First 'proper' XC ride today

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First 'proper' XC ride today

Postby pittpony » Sun Sep 30, 2007 21:53 pm

Hi all,

Just wanted to share the experiences of my first XC outing today! I do a bit of road and a little light track cycling (35-40 mile round trip commute a couple of times a week) so i'm quite comfortable on a bike but thought it was time to try somethig a little more challenging. I decided that just going off road wasn't enough for me so bought myself a nice set of clipless shoes on Friday. "It'll be fine" i thought as i headed for Blean Woods (near Canterbury) this morning...

The 4 miles to the woods were uneventful and so in good spirits I began my unplanned circuits in amongst the trees. Deep down i knew i'd have a few teething probelms with my new shoes, but still a part of me thought that maybe i'd get away with it. Wrong!! After 20 minutes i was getting just comfortable and forgot I was wearing them, enjoying my first comedy fall under the watchful gaze of a rather confused but enthusiastic dog :oops:

10 more minutes passed and i came across an interesting 'bridge', fashioned from four logs across a ditch. I slowly (SLOWLY) approached the bridge slightly nervous that i would manage to keep both wheels of my bike on the narrow surface. I really shouldn't have worried - as my full weight hit the direct centre of the logs they immediately parted to leave a lovely front wheel sized entrance to the ditch below. Straight over the handlebars i went, the one bonus being that i mostly cleared the ditch, even if my bike and right leg didn't :cry:

Undetterred i contiuned up through the woods, however by this time i'd noticed my pump was missing from its clips on my frame. Rather foolishly i decided to retrace my path and was concentrating too hard on looking for the pump rather than keeping my eyes on the track. An unexpected brisk halt was followed by another clipless moment launching me headfirst into a recently pruned tree. :roll: This last accident also somehow managed to rip my saddle seat from its frame, making for a pretty uncomfortable ride home...

So here i am. I ache all over. My arm has stopped bleeding but is sore as hell. I've just spent a fortune on a new saddle and pump. And i really, really can't wait to go again :D

I've never known such a perfect blend of wholesome outdoor fun and blind terror. I'm well and truly hooked!!

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Postby KarlosVanDango » Sun Sep 30, 2007 22:45 pm

lol... Sounds like a great day out :lol:

Can't wait to get my bike built and get out there as well!

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Postby KeithH » Mon Oct 01, 2007 09:27 am

What an introduction to XC riding !!!!

Get hold of a local map OS 1:25000, check out the contours and pick out some great bridlepaths and permissive paths. Also, if you've got a mate to go with, it all adds to the fun (also you'll be able to share inner tubes, tools etc)!

Good luck with it
Guided Austrian mountain bike holidays

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Postby lost-time » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:57 am

It's all part of the adventure....nice one Pittpony.

There are a number of 'surprises' in Blean Woods that involve a potential spill. One ditch in particular cought me out a few months back. Riding buddy rolled through ditch so I thought that I'd be fine yet my line wasn't exactly the same. My front wheel stopped dead and I carried on over the bars to land sideways in ditch on the only log that was there. Enough to cause egg sized '2nd elbow'!
Oh well.

Sounds like you had fun anyway even if your wallet didn't.


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Postby Scubar » Mon Oct 01, 2007 17:42 pm

its all part of the fun, plus the cuts n bruises will help toughen you up.

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