06/02/10: Back in the saddle

It had been over two months since I’d been out on the bike, but with the temperature taking a distinct upturn (13 degrees!  Oh my!) it was time to WTFU and get out there.  I have to admit, initially it was harsh.  I decided that, given my time off the bike and delicate health (still coughing up slime) I’d build up my fitness and get used to being back on the bike by doing the blue route, rather than throwing myself onto the red whilst I was still a bit out of sorts and the trail is very slippy.

As I got on my bike I felt pure joy – I’ve not really gotten outdoors much over the winter.  Five minutes later, mentally I was still feeling the joy whilst my body was starting to protest.  After 10 minutes my body was screaming in protest – knees killing, coughing, chest hurting – and mentally I was starting to ponder if I should potter around the greens instead.  However, the urge to WTFU was too strong, and I carried on – fortunately after 15 minutes I was fine, I think I just needed to warm up!  Although my knees were killing by the end, I’m determined to get more biking in this year, and to get fitter than I’ve ever been (which isn’t that lofty a target, ahem).

I want to get on the red trail as soon as possible, because I don’t want to keep putting it off and building things up to being miles worse than I imagine them to be – again, my stomach turns slightly when I think of the last few steps on the turn out of the Stegosaur onto the bridge, even though I’ve ridden it numerous times without incident.  But there’s no point throwing myself straight onto it when I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, my fitness has gone to pot (albeit a delicious treacle pudding and custard infused pot) and the trail is slippier than an MP making an expenses claim.  I think the trail has quite enough braking bumps without me contributing to them!

Speaking of contributing, another aim of mine is to attend more trail building days – regular Sunday ones as well as the Big Build Days.  There’s a Big Build Day on March 6th, so I’ll definitely be along to that, going to try and get a few Sundays in too! 

And speaking of slippery MPs, have you all contacted your MP about the proposed sell-off of England’s forests?  If not, you should – many of the paths used by mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers that wind though Forestry Commission forests aren’t official rights of way, so there’s no guarantee so far that they would be honoured by private owners.

I contacted my MP over a week ago.  Not only did he vote down the motion to stop the forest sell-off, he has (so far) also failed to reply.  I was actual civil as well!


I think I’m probably more disappointed in Aidan Burley, the MP for Cannock Chase.  He’s expressed his concern at Cannock Chase not being given ‘Heritage Status’ and  having less protection than the Forest of Dean and the like, but still supports the sell-off of the English forests.  Well, he voted against the motion to stop the sell-off, so I’ve heard.  So it’s OK if other forests around the country are sold off and limited in access, but not the one in your back garden?   

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