I've had an email from Matt at What Mountain Bike saying that my next Blog is now on line at: http://www.bikeradar.com/blogs/article/fat-mountain-biker-hits-the-wall-25316 it is about a month behind this one so all of the drama of that Blog is well past now.
Onto this morning, up at roughly the same time as yesterday and I pedalled this route:
There was a hell of a frost last night and so the sky was gin clear. It is amazing what cloud cover does, plenty of it yesterday none today so I was pedalling at the beginning in the half light where as yesterday it was darkness.
Up over the Waseley's again which as Rafe will tell you is pretty much on my doorstep, 5 minutes pedal and you're into the hills.
This is the same shot as yesterday's piccy only with a bit of daylight, M5 Northbound in the background. It's a bit of a slog up to there with a bit of hike'a'bike involved, I'm still not fit or thin enough to pedal all the way to the top!
This picture is facing towards the Lickey's, the copse of trees in the distance is where Joolze had me pedalling up and down ad infinitum during the WMB photoshoot last month. You can see just how frosty it was this morning.
A swift downhill towards Clent then a bit of road work to get towards Walton Hill Clent. The lanes are very quiet around there and I saw virtually no cars.
Then a ball breaking climb from hell up towards the summit of Calcott Hill. Again I had to resort to Hike'a'bike, I'll get there eventually though! I was rewarded by a fantastic sunrise over the Waseley's as seen from the Clent Hill's. I'm no photographer though.
The downhill from there was a rollercoaster ride of large stones, berms, terrible cattle caused bogs, right angle turns that came upon you unseen and possible wrong turns into farm yards. This is why I love mountain biking!
What goes down has to go up. Or something like that! Another ball breaker climb up to the ride summit which is the top of Walton Hill, this started on lanes then they eventually ran out in the little Hamlet of Walton Pool and it turned into the narrowest bridleway I've ever encountered. My shoulders were touching the hedges on either side and it was impossible to pedal. Well impossible for me. So, yep you've guessed it, more Hike'a'bike until I reached the top of Walton Hill.
The piccy below is some of the houses at Walton Pool just before the Bridleway.
Once at the top I found the trig point and used my first app in anger on my new works IPhone. The compass. There were a lot of paths leading everywhere so I used the IPhone Compass and with my OS map I was carrying I found the right way down.
Another "all the fun of the fair" downhill off the top, a very narrow, very rutty type singletrack down to the lane towards Romsley. Just brilliant! There were a number of berms on it too which tested my skill a bit, but me and my Marin were as one. Man and machine in perfect harmony!
A lane pedal in now, through Romsley Village, over Romsley Hill and home.
Wifey had just cooked the kids a breakfast of Honey coated pancakes when I got in. I indulged too with a steaming hot cup of coffee to finish. A cracking pedal, very tough but what doesn't kill you makes stronger! Footage from the start of the pedal below. Play with the sound off!