A few weeks ago I went mountain biking in Swinley/ Bracknell Forrest, near Ascot, west of London. It's not too far and seeing as I want to get a ride done early and Angus doesn't wake up before 10am I decided to ride there and meet them when their train arrived. 45kms on a road bike is hardly worth going out for but with nobbly tyres and a heavy frame you really notice 45kms on a mountain bike! Nevertheless I got to Martins Heron train station with about 4 minutes to spare, spoke to mum and dad very briefly on skype and then started riding with 5 fresh but lazy others.
This was always just gonna be a fun roll along some trails but some of these guys are fast. The fitness wasn't a problem for me but I seemed to have left my bike handling skills back in 1984.
It was a fun 25kms or so that we did on some quite technical trails, including some deep gravel for the first 100m of a single track which caught both Angus and Shaun out:
After many steep hills wore us out we decided to have a play in the gully, nicely fashioned by locals and the Swinley MTB club. Last time I was here it was not nearly as deep and there were fewer kickers and tabletops. I must say they have done a fabulous job. When Shaun landed and blew out his front wheel, however, he may not have been thinking the same thing:
Or from another angle:
The helmet was smashed but the camera survived just fine. Ahhhhh. Good times...
With only one last setback- the Tesco next to the train station doesn't sell cold beer- we headed back to London happy we'd been out. I'm looking forward to getting my Ironman done so I can go out and play a little more like this.