Todays ride was in a new area to me on Ashdown Forest. Mick had arranged to meet a work colleague on the Forest for a ride. Now this work colleague is 42 and been riding for a few years. Bike is an Allez with a compact and Tiagra 9 spd. Did I say he was Young Well his legs and lungs were as this ride just about finished me.
8am and we were off in the car to the Forest. Drizzling a bit so I just had on the base layer- 50+ jersey and my Lightweight waterprrof. It was going to stop raining and it was not going to be cold. Ashdown Forest used to be a Forest but the trees were cut down in the 15th century to build Ships for our "Royal" Navy. Not many wooded areas on it now but we did find some in between the Exposed open Moorland that had a strong headwind of around 20mph. Got there and the drizzle was heavier and constant and temp had dropped to around 45F. Not a good start and right from the word go it was uphill. There some downhills and they were long and steep downhills but all I could think of was that we were going to pay for this.
A short loop out and we finally went where we could have been an hour ago. The Long Downhill put us at the bottom of a steep valley with two exits. One short and sharp-a 1/2 mile at 25%---or the easier longer hill at 15% Thank goodness we chose the 15%. I have done the 25% but that was 12 years ago and it hurt-Even with MTB gearing.
This ride went up and down like a roller coaster--Except when Mick took us on a detour across the Golf course. Mick was bought up in this area- but I hate to say it Mick--That golf course needs a CX bike as the smooth asphalt trails from 30 years ago have gone. They are now hard pack and with ruts from the Golf carts getting stuck in them.
So carry on through the Forest out of the Golf Club and it was another mile long 15%er. We were paying for every bit of Downslope we had. Then another "oh-oh" Moment- downhill for 2 miles and we were in "Poo" country. "Winnie the Poo" that was and plenty of cars about to see the area. Ashdown Forest is for walking but that Drizzle had turned to rain so Seeing all the sights by car is the favourite form of transport in the rain. The Oh-Oh moment came in the 3rd long 15% hill staright after the long downhill. That one hurt. Cold legs and you could see the top- Or you could have done if the cloud wasn't there
Finally we were on top of the Forest- With the open moor and the Headwind. It had stopped raining as the drizzle was back so at the next junction I told them to finish the ride on their own. Not that I was feeling bad but I was a lot slower than them and I felt I was ruining their ride. They went straight on and I did a right back to the car- with only one more hill. They got back about 10 minutes after me and we sorted the bikes for the ride home. Mick and I both agreed that the 3rd rider is too fit for the pair of us. We then found out that he trains with the local Tri-Club 3 times a week and regularly does the 50 mile bike ride at speed with them. Good luck to him But just inacase you wonder why I haven't told you his name yet--It is Mike. So I have Mick-Mike- (Mick)Paschler and (Mike) Keyman that I regularly ride with. It sounds like a scene from Sparticus when we all get together.
And the vids are from my NEW Drift X170 camera. Still have a lot of sorting to do on it but hopefully next time I'll be able to post scenes from our local area taken from one of the "View the Scenery" rides. I do not want another ride like today in the near future. Bit of training on the other hand and it may be better.--Prviding-Mike doesn't come but Mick would be a good ride partner providing he stays away from the golf course.