SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29

Ride out with new friends

Whoaaa, the media thing continues...

...All we did was one wee ride. It was a good'un, but it was one ride. I'm recovered from it, after about 5 months with various wee musculo-skeletal ailments, colds, flu, stomach issues and renal problems.

But it was one wee ride...

...I'm not doing it on purpose, but it's doing me lots of favours, that's for sure...

...Keep an eye out for more "Dave is a media whore," soon.

You have to look after your sponsors, and the friends that spend time keeping you on the straight and narrow, so some of the next few months worth of media stuff might come from slightly different directions than you might expect. Paradoxically, "looking after" your friends seems to actually mean asking them to do something for you.

Anyhoo. I'm at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Congress, showing my wares, and being nice to people. I got chatting to this chap about my constantly niggling achilles tendon injury which hasn't really improved in the last few months, even though I've done all the evidence based rehab exercises on it. He suggested that I let him wire me up to his "pain control machine."

The sensation of being electrocuted at about 30Hz for 6minutes, with my toes bouncing all over the place was...interesting.

The result?

No pain.

I can't get my head around it, but I'm popping around for another treatment in a minute.

Back to bike stuff...


Last weekend I took some new friends out (from Essex) for a mountain bike ride. They were in the area and wanted to be shown a few new trails. They spent a day at Afan Argoed, tuning their skills to the hills that we have around here, drinking coffee and the odd beeer, I believe.

I took them to a local area that is reknowned for it's technical challenges, mud, rocks, and STEEP hills. During the morning I steadily raised the bar on the difficulty rating of the trails we rode, and noticed their reactions by the increasing amount of "wide-eyed" moments that they experienced.

This was going well, and they were enjoying this new type of trail. The skillset required was obviously a bit different to what most of them were used to using but they were coping really well, and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Early on in the day, I hadn't fancied doing one of the steep drops. It looks bad but is actually pretty easy. I just didn't feel like I wanted to do it...

...Out came the TiC "Tyres" excuses, but I soon owned up to not feeling up to it for some reason. I always pay attention to these little mind games that we play with ourselves; so I didn't do the drop. I never feel a berk if I back out of something like that.

We steadily increased the tech nature and scary score for the bits we rode, and I started to feel quite good on the bike.

After a few hours the guys were starting to get a bit tired. So I guessed that we might not cross the road and head up Machen Mountain. This is a HUGE climb, and I can tell that, Doc, Rich, Paul, Paul and Matt weren't that keen on much more climbing. I don't blame them.

So we did the classic descent in the area, which Rich Todd of Ergon once described as "Riding down the front of a cliff and mountain." It was a bit wet, and it's hard enough in the dry, as you snake around on the edge of traction with your bum on the back wheel, over roots and rocks.

Marvellous!

And it lasts for about 1Km.

We had an over the bars: quite a nasty one: and some slips slides and lowsides. But they all managed to get down it one piece, and completing the challenge was met with a general reaction of, "Crikey, that was extreme!"

It is.

They survived, as did I on my "wrong tyres."

Thank God!

Then I took a couple of them to do another, slightly more risky one. They loved it.

Next time they come back, I'm dragging them up that mountain!
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