I don’t have to worry about trying to decide what to ride as life is a bit more structured now that I can road race every Tuesday. The mountain bike was an easy choice. I didn’t have a plan so we just rode into wind. Although the land between the Adur and Devil’s Dyke is a bit boring, it’s worth the trip as the Dyke is just so big and different to what we have round here. I virtually never ride East. Riding down the south side track full tilt is quite impressive as to look over the edge and wonder what might happen it the bike trips up. It is a great climb too – I wasn’t going to miss that!
The ride might look boring but the views and the weather made it memorable. The other thing of note was amount of energetic folk on the trails. First up was the Rubber Hat brigade, I shot round a corner straight into a bunch of riders. Clydie and I managed to stop but as he had only just got going he had no momentum and toppled over into the nettles. This is a bad time of year to fall into nettles as they really hurt. Again I was at the finish of a gentle climb and was hammering a bit thinking that that early in the morning no one would be around. That is not a safe assumption any more. Sorry Steve! This was above Steyning and on the descent I took one of the bermed jumps – awesome! It was a new sensation to find myself having to flick the bike round in the air to make the next turn.
We spent the rest of the ride passing all sorts: triathletes (it was the Steyning Trialthon), countless walkers and runners, all variety of mountain bikers, nearly got knocked down by a time trialist on the A283, and then had to plough my way through the Three Forts Half Marathon runners. It was nearly as exhausting as running trying the wish each and every runner luck as I passed them.
Here’s the ride. We didn’t seem to ride that fast as we didn’t set out for a quick one since Joe was still tired from his road race on Friday, however, I am very conscious that Will and his Dad regularly average 13mph. That is damned fast. I’m still chasing 12mph. At least we climbed a lot averaging 1244ft per hour.