Lovely, if a little windy
It was windy as hell last night. You know when you’re tucked up in bed, nice and warm, and you can hear the wind and rain howling outside? That’s ace that is.
So anyway, I dragged myself out of bed this morning after a nice long lie-in, wandered over to my window and dragged back the curtains.
“Wow. It looks lovely out there. I shall be riding my bike this afternoon.”
After a bit of pottering about, doing nowt in particular, I got myself together and went out. It was horrible – I felt like I was riding through treacle. I rode slowly up through town, towards Leckhampton, dragging myself up as far as Undercliff Avenue before walking the rest of the way up. My head felt cloudy and I was struggling for any sort of energy at all.
I pushed the bike all the way up to the ruins and stopped for a rest. I was seriously tempted to just turn around and head for home. Instead I decided to ride Dog Poo Alley – which thankfully was free of the stuff – and head up the hill that way. I really felt like crap until I got out of the trees and up onto the top of the hill. It was bright, it was sunny and the view out over Cheltenham was fantastic. Its amazing how quickly my mood brightened there.
I carried on riding right on up to the viewpoint and my word was it windy up there, rendering it sunny, bright and bloody freezing. I elected to carry on as quickly as possible, riding across the top of the hill, dropping through the big dip and lifting the front wheel over the monster puddle. I love that bit of trail – just a pity I didn’t seem to have the energy to power through it today.
I carried on over to the top of the old slalom course and headed off down there. I rounded the first few corners, dropped into the tricky bit and then slammed on the anchors – three families with small children were walking up the trail.
Still, the rest of the run down went OK. I wasn’t really flowing but it was fun nonetheless. I had every intention of heading home after that but I spotted that Gary and Alex’s vans were parked up in the car park – so I thought I’d head up the hill and see if I could see either of them.
I met Alex about halfway up the tramway, and then Gary turned up in the quarry shortly afterwards. We stood around and chatted for ages, pondering the possibility of snow boarding holidays and perhaps taking the bikes out to Whistler for the summer, before wandering up and doing a couple of runs of the newest DH course. I took some interesting routes down, bypassing the bits I’m really not confident on at the moment. I ought to just bite the bullet and ride them again, but today was not the day.
With the light fading fast, I ended the day with a run down the old tramway – which was ace fun. I didn’t faceplant this time for a start. There’s one point where there used to be two distinct steps – they’re still there, I just hit them fast enough for them to appear as one these days. I wish I had that much confidence on some of the other trails.
Update: There’s now a gallery of the pictures I took on this ride.