Should anyone have cared to notice, it's now about a week 'til the Goshawk Challenge.
A ride that last year brought me tiredness, a deep questioning over my own sanity and one hell of a final descent..
I promised I'd be back.. I will be
I promised I'd be fitter.. oh arse
Not enough miles, simple as that, but, the miles I've done have brought smiles to my face and sometimes that is more important than churning out countless miles and weighing your lunch.
I know I need to get fitter, I always do, but I've started enjoying my riding again and have a real desire to get out do it. That probably has something to do with the fact the evenings are getting lighter, but the last few rides I have had really have ticked the right boxes for me.
Last nights for example, a ride around Low Bradfield and best described as 'cheeky' - a route thrown together by Chris whilst walking 'somewhere new' with his soon to be wife.. good skills I say.
The possible descent the whole route was based around proved to be challenging - in that we all fell off, but the eagle eyed gent had spotted another option and kindly informed us as much once we had rolled (bodily) to a halt at the bottom of the rather stony trail. A lung challenging hike a bike later saw us climbing over the 20th or so fence of the evening before embarking on a real beauty of a trail, roots, little drops and enough flow to ensure we all reached the bottom with speech rpm wound right up.
A steep road climb to reach the top of another trail saw us ratchet cheeky up to 11 by short cutting through a church yard.
"Best be sneaky here lads" informed Chris, as if on cue we dowsed our lights, at which point my mobile rang.. then stopped, then rang.. and so on for the next five minutes.
For anyone who has never seen Low Bradfield, picture Midsomer, in my minds eye Barnaby was turning up the following morning after the discovery of three pitchforked to death mtbers were found next to a ringing mobile..
A great ride though, lots of laughs and an evening warm enough for short sleeves to be suitable even at 9pm.. that felt odd for February I can tell you.
So, Goshawk may again punish me for my lack of preparation, but I'm willing to risk it