Yesterday I did something a little different – a social ride with most of our Mountain Mayhem team. It was good fun for the most part – it was great seeing parts of the Chase that I don’t normally see, and riding new stuff. Had a few mishaps though – we rode a section that was quite loose and squishy. Not being used to riding non-surfaced stuff threw me off a little… but not as much as me yanking the front brake after doing a log drop. With a dramatic flourish and a scream worthy of Wilhelm, I lost control of the bike. Fortunately Jez was there to catch the screaming hobbity missile that was me, although I did manage to knock him over in the process. Strrriiiiike!
Second off was a bit later, again on a bit of a singletrack descent. The funny thing about natural stuff is that it’s often like a spider web, with lots of other tracks leading off it, and sometimes you can lose the track. Well, you might not, but I did. I was kind of in the middle of the pack, having lost the faster riders at the front and… er, holding up the faster riders behind me. I was sooooo close to the end, but couldn’t quite follow the track and…why, hello front brake! WE MEET AGAIN! Over the handlebars, face first. Into brambles. Managed to roll over, tangled in my bike, and Ian helped me up. I was whimpering, more pride hurt than anything else, particularly with the indignity that I was stuck like an upturned turtle and stuck in the brambles. Managed to remove most of the thorns from my person. Mr Toast finally found us, and said, “Oh, your face looked scratched! You know, like the scratches you get from brambles, but on your face!” To which I replied, “That’s because I just faceplanted in some brambles”.
On the plus side, I rode a bombhole and did a little jump off the end – I’m informed I actually got air. On purpose! Really need to sort the panicking/front braking thing though- I think a good chunk of it was trying to keep up with people on unfamiliar turf.
We ended up at Milford, which brought back memories – the only time I’ve been to Milford previously is when I was doing GCSE geography something like 16 years ago. The Wimpy is still there, as is the Little Fawn cafe, which does really good chips. Unfortunately the weather had turned a bit sour at this point, and I was a bit sore and mardy. And, for the first time this year, I’d come out without my thermal. Bloody typical, for weeks I’ve been lugging it around as unneeded baggage, and the one time I needed it I didn’t have it!
Mr Toast and I headed back, and ended up at Tackeroo. Despite feeling exceptionally surly and sorry for myself, I forced myself to do the last section of Follow the Dog. It’s amazing how easy Follow the Dog seems after riding natural stuff, which is probably why everyone else has a lot more confidence.
Today I had a few interesting bruises and scratches, plus severe aches and pains. However, I think this might be partially down to my new gym routine that I started Friday. Well, if you’re going to beat yourself up, might as well do it properly!
Ride: Cannock Chase
Trail: Random stuff up to Milford, end of FtD
Highlights: FtD and a little more FtD. Actually trying stuff
Bad bits: Faceplanting
Post ride food snaffled: Chicken burger and chips, omnomnom.
Good dogs seen: There was a most excellent schnauzer, but the absolute best was a small jack russel riding with another rider. He was wearing a neckerchief. The jack russel, not the rider