Sherwood Pines – Red Route – 14th Oct 2012

So far this year the bike hasn’t seen loads of excursions worth writing about, and due to an elbow injury I’ve only climbed once since March, so blogs have been few and far between, although I’ve kept myself busy doing plenty of walking or visiting places with Emma. Emma’s been training for her first half marathon in recent months which she completed 2 weeks ago, but she knew that she wouldn’t  continue long distance running due to a knee injury, and she’d said she wanted to try riding her bike more regular. She’d never even visited Sherwood Pines before but did say she fancied going, so I thought it would be a good place for her first proper off road experience.

I was thinking of just taking her around the Blue Route to begin with but we ended up deciding on the Red Route; Emma’s bike isn’t really designed for stuff like that …. it’s an Estelle, no suspension, plastic cantilever brakes great for flat trails, not so much for proper of road biking … but it’s not about what you ride, how good you are, or speed … it’s just about SMILE !!!

Setting off she took it at a steady pace, not attacking the trail but not at a frustratingly (too other riders) slow pace either. The first couple of markers went by without anyone else about, and as we started the 3rd section a group of lads were closing on us so we moved to the side to let them pass, although when we started riding behind them they weren’t pulling away from us and as we came out of the trees and turned left they carried straight on, but this turned out to be an error on their part, and we could see they soon turned around, although strangely they didn’t catch up with us for quite a while and then it was only because we’d pulled over at the top of a climb so as to raise Emma’s saddle, which unfortunately is a non quick release L; one by one they rode past us, apart from the last Guy who was pushing his bike up, the climb proving too difficult for him ….. I’m guessing he doesn’t ride too often. We carried on through the next few sections and caught up with them again, and actually overtook them as they were waiting for the slower guy who’d we’d passed  shortly beforehand.

Arriving at the new trail fork where you can branch off to the Black section, I decided the Black might be a little too much for Emma, so we carried along the new section they’ve built to divert around it, I’ve never enjoyed that section before but being able to lower the saddle quickly thanks to the KS i7 dropper post, for the first time I didn’t mind riding that section. Emma said her legs were starting to feel a bit tired, but she was doing well, and best of all she’d not stopped at all …… although shortly after that she did manage to stall the bike at a zig zag on a short steep climb, and fell off, which she kicked herself for !!  but she got back on and carried on riding … luckily where she fell was dry, a lot of the course was muddy, and puddles were frequent, large and deep (would have been funny though).

The rest of the ride went by with barely another soul seen, and I think Emma was happy to see the end. She’d done amazingly well for her first of road ride, and was rewarded with a Hot Chocolate and Sausage Roll from the cafe.

Watch out Emma …. Cave Dale next !!!