sproingy deer. I blame the braking bumps on Bambi…
Oh, and the saga of Mr Toast’s Mojo has now drawn to a happy close. A quick recap:
- Husband buys second hand Mojo
- Husband loves Mojo
- Husband spots crack on Mojo – having cracked his carbon Zaskar in the same place, he’s concerned
- Not knowing whether it’s cosmetic or serious, husband posts on MTBR forum. Hans Heim, partner at Ibis, responded quick-sharp and said to send it back for warranty
- Husband is grateful, sends Mojo off to the US
- Epic disappointment as Parcelforce and Fedex struggle to get the bike out of the country. Guaranteed next day delivery takes over a week
- Turned out the crack was just cosmetic though, but a replacement front triangle is offered for a discount. Not bad considering husband is the second owner, and the bike is out of warranty
- Customs hold the bike for aaaaages. Incidentally, customs also lost my Stroopwaffels sent by a friend. Curse you, customs!
- Eventually… the Mojo arrives. Hans has given Mr Toast a very special treat…
Mr Toast mentioned in one of his email to Hans that if he’d been the original owner, he would have got it in green. So Hans sent him a completely green bike – new front triange, refurbished rear triangle, new bearings, new linkages. Look at it – JUST LOOK AT IT! Trust me, the photos don’t do it justice. Awesome, awesome customer service from Ibis – wish more companies were like them.
The plan is to go off to Llandegla tomorrow, taking the Mojo on his maiden voyage. Well, maiden-ish – frame’s new, the rest isn’t. As far as I know… 😛
Ride: Cannock Chase
Trail: Follow the Dog, and some more Follow the Dog
Highlights: Rounders and barbecue. And cake. Lots of cake.
Bad bits: Being a bit skitty in the wet
Post ride food snaffled: Can’t even begin to list the naughtiness…
Good dogs seen: Mainly Jack Russells….