Around a month ago, I was like a kid at Christmas and Easter all rolled into one because I’d got myself a bike. Not a big deal for many but it was to me purely because it had been 12 years since ‘the great bike riding adventures.’
Since the arrival of my bike, although it’s been subjected to a lot of snobbery from the bike world (you know who you are,) Bert and me have got on famously well. I did ditch him for a few adventure but I’ll explain more later.
Oswestry to Whittington
My first ‘attempt’ at getting back on the bike (quite literally) was during a COG ride that my local town of Oswestry run every month. I was told it would be gentle so I thought about a mile or two. I was reassured when I met one of the 70 year old ladies who was also coming along.
8 miles in, I wondered what I had got myself into and 12 miles in.. I knew exactly what I had got myself into! Psst.. that 70 year young lady, I didn’t see her for dust purely because she was leading the group and I was trailing along at the back!
By Joe there was a lot of hills and my bottom was numb from the saddle. Eventually the COG leader Tim, took me and my friend (who was my motivator during the entire ride) a different way (for my bottom’s benefit.) I had the pleasure of going down lots of hills and feeling the wind in my hair. That was bliss!
Eventually we reached the destination of Whittington, and had a much needed water ( I’d forgot to bring a drink for the ride up) and of course cookies!
After around 16 miles there and back, I finally made it home in one piece. The group were really understanding and I’d recommend it to newbies! Lesson learnt during that day : don’t wear flared jeans because they get caught and ripped to shreds in the chain!
Since then my very good friend Fi, has been accompanying me on weekend rides and teaching me about road safety, riding one handed and the art of riding up hills. (Apparently it doesn’t involve getting off and walking them..)
It was all in preparation for some mountain biking. So one Saturday, our initial plan was to go to Llandegla but she surprised me and took me to Delamere instead. Purely for my bum’s benefit (again) as it’s easier. I don’t mean easier in the literal sense by any means. On the way there, I sat in the car thinking ‘I may have just forgotten the most important and tell tale word – mountain’ but it was too late.
I had to leave Burt behind, because he’s not able bodied for this kind of mountain biking and so was introduced to Paul. Paul was a heart throb (sorry Burt) and a dream to ride ( I don’t say that to all of the bikes- promise.)
It was here that I discovered that mountain biking was for me! We went on some amazing off roads tracks with lots of bumps, mud, lumps of gravel and roots. It was really great stuff! The adrenaline rush was addictive and I manage to stay on my bike most of the time too. Fi’s husband was also good at doing that man thing ‘showing off’ 😉 and I tried to follow him on some of the trails but found myself getting stuck on a root at one point. They were both a lot of fun and very encouraging and 6 miles later we rode into the car park bantering about the day.
On the way home, I tucked into a chocolate muffin and I quote – it was the best muffin I’d ever tasted in my entire existence ( that was my blood sugar talking.)
I’m really thankful that I started off my adventures with 16 miles because it helped to push me mentally and prepare me for the miles I will under go this summer. I’m thoroughly thankful for my friend Fi for being so patient and such a great motivator the entire time!
I’ve since attempted Llandegla. I did the green run (family run) purely to make sure I’m able to handle it. For my first time it was great trail and I got to attempt ‘the pump track’ and I totally mastered the ‘berns’ (if I’ve spelt it right! With nice views of the reservoir, a stop off for a rest at the picnic tables, I contemplated the blue run for next time. Since I only flew into one tree I’d say that’s good going for a biker of 4 weeks!
I’ve to say, the best bit of the day was the food at the visitors centre. When I say man sized portions, I mean it in the literal sense! Great range of veggie food too which always goes down a treat with me. And no that’s not the blood sugar talking…
The stop off at the sauna after was very welcomed.
What kind of outdoor activities do you like?