Mountain Biking

2015-10-10 12.16.36

I woke at the youth hostel first, after having only four hours sleep, so I laid in for another hour before getting dressed and heading out for a morning walk, Rob, Gary and Richard were all still very groggy  but they promised to get up within the hour.  My walk was excellent and I climbed high to look down in the village, with the misty hills beyond, when I returned everyone was still asleep but they gradually surfaced while I helped accelerate matters by packing up sheets, hunting for lost wallets etc.  We rolled into the pub at about 9:30am for breakfast, causing a minor panic as no one was yet staffing the kitchen, but the food arrived fairly quickly and it was top notch.  We then followed Gary to Gisburn forest and unpacked and assembled the bikes. 

Everyone else was depressingly well equipped, with mountain bikes and all the cycling gear, whereas I had my commuting bike and normal walking clothes, I was fairly confident though as Rob had repeatedly reassured me that all would be well on a hybrid bike.  Well the best that can be said is that I survived, but not until my chain had jumped off 5 times (which we eventually fixed by tightening it up by moving the wheel back).  Most of the route was extremely difficult to navigate on my bike, the lack of suspension, grippy tires and my low level of experience and poor balance meant I was pretty slow and had to walk several sections.  I only fell off once while stopping on a slippery uneven bridge, but I managed to grab a tree and save myself. 

Once we got onto the forest trails though I was fine and really enjoyed myself, especially powering up the hills where I managed to bask in a singular moment of glory, mounting the peak first, but my success was long coming and short lived; still it allowed me to maintain some sense of self worth.

We arrived back at the cars just after lunch and went our separate ways.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself, although I would have been better renting or borrowing a mountain bike next time I think.  Once home most of the afternoon was spent unpacking, cleaning my gear and tidying up.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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