Mountain bike today- well it really got cleaned yesterday and it doesn't look right clean.
Only two others but decided to do a bit of road riding aswell in preparation for a metric in a couple of weeks time. 6 miles of road to the hills and just as we leave the road it is a 20% for 100 yards and it was slippery. 1/2 mile of single track uphill then a short 20% again on wet chalk. Looked at the Heart monitor and I was well up there at 165 just before the last chalk bit but did not look again at the top- leaning over the bars to get the legs & lungs back. Then I realised- This is the 1st time I have climbed it in the last 4 attempts. It was slippery and it was a bit overgrown so quite pleased. About another 10 miles of offroad and as we came off the hills decided to change from the normal route. Lost my way and finished up going down a 40% long grass slope. The brakes would not work. Not wheels locking up- the brakes did not work. Just caught a bush but recovered in time and stayed on the bike to the bottom. When I stopped- the first one down came through the trees at me. Same problem- No brakes and he just accelerated into the bushes and through them and swerved in and out of the trees. Then the third came down walking. For some reason- the dew on the grass was getting on the blocks and they did not work at all on any of the bikes. Must have been some sap or something in the moisture. Down for a coffee on the seafront and about 12 miles back on the road. Had to take a diversion around the harbour as the bridges were up to let the boats sort themselves out but eventually we started on the 5 miles of quiet road designated as a safe cycle route. I decided to pace myself and keep the HR to something sensible Started at 120 and kept the pace up the slight slopes. then it raised a bit and no heavy breathing then raised a bit more and a bit more till I was at a constant 140. The other two were moaning that the pace was high so changed down a gear and the HR stayed at 140. At one point they overtook me and pulled away, but I was trying to keep MY pace the same. within 1/2 a mile I had caught them, passed them and left them. At the end of the 5 miles and I decided to drop back to the others. Now these two are younger than me and normally faster. For some reason it was my morning.
Its quite a while since I have out on technical offroad. With the dry summer it has not been too technical with the dry ground but throw in a bit of Mud and Green chalk and the difficulty changes. I get fed up with slogging up 1 mile steep offroad tracks- but throw in a bit of mud, and a good slippery bit where you have to look for traction and a few ruts to throw you offline and my skills still push me to the front. What did surprise me though was that last 5 miles on the cycle route. AN MTB is heavy compared to a road bike and the tyres do not help either. It looks as though my stamina compared to the others is coming back. All those evening rides midweek may have helped keep me in trim after all.