MTB Girl – Diary of a Mountain Biker

Monday, 11 February 2008


Having such a busy week ahead really kicked me into gear. I got everything done that I needed to on Thursday and Friday – taxis booked, paperwork sorted, final bits of shopping done, I’ve got all the essentials I need now; I can’t imagine the next time I’ll walk into a chemist and ask “do these diarrhoea tablets come in larger packs?” I usually end up leaving this stuff to the last minute and it’s a mad panic at the end, but I’m actually ahead of the game now. As my secondary school tutor once said (Mr Pickles, not the other idiot), “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” Never a truer word said.

Then to the weekend. I couldn’t possibly have asked for three such perfect days! An early start saturday morning in glorious sunshine with clear blue skies saw Tony, Jim, Me and Newbie Dale set off on yet another section of Offa’s Dyke. This time it was the 15 mile stretch between Hay-on-Wye and Kington (aka Tony’s house, and the 15 miles was actually the estimation straight to Tony’s door, rather than a town down the road…)

Jim had packed his spare sense of humour but we didn’t need it this time. He steered clear of the Coins of Doom (chocolate coins) which he blamed for his bad mood swing last time, and stocked up on Tangfastics instead. We decided to ply Newbie with Coins of Doom instead and restrict the antedote, to see if they had the same affect. They didn’t. It’s just Jim. Newbie got his comeupence on the last stretch over the moor. It was fairly boggy in places and Tony and I were slightly ahead of the other two and walked around a large section of bog. Jim and Newbie approached and started to walk round as well, after a few feet I shouted to Dale “It’s alright there.” Actually having no idea whether it was or not, but just curious to see if he’d fall for it? Thinking that because I’d only met him that day and therefore wouldn’t possibly be so cheeky to lie to him about it, he stepped ankle deep into the bog. He just doesn’t know me at all…
Another superb 6.5hours of walking and the weather was just silly for this time of year. Can’t wait for the next one!

Straight on up north Saturday night and another frosty, crisp, stunning morning on Sunday. The cold didn’t help my poor, tight hamstrings and I hoped they’d loosen up after a few miles. Hours later they did loosen up, and then died. Maybe a 100km road ride wasn’t a great idea after a long day walking. By the time I’d come to this conclusion though it was too late and I was already at the furthest point. No way out now.

Many, many, many miles later (50 ish) and my GPS was saying only 20km to the end of the route. Hurray! It was getting dark, I was very hungry, out of water, my legs were like lead and it was getting cold, but I can manage that. Sadly, I’d done a ‘Tony’ – it was 20km to where the end of the route meets up with part of the first section, the hotel was further away…

Oh dear. Another sense of humour failure, from my riding partner. It probably wasn’t the right time to tell them that the batteries on my GPS were dying. Must ride faster. And even though the setting sun did signify impending doom (hypothermia, dangerous roads with no lights, increased possibility of getting lost), it was really pretty! See, there’s always a silver lining!

A beautiful forest walk today and then home to prepare for the next leg of my journey. If the rest of February is as amazing as the last few days, I’m in for a real treat!

Labels: 100km, mountain walk, road ride,