I’m currently enjoying a few days of release from the office and a bit of time at home and more importantly – local riding!
The Valley is an odd and fantastic place to ride, and I’m sure some of our waxing lyrical about it can be a bit boring to regular forum members. But I have to say again after a period of very little riding locally I’m always shocked by just how good it is but also its variety. You can ride double-track farm roads if you like, there’s moorland singletrack a-plenty and all that goes between.
My own specific pleasure (and fairly specific to where we live) is Slow Tech™. Off-camber, worn rock steps into boulder fields, slithery mud chutes at stupid gradients, around the sapling and then a drop in. You get the idea.
I’ve come to realise that whilst the terrain here is pretty special it can’t be the only place that has similar terrain. I think one of the main things that makes it harder is so much of it starts with little or no momentum. So the speed that normally stabilises your bike and makes it easier to punch over stuff is lacking at the precipice…
All of this has made for an adrenalised, shaky and pretty scrappy couple of days of riding – including a six foot drop off the edge of the trail into thorns and stingers. Another fall into a ditch – with perfect mud arse indent left behind to confuse archaeologists in years to come (“At this time apparently, rapidly approaching middle aged men used to try and ride bikes down here, but clearly mostly failed”).
It’s that type of riding that you need to do regularly to “keep your eye in”. Autumn is approaching and the chance to be around here more (I hope) will get me back on track with the tech. My lungs will increase through dragging heavy bikes up big(ish) hills. Autumn is here and it’s time to get fit again. Another Summer feels like it’s been missed and it’s time to catch up.
Posted on: September 15, 2009 by singletrackmatt