Friday, 15 April 2016

First proper week back

Monday night was a steady social road ride set up by a local rider Mark.  Another Facebook Group, but isn't that one of modern life's little pleasures? It makes meeting new riding friends and socialising so easy to do.

Such a fantastic ride, really pleasant pace, great company. The weather too was calm, clear and with a gentle mist forming over the fields.

Of course, it was also a great ride at it was my first time on the road bike in 7 weeks.  It will take a while to regain road fitness, but it was such a pleasure to be whizzing along on the drop bars again, covering miles so easily.

By the end of the ride, we all agreed it was one to stay on the weekly schedule, and I hope, work permitting, to make it out on a Monday again.  It's a lovely gentle start to the week and I'm grateful to Mark for taking the time to set it up.

Tuesday was another big biking day.......the first ride back on the Enduro since it had that intimate meeting with a tree.  It was just the best thing ever to be able to fly down the hills, full pelt, hopping over the rocky bits and riding down steps.  Like a puppy finally allowed off the leash.  The arm was fine, although I was wary of doing anything properly off-piste.

Being able to ride was only a small part of what made a brilliant evening.  For a start the weather was perfect and the violets were out in the Purlieu.

Mostly though, the ride was about the people, and again, it was a great group of folks.  I had posted up a potential new weekly ride on  Facebook to run concurrently with the Tuesday Tech group.  An ordinary, everyday, middle of the road MTB ride for anyone to come along to.  I don't intend to lead the ride, just get people together for fun.

It was a bit short notice, but four riders still turned up including two faces I hadn't met before. My riding buddy Grove helped set a perfect pace up front, which was great for the newbie female friend who joined us.  Caroline did amazingly well on both a fitness and technical perspective, especially considering she has only just got her bike. There is so much pleasure in seeing people successfully push their boundaries.

Our Thursday ride was also another success, notably interesting as the local cycling club appears to have spectacularly imploded in on itself.  I'll leave the club politics out of this, just as we did on our ride, because, quite frankly, it's totally irrelevant. Everyone out had a brilliant time, including yet another new female face who joined us after hearing about it on that steady Monday not-club road ride. Authoritarian committees luckily can't control the whole of Facebook, leaving the local riding community able to keep forming those important links and friendships outside of any structured club format. Social media is blamed for so much, however, people always forget the positives we now take for granted, like meeting new people and sharing post ride photos and banter.

What with riding myself, and an exceptionally busy (albeit interesting and rewarding) work week, there isn't much time to write the usual descriptive entry.  However, here are four of my favourite photos from last night, taken between the storms and sliding about in the mud.

Hopefully decent blogging (aka writing) will resume soon, but at the end of the day, it always falls second to actually getting out there and riding. Happy trails.