...really isn't my sport. Ok so today's little foray was actually really good fun but I still don't think I'm cut out to ever be a mountain biker.
Dave took me up around one of the local hills on some basic scraggy tracks and trails in the woods and down the chalk slopes. It was quite a long session actually - I left home at 2:00, met Dave at 2:40 and got back home at about 6:15 - all that time spent on a bike. That is a very long time for me.
Ok so we weren't on the bikes the entire time - we did stop at the top of the hill for an ice cream (a 99 with strawberry sauce no less...) and on the way back we stopped at the local chocolate shop/cafe for a hot choccy. Even so, I spent longer in the saddle today than I have for the previous 3 months combined! (possibly a slight exaggeration).
Going up hill is hard work and I'm evidently not as fit as I'd thought. Admittedly the gearing on my bike really isn't ideal for any great climbing effort but that doesn't change the fact that I was pathetic.
Going down hill is fun until you start making it really steep and/or technical. Once it gets really steep and/or technical my brain starts to twitch and get all unhappy - the most likely cause of this is a deeply engrained sense of cowardice or possibly a firmly rooted desire not to hit a tree. Either way I'm not that good at going down hill either. Slowly is bad as it makes it really hard to control where you're going, but fast increases the tree impact risk. Somehow I managed to ride almost all of it today though, not resorting to walking anywhere near as much as I could have, so I guess I should be proud in a way...
I did really enjoy riding back down the path we'd previously slogged up (yes, we went up and down the hill twice via different routes). It was steep, fast and only semi-technical but had the critical advantage of not being particularly bendy and therefore not carrying a high tree impact risk rating. Hence I rode fast - I hardly touched the brakes :D
The hot chocolate was also very very nice...
Now, I'm knackered. Great isn't it?