Sunday was another chance to get out on the bike with Grove before he returned South, to the mountainbiking desert of Dorset. Finally I was going to get to explore those trails at Nibley, to get to know the place again and make sure I could incorporate some 'rideable by everyone' trails into a summer social big day out. It was just a small turnout, but, to be honest, probably the better for it on an exploration ride, with four of us keen to investigate the various features, or not, as the case may be for some of the huge hand build structures hidden away in the woods.
We spent time warming up on the steep roll-ins from the edge of the quarry, running fast and leading straight in to jumps at the bottom. I was pretty pleased to find a modicum of jump ability pretty quickly, it's been a long time since I've hit bigger features and I have done barely any on the enduro.
Cookie is there, hidden beyond the undergrowth in the pic. It's a really steep roll-in, and we went through the 'I'm not sure....it's really steep....is that a wheel swallowing hole?...is it even rollable?...I'll give it a go....oh that was easy what was I even worrying about' motions. Always feels good to tick a hard-looking feature off the 'must do' list.
We rode a few different trails, with some nice rolling corners, but the main line was still the best. Starting at the top, it leads through the flat-out-wide-open top section, then tight through the trees as it traverses the edge of the hill. Eventually the trail heads down to provide gravity fed speed for the bigger jumps and drops at the bottom. My one aim for the day was to hit, and clear, the big step down alternate finish, and was most chuffed indeed to succeed on the trail bike.
We spend some time at the Tyndale Monument, clambering up the 120 steps to see the epic views, and feel the ferocious winds that batter the top of the tower at the exposed location.
Amazingly well constructed, the tower steps are a dizzying route to the top. Not a place for the claustrophobic.
That's Grove n Steve, and four bikes, down threre. The grills over the window stop people falling (or should that be jumping?) out.
After lunch, we headed back to the trails, legs tired after a weekend's worth of riding. It had been a good day. Big jumps completed, lots of laughs had, and I was quite content to try and chase Steve down main line again.
Within 20 seconds I was drifting wide on a very fast, flat and totally non-descript corner and, in that split second, I knew I was unavoidably destined for a hard impact into a tree. By the time I hit the floor I knew the arm was broken, and by the time I was walking off the hill, the 'injury contingency' plan was formulating in my head and I was feeling very blessed. Blessed to be walking, blessed to have access to the NHS, blessed to have people who care for me and blessed to know that mentally I was more than ready to face the challenge of injury again.