Monday, October 20, 2008

Journey to the Northern Isle – Part the Two

Children – Always Wear Your Helmets

Firmly getting into the swing of vacationing I found that my slumber had extended past 8 of the morning, quite a rarity for me. Another cloudy morning with fine periods greeted my eyes upon waking. My body was feeling a little tired from the previous day’s exertions and this was confirmed with a few laps of the lawn and structures. My dear companion and myself surveyed the map of the forest and decided on a route for today’s explorations.
We started up the road and entered the forest onto Hill Rd, which turned out to be very aptly named, as it mainly consisted of a decent sized hill. My pedalling legs were not very impressed with this early assault, but fortunately they were not in charge and I slowly rode up the hill. Early on a young woman participating in a multi-sport event of some description zoomed past me, however it was with a degree of schadenfreude that I discovered her pushing her bike a couple of corners later. I wasn’t in a mood to be racing so took my small pleasure from riding the whole way up even though she beat me to the top. Once at the top my companion and I rested and contemplated our ascent up Frontal Lobotomy. I very much enjoyed this climb. The trail was quite wide and the grade good with the odd root and slippery section to keep me on my toes. Unfortunately pride comes before a fall as they say, and it wasn’t long till I had a good one. Heading up one steep, slippery section I chose the worst possible line which caused my wheels to spin and for me to tumble head first down a bank with my bike still attached to me. Luckily a tree stopped my tumble and I was left wedged at the base of a tree, feet in the air, looking at my bike which was resting in a large tree fern. I was very very grateful for my helmet which was the first part of me to contact the tree and without it things would have been very bad. That’s why we wear them though and I was actually completely fine. Not a single part of me hurt and my only problem was that I couldn’t unclip my foot and was slightly trapped. After a few minutes yelling it was evident that I needed to extract myself from this dilemma and fortunately my recent yoga practise assisted me in this matter as I contorted myself to remove my foot from the pedal and extricated myself from beneath the bike. Once up the bank my next problem was getting my bike back. This took quite a bit of consideration. Finally I headed down the bank and managed to wrest my trusty stead free from the native growth.
Unhurt as I was, my confidence had taken quite a battering and I was very much feeling afraid of mud for quite some time after my tumble. I came across my lovely husband not long after continuing up hill and we made it to the top. The bike got a decent once over and everything was still working well so we headed down Huckleberry Hound. The map describes this as 45 small to medium jumps, hmmmm. This didn’t start well for me as I ever so slightly freaked out near the start and almost turned back. However I couldn’t bear the thought of riding all the way up the hill and not riding this track so I walked down a couple of slippy corners and continued on. The further along the track I got, the more confident I felt and by the end of it I actually managed a couple of hucks. I very much want to head back and give this another go when my head is in a better place.
We decided my head wasn’t in the right place for Little Red Riding Huck so headed down the road a bit and tackled Sidewinder which was a fun downhill, narrower than other tracks, but gave me a lot of my confidence back. There followed a quick zip through Lentil Link and we were back on Hill Rd, heading home.
Not the most successful second day, but I got to have a good rest this afternoon and am very much looking forward to a full day of riding tomorrow.

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