One of the stories I liked most, which fortunately they enjoyed too was 'Going on a Bear Hunt'. For the uninitiated its about a journey through a variety of different terrains and the regular proclamation that fear was not on the agenda, well something like that.
Well last Saturday brought a similar Journey. I was joined by Simon and we decided to head North.
Not North as say, North into the Wolds. But north and north again.
Into and over the Wolds, across the Vale of York, Dalby Forrest and onto the Wild North Yorkshire Moors.
I was quite content that no large fury mammal was going to be able to out pace me, but with the weather forecast threatening the warmest day of the year, and strong south westerly breezes I was slightly concerned about the rigours of the road.
As Simon had not been through Dalby Forrest I thought it would be a good idea to include it in our schedule. On my map it showed a turn off midway through the Forrest that cut through to the moor, so it was not too much of a diversion.
Dalby Forrest is used by Mountain Bikers and is often the host for the National Mountain biking championships. On a weekend it is bustling with our 'wide tyred' colourful cousins especially at weekends. Although we are all cyclists their appearance, language and gestures are very different I guess the closest comparison would be between skiers and snowboarde.It pretty much consists of great climbs and eye watering descents even on the black top roads which are used to access the myriad of Forrest trails.
After about ten miles into the Forrest I was starting to feel the fatigue of a weeks cycling and there was as much 'grunt' as gradient and we had not even come to our turn off.
A few miles further we exited the Forrest which definitely was not supposed to happen.
A friendly ranger stopped and pointed out to us that the turning we were looking for was one of the mountain bike tracks, which eventually turned into a road.
I don't like the word 'Eventually.
Its a long word with too many letters, it takes more than a second to say. In my mind it often describes something a task or journey that is harder and longer than is anticipated.I was reminded of my Bear song ....... 'You cant go over it, you cant go under it.........you have to go through it'
Simon and I both looked at our brand new tyres and decided that common sense/ cowardice should prevail. We would retrace our tracks and enter the moor on a more conventional road.
All though this road was conventional in that it was made of tarmac it had been adapted to ensure that any cyclist would end up with blistered hands and a numb bum. There were pot holes ever few feet and the surface felt like it had been covered with golf balls
Added to that the road was steep, testing and winding in the same direction as the wind which meant that our speed nullified any cooling effect of the wind - making it very hot.
Week 2: Hill stage (120km which takes in two hills – one between 5 and 8% and the other between 10 and 12%. Neither should be any more than 5km of climbing)
Week 3: Road stage (150km flat route)
What I wear over my engine is the most important piece of cycling clothing for me.
I wish they sent me two! I have not seen anything like it on the market.