Hurrah, for the 29er lives again… now that it has bearings which actually turn I can start putting some miles in once again.
The other weekend was my first ride on the thing for ages, and turned out to be the longest ride I’d ever actually done on a unicycle at 33 miles. The weather had turned wonderful and the road (and a few bridleways) were calling, so it was a great chance to get the legs used to spinning along, stomping up hills and crawling through mud again.
Starting from home mid afternoon, I cycled to Wales. In fact, because I am so truly hardcore I actually went through Wales about half way back. Yeah.
This is the bit where ordinarily I wouldn’t mention the small hamlet about ten miles from Yeovil called Wales. You just don’t need to know such minor technicalities. Unfortunately the thought kept occuring that there are crazy people like Joe out there who would have cycled all the way to Wales and back. Bah…
I did go to a place called “Queen Camel”, though. A name like that has got to be worth something.
It was an excellent way to round off the weekend; the weather was fine, the countryside relaxing, you could see for miles and I hadn’t ridden the 29er for far too long. There were loads of people out enjoying the countryside on foot, bike or horseback. Strangest comment of the day was while slogging up a big hill, a chap coasted the other way on a bike saying “that’s cheating!”. Barely able to see through the sweat let alone make a coherent reply I didn’t quite catch his drift…
Last Sunday involved a ride in Wales proper (the really hilly one, as opposed to the merely very hilly one), as my brother and I took on The Wall at Afan, the location of the South Wales BMW last year. A shade under 14 miles of blummin’ brilliant trail, as those who rode it at the BMW will agree. (Not the wusses who only did the last bit though, they still don’t know what they missed!)
The trail follows the course of an old railway along the valley floor for a few miles to get your legs warmed up before climbing steeply to the top of the hill. From there it winds its way back along the ridge on some really challenging but enormously fun singletrack. It’s clever how it manages to be fast and technical without really losing very much height; most of your hard earned gravity karma is saved until the end for the truly awesome descent that gives the trail its name. Great stuff.
I did take a camera and got a few shots of John screaming downhill, but then left said camera in Cardiff. Which means next weekend I’m going to have to go and get it, and of course it would be a waste to drive all that way and not go cycling again. Oh, poor me, it is a hard life…