The Weekend Ride: First Ride of 2020

It was a very quick ride and unfortunately, I don’t mean fast. We were out for around 50 minutes in total once we’d parked up and sorted the bikes out.

It was a spontaneously planned ride, I received a message from my brother in law late on Friday evening, saying that he was planning on going to Sherwood Pines for a quick ride early in the morning. I decided that I would join him, despite wanting a lie in, and finally swing my leg over a bike in 2020

We arrived at the car park around 8:30 am, pulled the bikes out of the cars and began to put on various pieces of kit. Josh stated that he didn’t have long and ideally needed to be back at the car for around 9:30. We decided that we could start the red route, complete the downhill section and then head back. As we began to ride towards the start of the trail, the car park was filling up very quickly. I believe Sherwood Pines hosts a park run every Saturday morning and it appears to be quite popular.

The ride started well; I lead on the first few sections of the trail and felt great. My legs had plenty of power, the bike was dancing beneath me and I felt like I was picking my lies well. All of that changed a little further along. We headed up a short section of fire road and turned right to rejoin the trail, this time Josh lead the way. It was about here that the ride turned difficult. I couldn’t quite get my feet to sit comfortably on the pedals, find the right gear and I became quite lethargic.

It certainly didn’t help that Josh had sped off and looked like he was riding as I’d felt earlier. Soldiering on, I caught up with him and tried to get back into the swing of riding the trail, rather than hanging onto the bike. It didn’t quite happen and I spent the next few miles constantly shifting myself on the bike. The problem was also in my head because I felt like something wasn’t right. I was overthinking everything instead of just enjoying the ride. I’d even taken my jacket off before Josh, and that’s just unheard of!

After a little way along, Josh mentioned that we were running short on time. No more stops for us! We weren’t that far from the downhill section, and I was determined to reach it. It has to be one of the best bits of the trail on the whole route. We upped the pace as best we could; both of us were now breathing rather heavily.

Finally, we reached the start of the downhill section on the trail. It’s only a short section, but it’s very well built and incorporates lots of different corners and jumps. We’d stopped for a bit to increase the gap from us to the guys in front as they looked a bit slow. The last thing we wanted to do was tear up to the back of them halfway down the hill. It’s not fun for us and it’s not fair on them.

Dropper post down, suspension open, gearing set and off we went! Josh first, shortly followed by me. I decided that I would just relax, take it steady and trail surf. It was easily one of the best runs I’d ever done. Everything was controlled, there was only one time where I had to grab the back brake, and that was more to angle the rear wheel a bit more rather than scrub a load of speed off.

I was grinning the whole way down. I could tell that Josh was enjoying himself too, especially when he went for a jump that cuts out a couple of corners and landed it beautifully! When we reached the end, narrowly avoiding the guys who had gone down before us, as they’d decided to stop at the bottom of the decent… Not helpful. We both reflected on how much fun that section of trail was.

We decided to head back to the car via a couple of fire roads and end on a high, plus it was almost half 9 and Josh needed to get back and pick his better half up.

Bikes packed back into the cars, kit removed and the ride done. We chatted for a little bit then we headed off. It was a good ride after all.

What was your first ride of 2020 like?

Until next time.

Jack


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