Sometimes they can be really tough, but they can also be the most rewarding.
I’m sure that I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles to get out of bed early in the morning. There are just some days where my eyelids are far too heavy to even consider opening, never mind getting out on my bike. However, on the odd occasion, I manage to do it.
It’s a bit easier in the summer as the mornings aren’t quite so dark and I tend to wake up with the light. But, as we enter autumn and the days become shorter it gets a bit harder to wake up at 6 in the morning because it’s still dark, a tad cold and, more often than not, raining. Not ideal conditions.
Sometimes though, there are days where the sun is shining, it’s cold but refreshing and there is no wind. Time to get out on the bike! I’m very fortunate as I can work from home a few days a week which gives me a bit more time in the morning. The other week I decided that I wanted to get up and go and play in the woods.
There are some local woods about 10 minutes away from my house that contains some fantastic man-made trails. Some of which I helped to build myself as a kid. I can’t believe they’re still there, to be honest. Either way, there are some real hidden gems and I love exploring and finding them. The big challenge is to remember where they are.
I got up, got dressed into my MTB gear, and grabbed my hardtail out of the garage. This bike is perfect for this time of year, the ground is slightly soft and just allows you to move the bike around for more fun. Plus with all of the mud and grit, a hardtail is easier to clean when you haven’t got much time.
I headed out down the road and it wasn’t long before I was at the mouth of the forest. There’s the main fire road that runs through the middle of it, but branching off, to the right and the left, are twisty, narrow trails. There are a fair few to choose from but I have my favourites, or maybe they’re just the ones that I remember. I have to tip my cap to the guys who built them as they ride very well, especially considering they’re in such a small space.
A couple of runs down one trail in particular kept me occupied for a while as there were various options a rider can take. Of course, I had to explore them all and once I knew which way they went I had to get better and faster. I’m not competitive at all… honest.
After a glance at my watch and quick ‘one more go’. I started to make my way back. Earlier, on the way into the woods, I’d noticed a narrow trail exiting onto the road and wondered where it went. As I headed back down the fire road I saw a path that could lead down to the trail I’d seen earlier. I was right and was rewarded with a tremendous descend; a narrow, slightly technical trail that wound back to the road and out of the woods. Plus a couple of good pictures.
Back home, bike washed down and back in the garage. I showered, dressed and opened my laptop with a nice big cup of coffee to begin my day’s work. What a way to start the day. I also questioned myself why I didn’t do this more often. I almost always feel much better for doing something active in the morning. Maybe I’ll try and get into the habit, even if the weather isn’t ideal.
Does anyone else try and get out for a ride before work?
Until next time.
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