With a couple of group members nursing an injury and recovering from an illness, we decided to take a lighter route through Vallis Vale for yesterdays ride. Helen led the way without a hitch. Luckily, we dodged the rain but not the muddy puddles along our route. Lets face it, muddy puddles are nothing compared to tree roots and sizable rocks. I have to say, cruising through Vallis Vale was a great opportunity to practice ones' manoeuvres over countless tree roots, small boulders, and avoiding trail drop-offs to the river. The curved and winding trail provided sporadically placed gates and bridges, and yes, you guessed it, we lifted our bikes up and over numerous gates which then conjured memories of our first bike lifting experiences. At that time, we could only lift our bikes up to shoulder height, repeated bike lifting = upper body strength!!
Parched and ready to try my first half pint of cider, we stopped at The Talbot Inn at Mells. Sadly, we arrived an hour earlier than opening time and no sympathy could be had from the chef. Back to drinking water and back to the trail.
The route back offered a couple of narrow hills followed by fast winding lanes. Weaving and ducking, we all cruised to the end of Vallis Vale (over gates as well). Now that was not the end of our route. There in front of us was a long, steep, hill to ride. Strangely, we all seemed a little excited for the challenge. Rachael bombed up the hill, I followed muttering encouragement to myself (yes I talk to myself; it helps me get up the hills!!) Maria and Helen followed closely behind. Our heads down, teeth gritted, and major heavy breathing saw us all half way up the hill to where we were forced to pull over to allow a 4 x 4 to pass. Annoyed but not petered, we carried on to the top of the hill (with one forced stop) - not bad!!
Back on smooth, straight ground, we made our way to the Royal Oak Pub, in Frome, where I finally had my first half pint of cider (but it tasted like Lucozade). A lighter ride was appreciated. Great ride girls!
I see you didn't give me a mention after all that bike washing (mumble grumble....)!