Clearing out those Monday blues

Its amazing how much a bit of exercise can cheer you up. I got back from work, the sun was shining and my bike was calling out to me. So off I went. I didn’t really know where I was headed, which is probably why I ended up doing an unplanned ascent of Cleeve Hill. On a singlespeed mountain bike. I must be off my trolley.

The last time I went up there it was covered in snow. Not this time though. I went up the Aggs Hill / Mill Lane route — a nasty climb to begin with, then an easy bit past the resevoir and GCHQ’s back door. After that there’s the brutal ascent to the gate, before a nice gentle off-road climb up to the quarry where the motocrossers hang out.

There was a comedy kid on Aggs Hill, riding a knackered old two-stroke trials bike. No helmet, no number plates, and he was ragging the nuts off of it. He went past me in a cloud of blue smoke. I’m pleased to say that I got further up the hill than he did.

The climb nearly killed me. I surprised myself with just how much of it I rode though, only walking the really steep bit in the middle – and that was more a lack of fitness and resolve than outright strength. I’ve been up that way so many times in the past (not so much in the last couple of years though) and its always a killer. Boy, was it worth it though. I rode out of the trees onto the final bit of the climb – a dry, dusty trail, the sun beating down on my back and a gentle breeze to keep me cool. It was just plain lovely.

After sitting by the quarry in the sun for a while, I remounted and rode along the road to the masts, where I stopped and watched the kite-boarders for a while (I’d love to have a go at that), before heading over towards the golf course. The view from there is phenomenal — out over the racecourse and across the whole of Cheltenham. Its only when you see it from there that you realise just how far you’ve climbed, which is always satisfying. From there I rode down the rocky little descent and back into the trees, following the bridleway to Southam, which true to form, was an absolute quagmire. Great fun in a never-quite-sure-which-way-the-tyres’ll-go-next kinda way. In the space of half a mile myself and my bike went from being relatively clean to being absolutely caked in mud. Winner!

I got home grinning from ear to ear. Always a good sign.

13 Responses to “Clearing out those Monday blues”

1. matt

Splendid, Well done.

2. Simon #2

I find a beer much easier :o)

Mind you im thinking of getting a bike… hmm I need more beer I think, make me see sense :op

3. Olly

You see beer tends to lead to more beer, which would lead to having the Tuesday blues. Bikes on the other hand, rock like a see-saw!

I can’t picture you on one though ;-)

4. Owen

I looked at my bike yesterday. Does that count?

5. Olly

No. Oh, and Owen – it’ll still work even when its got mud on it ;-)

6. Simon #2

You have seen me on a bike, several times. I nearly died going to Owens the one time, oh and the same when we played tennis. Then there was the time we sneaked into some council place, cunningly filming at the time :op

7. Owen

I’m pretty sure that a dirty bike is a non-functioning bike. That’s why I can only ride my BMX at the moment.

8. brett

where can i get off cuts of wood, i need to build some shore

9. Owen

I’ve got loads in my garage. Yours for £100. Alternatively, why not contact a timber merchants?

10. Olly

Methinks he wants it for free / next to nowt.

11. Owen

OK, £99. That’s my final offer.

12. Olly

I reckon he’ll “borrow” your new shed and use the wood from that.

13. matt

I have some wood here, not enough from a lot of shore, maybe a small ladder.

That doesn;t help does it?