Sorry about the title, but I thought it’d give me an ideal opportunity to publically state how much I hate BT’s new advertising campaign. I thought the last one was odious enough, but the current one makes me want to throw things at the TV. Large, heavy things. It’s like their marketing department is actively trying to annoy me.
Dangerously back on topic, last weekend I rode Follow the Dog twice. I was toying with the idea of the Monkey, but decided that I just wanted to relax and have fun. It was sunny, surprisingly dry, and I was going at a good pace (for me), so I decided to see if I could get a good lap time in. First lap clocked in at around 55 minutes, although I could have shaved another couple off if there hadn’t been congestion at Werewolf Drop. I overtook seven people, and was only overtaken by one. This is either a sign of great progress, or a sign that the trails were surprisingly quiet.
I actually found the fireroad hill a bit more of a slog than usual, quickly going into granny ring. I think I’ve said it before, but I think I find it much harder when it’s dry. In a way it might have been a blessing, as my knees weren’t quite as knackered as when I try and push it in middle ring. Still makes me nervous for Mountain Mayhem, as it’s considerably more climby and hilly.
Amusingly, I lowered my forks to 100mm for the climb, then promptly forgot to raise them back to 12omm for the rest of the trail. Cornering seemed very nice, not sure if that was down to the fork travel or down to just having a good day.
Ended up back at Swinnertons and chatted to some of the Chase Trails chaps for a bit before setting out for my second lap. By the time I got to section 9 I started to feel knackered, and the lap as a whole felt a lot slower – slower on the section itself, more pulling over to let people by, and longer drink breaks at the end of the sections. Despite that, I still came in at just under one hour five minutes, so I was quite pleased, and also a bit surprised.
I managed to ride the switchbacks before Werewolf both times, so that’s a definite improvement.
Rather alarmingly, a bike was nicked from Birches Valley the same day – this is always a worry of mine, as when I ride alone I have to leave my bike unattended if I want to go to the loo. You know Freud banged on about Penis Envy? That’s why – no practical way of relieving yourself in a neat and tidy manner, even She Wees have horror stories.
ANYHOO, I always lock up my bike to a nearby fence, but I still worry that some scrote could cut the lock and nab the bike fairly swiftly. Fortunately, thanks to a combination of suspicious locals and hardy northern folk, one scrote was thwarted in his efforts. Despite evidently spending hours (Mr Toast had seen him the previous day and thought he looked a bit dodgy) scoping out bikes, he decided to nick one belonging to a group of 20 odd riders. So if you see this chap:
…remember to congratulate him on his awesome decision making skills. Whilst holding onto your bike, obviously.
So that’s one less thief, but it’s unclear as to whether his Astra-driving mate was caught – if he’s part of a gang, then people should still be vigilant. Well, you should be vigilant anyway – bikes are more than just a possession to most of our kind. They’re our pride and joy, providing us with thrills and fitness whilst allowing us to explore the great outdoors… or just go around trail centres repeatedly. It’s all good. Don’t let a scrote take that away, or at the very least, don’t make it easy for them. Lock it up!