Thursday, 3 March 2016

A right jolly social at the Forest of Dean

Saturday just gone.  Dryness, so so dry.  What a fabulous day to draw 17 riders together for some epic fun on swishyswooshy, sunshine dappled, forest trails.

It was nothing but brilliant, although a surprisingly tough pace, and my '5 km Friday run' legs and lungs were struggling along at the back of the pack on the climbs.  Definitely still off-form, but it just didn't matter, I hung in there right to the end, and made the most of every gravity-fed descent with a big grin.

It wasn't such a great day for everyone. A frame breakage is never wanted, but particularly not a good way from the cars.

Still, an ingenious repair with tyre levers and zip ties allowed the owner to roll an 8 km shortcut home, and hopefully the damage will be covered by the warranty.

Grove, as always, had indeed managed to remember all the best trails, and with the dry weather, everyone was keen to repeat the fun stuff for photos.  Here's Steve doing his normal super-style off a tree stump kicker.

Young Grady came along with us for the day. At 6ft it's easy to forget he is just 13, but it's great to see his riding come on in leaps and bounds.

After lunch, everyone was feeling the distance and the pace slowed, but the singletrack was too appealing to miss with an early finish. Crunchy leaves, soft green moss, dry roots and barely any other riders.

By the end of the day my legs re-found some strength and held up to chase the fast guys down the final descent, hanging on for dear life as we flew off kickers and slid down the steep chutes of Y2K.