Monday, 10 August 2009

Darlington - Hamsterley Group Ride - Darlington

Rode out to Hamsterley to "lead" this month's club ride.

Felt a bit grotty before setting off, but managed D'Ton centre to Woodland in 1:20, which is ten minutes faster than usual - probably helped by riding alongside and chatting to a roadie on the road into Ingleton. Use Section 13 and some fireroad to get to the Bedburn end of the forest rather than riding along the forest drive which was much more fun.

There was only six in the main group this month (lots of holidays). We used the Skills Loop climb and some fireroad and new-to-me linky bits to get to the DH car park, then rode the still brilliant Section 13, Special K and Brain Freeze combo, then climbed up to ride Golden Owl, which is still one of my favourite bits of the forest. I'd originally planned to then follow the black to the Grove and to finish with Section 13, Special K and Brain Freeze again, but it was getting on a bit and almost everyone was either bleeding or knackered, so we headed back to the visitor centre for tea and cake.

The ride back was uneventful. I'm always amazed at how quickly I get back to Ingleton, and then how long it takes to get back to Darlington from there. Low-geared SS MTBs are not really built for long, slightly descending road riding, so the last bit always feels like a bit of a chore.

Felt fine all day, and no aches or pains today, apart from the big scratch on my arm.

Distance: 60 miles (39km, 19km, 39km)
Time: 9 hours door-to-door but lots of waiting too (2+3+2 =7 hours riding)
Surface: On-road, off-road, on-road
Weather: Hot and sunny
Bike: Inbred Singlespeed (32:17, with 2.2″ tyres)

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