Went out for a wee pootle today, no fixed plan just a sort of see where my fitness lies and go from there. The weather decided to help by making the conditions super awesome fun.
As you can see I went for a wee jaunt to the Ochils and over Dumyat, then back through Cambu and round North Third. Everything was pretty damp, due to recent snow melt and the fact that today’s forecast of showers was pretty much rain that never stopped. The plus tyres were even having difficulty in the lovely gloopy surface that was everywhere.
The first climb took me over the Wallace Monument, a famous Stirling landmark and despite the weather was covered in tourists, whilst the tracks were covered in damp sodden leaves that wanted to remove any and all traction you had. Was fun and a good heart rate builder to begin with.
A quick run through the university and then up the final part of the Logie Kirk climb to the Dumyat gate, this climb is a fucker. Its a road climb and you can winch your way up if you are me and sail up it if you fit. Just sit back, tap a tempo and suffer, which seems a worthwhile metaphor for life.
The next part was the climb up Dumyat. All I can say is having done it, I no longer feel the urge to ride it for the rest of the year. The Dumyat climb is slightly famous locally and during summer will be almost a motorway of people walking or cycling it. Its also not particularly hard and near an urban centre and has handy parking after the Logie Kirk climb.
This has led to the track suffering from huge amounts of trail erosion. The more that is eroded the more the path widens, the more water sits, the wider the path gets to avoid it. It is pretty shit, watching the ground get slowly destroyed in this way and then you have the braking issues, where people have been braking at the wrong times and adding to the damage.
I’ve never got the point of going out mountain biking and avoiding the mud if you want to do that grab a road bike and stay away from mud. If people could actually ride, instead of buying a 160mm travel full sus bike, able to make drops smaller but not ride straight through a puddle or a bit of sloppy mud, well maybe they should give up and save everyone from hearing from walkers about how bikers are killing the trails.
Anyway, I got to the top.
Rather than take the same back route back down and perhaps add to the damage, I took the back way down. It is a bit steeper, a bit less of a track, nice and wet, pretty much best achieved by leaning back and holding on. Was a bit fun.
I then hit back through the uni, where I stopped in a sheltered bit for some lunch, this saw me very quickly cool down. It was probably a bad idea to stop but I also needed food.
I then headed back through the town and through Cambusbarron and over to North Third and then home.
The climb up the fire road always provides me with a bit of difficulty, it kills me and I just want to get off everytime so today I tried a new training idea. Anytime I wanted to pack it I said “Fuck ****”, the *** being a person who has hindered, destroyed or generally just pissed off my life. It is great and will make the next few pedal strokes feel super light and you will have carried on. This technique worked and by the top of the climb, I had in my head destroyed ***. Sometimes hate just works.