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entry Aug 9 2008, 10:47 PM
I haven't been out on the bike much so I went out to Swinley Forest today, even though the weather was rubbish and raining.

I was lost as soon as I left the Look Out centre reception! I have no idea if I rode in the expert mountain bike area but I did went off the main road and followed some bike trails into the forest. I didn't push myself at all and had a nice leisurely ride at a comfortable pace for a couple of hours. I didn't enjoy the wet roots though, riding over them put me out of my comfort zone either due to the loss of grip, deflection of my line or both. I hit what I assumed was a shallow dip with a layer of mud, it actually turned out to be a deep rut filled with mud!! My front wheel sank 3 or 4 inches in and stopped dead, throwing me off over the handlebars. I wasn't going too fast so I was ok, I picked the bike back up, straightened up the saddle and carried on. The bike seems to have developed noises from the front wheel though, I reckon it's due to the mud that engulfed the braking surface on the rim.

I don't think I'm actually improving my fitness levels, most of my riding is at a sedate pace and I don't have the enthusiasm to go up a gear in effort... I feel like I'm just going for a nice cruise around some woods.

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post Aug 19 2008, 07:26 PM
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I was just thinking that I'd arrange a "newbies" ride at Swinley, but after the events of last weekend folks might be put off.

In terms of those "shallow dips" it's worth looking to see if there's a drier/easier line to the side, but there are techniques you can learn to make it easier, like lifting the front wheel just before the mud.

The best thing is to get out and ride as much as possible, get some miles in and get a bit fitter, you'll get more comfortable on your bike and get used to dealing with roots and mud and hills.



--------------------
Dr Bike takes no responsibility for damaged limbs or failed relationships as the result of his advice.

Make something idiot proof, and someone somewhere will make a better idiot.
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