Growing old disgracefully

  • You take what you can get

    We’re having summer even earlier than normal this year (it’s usually in May, followed by the ‘traditional’ summer months being miserable wash-outs) and all around the country, people on bikes are hitting the trails to see if they can capture some daft tan/dust lines in the sunshine, while gliding across unfamiliar, unsodden ground. Occasionally drifting wide on the loose, parched earth, looking confused and excitedly chattering “what just happened, do we need some rain to dampen down the dusty singletrack?!” to each other.

    Well, I was anyway, once I’d picked myself up off the floor and retrieved my bike from some vigorously pollinating bushes to the side of the new berms on the Hit the North race course. Too dusty, you see, and new. Not entirely sure the trail had fully bedded in, so rather than rail round it, my front tyre had skimmed over it without biting into the surface properly and hadn’t hesitated to make a brake for freedowm when given the chance, leaving me sliding, elbow first, to a rather embarrassed looking halt someway further down the path.
    Aah well. Being able to pat the dust off made a nice change from scraping the thickest of the post-crash slop off, anyway 🙂
    The rest of Saturday’s Hit the North race course preview ride went more to plan. Bikes got dusty and the outside of a coffee shop was a comfortable place to sit afterwards (indeed, some metrosexuals even partook in fashionable chilled milkshakes, rather than proper, grown up drinks)

    Angela was away on Saturday night, so I took the opportunity to make the most of another dry, warm, sunny day and set the alarm for silly early AM. Obviously I belted the alarm across the room for daring to actually go off at that time in the morning before crawling out of bed and onto the bike at somewhere around 7.30am, which seemed more than early enough, thankyouverymuch.
    Spinning my legs out through smaller and smaller towns and villages as the sun started to make it’s mark on the temperature was nice, layers were shed as my surroundings become more rural and I hit the first of the off road full of the joys of spring.
    Being unoriginal, I just did a lap of the MTL (minus the most annoying, gate infested section) to get a longish ride on dry trails in and extended it slightly to have a quick play on the newly built trails at Cragg Quarry, which happen to be situated just before the final descent of the Loop.
    They seemed really good fun. Smooth, flowy, kind of swoop-drop-swoop-corner-drop-drop-swoop, with continual opportunity to let your wheels leave the ground, should you so wish. Quiet too. I’m not sure if this is because they are very new and not many people have had a chance to check them out yet, or whether it’s because you have to go up a big hill to get to them (I prefer the long cobble strewn climb up Rooley Moor Road that lets you mash a big gear and pretend you’re dead hard, BTW), but whatever the reason, it was quiet enough for me to not feel embarrassed mincing a rigid xc bike round the circuit after 72 miles.
    Follow that twisty, turny fun with a nice rocky, fast descent down off the fell into Waterfoot and you should be buzzing enough to barely notice the ride home. I didn’t anyway. Ace.


    10:19 am on April 19, 2010 | 4 Comments | # |


  • Wayne 1:26 pm on April 19, 2010 | #

    Couls Cragg Quarry have been quiet because you went at crazy o’clock, you loon 😉

  • dgpowell 2:35 pm on April 19, 2010 | #

    Meh, it was mid afternoon by the time I got to the quarry.

    It’s good fun, we should do a lee quarry/cragg quarry trip (once the pikeys have buggered of from the bottom of lee quarry)

  • Wayne 4:33 pm on April 19, 2010 | #

    7.30am on a Sunday, does seem a little crazyish!! after work one night would be cool, we can take a Buccaneer catologue to distract the pikeys/Borat alikes whilst we have fun:-)

  • Jase 7:16 pm on April 19, 2010 | #

    I had got up, ridden up RMR and had done a lap of Cragg Quarry BY THE TIME LAZYARSE DAVE HAD GOT OUT OF BED. Then rode away for my dinner.