Rode up to Hamsterley to take part in the group ride come photo shoot with the Trailblazers. It was very sunny and I am now very red and painful.
For those that know the forest: we rode a couple of laps of the Skills Loop, Brainfreeze (new red section), Grove Link, Black Hill climb, bridleway descent. The group then split and Rifty, Jez and I rode up another climb (whose name escapes me, but which is horrible) and then down to Blackling Hole and along the road back to the car park.
I drank 4.5 litres of juice over the day, but was still dehydrated. I didn't eat enough (coco pops for breakfast, a couple of buns when I arrived at the forest, three bananas on the ride and a Magnum before setting off home), so started to fade on the ride home.
I was worried about using the Solitude on a group ride off-road. Riding down the BOAT into the forest made me even more worried and I was pinging off everything and my armes were knackered. However, I dropped the saddle half an inch and let some air out of the tyres before the off-road rides and it was like riding a different bike. I was no slower than I normally am on the downhills and climbed everything I normally do on the Inbred, despite the gearing being higher (34:18 on the 700c Solitude is about the same as 32:15 on the 26" Inbred). My main problem was with a bit of toe overlap, which could be solved with flat pedals instead of the clips and straps. I also have trouble setting up the brakes properly, which is, I think, down to the narrow Mavic MA3 rims.
Distance: 65 miles (24, 17, 24)
Climbing: 4852 feet (1485ft, 2188ft, 1179ft)
Surface: On-road, off-road, on-road
Time: 8 hours (inc. some (lots?) hanging around)
Weather: Very hot and sunny, no wind
Bike: Solitude Singlespeed (34:18, with 2.2″ tyres)
Update: Photos of me!
* Descending the bridleway from Black Hill 1
* Descending the bridleway from Black Hill 2
* Climbing the same bridleway to Black Hill 1
* Climbing the same bridleway to Black Hill 2