Oh dear, another late update.  What did I do last week?  What have I been doing this week to keep me busy?

Well, on Saturday I brought my friend Chris to the Chase for the ladies ride.  Deciding to keep it fairly gentle, we headed around the green, joined the blue on the Heritage Trail, did section 12 of Follow the Dog and then down Tackaroo Blast.

Section 12 was an odd ‘un – it took me a few attempts to get up Evil Root Number 2, but I managed it.  My non-mountain biking friend managed to put me to shame by getting over it on her second ever attempt.

Tackaroo Blast was good fun – I’ve never been down ventured off any of the official routes.  I did wince slightly for my helmetless friend as I ducked under low hanging branches that thunked off my helmet-protected bonce, particularly as she’s quite a bit taller than me.

After we got back to the café, we had a bite to eat, wished Petra a happy birthday and then headed around the full blue route.  My friend was a little apprehensive as she had a charity run the next day, and wasn’t really used to doing off-road riding, but she managed magnificently, hammering up the hills.  She didn’t really have a huge amount of choice in this as her bike’s gearing is set up more for road riding – she doesn’t have the same range of granny-tastic gears as me. 😛  Fortunately, despite being tired and achey after the ride, she was fine the next day and completed her run easy.  Woot!

Sunday was a bit special.  I knew it was going to be a bit special after seeing a Scottie and and Minature Schnauzer before we’d even gotten out of the car.  Bumped into the full Pearson Posse ™, Jez and Andrew and decided to tag along as there’s nothing quite as inspirational as watching small girls fearlessly tackling obstacles that you’ve been mincing around for three years.  Got to section 7 and Evil Root Number One, and decided today was the day I was going to give it go.  First attempt was nearly there, front wheel over then an abrupt self-induced halt.  Second attempt…


I’d like to say that I effortlessly tackled it then carried on up around the corner, but I’d be a filthy, filthy liar.  What actually happened was I managed to get both wheels over the root, and in my surprise ploughed (or capsized briskly) into the bank.   But still… I got over the bloody thing, and I didn’t even have to mince over the left hand side!  Rest of the ride went pretty smoothly, apart from some tree hugging attempts on Evil Root Number 2 – again, I managed to get up and over, but nearly barrelled into Jez’s bike via a tree.

Floundered on Werewolf Drop – nearly psyched myself up to do it, but struggled getting my initial balance and getting my feet square on the pedals.  Part of the problem is that people tend to congregate around there, and the longer you have to wait, the worse it gets.  Needless to say, Charlotte and Jessica had already flown over it and were halfway to the next section, probably slightly bemused by my cowardice.

So, apart from Werewolf drop I have now ridden all of Follow the Dog.  Soon, my pretties!  Soon!

Ride: Cannock Chase

Trail: Green, blue, red, cheeky

Highlights:  Defeating Evil Root Number One. Andrew may have classed it as being “75% done”, but that’s good enough for me… for now!

Bad bits:  Freaking out on Werewolf Drop.

Post ride food snaffled: I can’t actually remember. Had a mid-ride bacon sandwich on the Saturday (mmm, nutrition), but think we got back too late for anything on the Sunday.

Good dogs seen: Loads!  Scotty, Schnauzer, Husky, Collie, Russells, Borders!

The following week was a heady combination of basking in victory and being slightly spaced out from insomnia.  Managed to get a reasonable night’s sleep on Tuesday, and rode into work on Wednesday – I was quite pleased to beat my previous record of 43 minutes, getting into work in 37 minutes.  I love riding into work, for the most part it’s pretty quiet and traffic free – only downside is walking into the office sweaty with helmet hair…

Really looking forward to Scotland next month, and I’m also planning a possible solo adventure to Coed Y Brenin on August Bank Holiday.

Leave a Reply