Monday, 13 August 2012

Not the 3 towers

Sunday 12:30 Brimmed my camelbak this was to be a 3litre ride, was supposed to be an early start but my mrs' impromptu upgrade from couple of drinks with a mate to full on night out meant I'd better let her have a lie in if I valued my riding time :-) Weather was overcast but warm, perfect for the 3 towers compendium which I still haven't completed yet. Nice fast pace up brunt edge, feeling fast, dropped down from 2lads into rain, hmm, did the rooty wildes wood line and the rain started properly. Bugger. Looked like the rain had set in for good over rivi so I sacked off the pike and rode back up to winter hill to see what the other side of the hill looked like. Headwind and drizzle up hole in the wall, grrr. Near the top I got that "out in the rain playing silly buggers" feeling and a smile crept onto my face soon washed off by even heavier rain and that sun tan lotion (that seemed a good idea less than an hour ago) running into my eyes. Got to the top of san marino the other side of the hill was just as bad, looked back to see the sky clear and sunny over rivi, ****socks! Went down san marino anyway, someone has kindly spray painted the best line, dunno what event has been on, got down OK but now covered in mud. Down the road and across belmont res, over WW to tockholes woods, where I saw a guy looking like a cross between a character out of Skrim and someone out of a Kiss video. Black leather and polished steel ensemble with black and white painted face, oh yeah and a sword. Hmm, bit further on was a guy walking down the trail in roman centurion type outfit and a pike and just at the top were two groups of people in various armour and armed with all sorts of medieval pointy-ness marching at each other seemingly getting ready to rumble. At our current speeds I'd be trying to ride passed them just as it all kicked off, so I sped up "scuse me, coming through", bizarre, might have said something about grown men (and women!) playing in the woods then that phrase about glass houses popped into my head. Darwen hill turned into a bit of a grind, headwinds damp conditions, the rocky singletrack that I normally enjoy I was slipping all over the shop, upto the tower, nice fast downhill into darwen perked me up but the climb up through whitehall onto the A666 had me in the doldrums again. The tandem of wet feet and hands has always demoralised me and I was considering bailing out. The sun was coming out and I remembered I had some spare gloves so stopped ate my fig rolls put on my dry gloves and set off again a new man (with squelchy feet) Down through edge fold and on up the school lane and crowthorne climbs, with the sun on my back and nice views they were dispatched pretty easily. Passed the bodyfarm and round to peel tower I found some form, and kept the speed up. Twiddled up the steep climb to the tower down the steps back up the climb and down the cheeky track. Good stuff, pedalled hard back to the bodyfarm, sped back to entwistle, round turton res, along the roller coaster, passed turton tower, through the golf course and dunscar, lowey's private singletrack (mud bath) and just for old time sakes I went up agony hill the standout feature from my school XC course, not quite as agonising as it was at school (when I was a big jessie) but was hardwork with tired legs. Back home though hall ith wood and the valley, seeing more destroyed trails, weather really has taken it's toll the last couple of years. So no 3 towers but not too shabby after all, first time I've cracked 40miles XC this year, a commendable amount of climbing too (6750ft) bit achey today.

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