27 days later

No, not a zombie apocalypse film set in the UK with Christopher Ecclestone, but the amount of time I’ve been off my bike since a little spill on a big ride* around Bath on the 1st December. It was annoying for a number of reasons but not least because I was just starting to get fit and starting to enjoy riding a lot more. It also meant that bruising and a reactivated shoulder and back injury kept me off the bike until now. The other thing being how slow the local bike shop are at ordering parts and a new helmet, should have just ordered from the net but I want to support them. Nevermind.

Matt, myself and Hamish met at Swinley for an early start. Unfortunately this meant a 6.30am alarm but was well worth it to get a decent start on the trails as well as getting back a little earlier than usual. The journey there was the fastest we’ve ever done due to hardly a soul being on the roads. It also meant beating the crowds and we had the trails almost to ourselves for a while.


The usual issues of not being very well dialled in appeared as expected due to time out of the saddle and as well as fitness issues on the last leg. The trails were also icy with that lovely mix of pebble like stones, hard packed, with ice over the top proving to be fun at first. Fortunately the sun rose a little further and warmed it all up leading to a little more grip.

As the sun streamed through the trees and the frost thawed we were treated to a spectacular light show. I reached for my camera (Fuji X100) in my bag to realise I had left it in the van! Annoying at best but was surprised at how well the iPhone dealt with the situation. A few of these were shot with HDR on to balance up some of the extremes of the light and catch some of that lovely mist. All were processed with VSCO cam.

Sunlight through the trees
The most perfect sunlight

Whilst it was sloppy in places it was nowhere near as bad as we had thought it would be. Most trails were riding well and all the berms never seem to be ridden at the fast bit at the top so were all lovely and fast. Riddiculator was great as well as labyrinth. I even managed to get a few personal records on Strava.

Glorious winter sunshine
Hamish & Matt

We did the blue, then the red and came back for a quick bite to eat. Hamish had to go so we did the blue again which was great fun, especially having just ridden it. It was faster and far more fun the second time. I still can’t get over how nice the weather was. So much so that I had got sun burn on my nose!

Not a bad return ride and pleased with almost 35k. Bit more next time and then again. Looking forward to upping that mileage. Interestingly Magnus posted a link to Twitter last night showing how a reduction of exercise affects your fitness. Well worth a read.

So good to be back on this thing again!

Glad to be back on the bike

*A 90k ride is big for me at the moment but I need to double that distance soon before LEJOG.