We got over to the Dales today for some MTBing. The plan was to ride out of Gargrave and over Stockdale lane. Its been a while since I've done this ride, its about 21/22 miles with a reasonable amount of climbing (including some grassy slogs) and slimestone to slide around on.
I felt ok setting off, on the Titus again. The start has lots of wide track and generally climbs upwards, nice to warm the legs up which still felt a little sluggish, they did get a lot better later. There was a slog of a grassy climb to contend with, made harder by the fact it was so wet. When we came on this climb a couple of years on the tandem we managed to dig our own trench trying to ride up it(and then got stuck in it) the ground is so soft.
After this there was some undulating along some cow trodden field. It was interesting to ride as there were some sections that looked really soft and sticky that I thought would get stuck in but I managed to ride ok but others that looked fine but in fact were really soft and I got bogged down in. Everyone else was the same and I do quite enjoy this as it was patchy, its less fun when its long stretches though it does nothing for average speed.
Stockdale Lane was fun as usual, its been a while since I've had the delights of greasy limestone but it was good for my rapidly disappearing bike handling skills. A good fast descent off the other side, feeling a lot more confident than of late and the Titus making light work of everything.
We didn;t have much stoppage time at all, couple of food stops but that was it. On the way back towards Gargrave I was thinking to myself that I had managed not to fall off - so I fell off!
Another silly fall, I was holding a gate open for the others and as I set off I hadn't quite got my left foot back in the pedal when the front wheel slid on some greasy rock and I lost balance. I put my foot down onto another slippy rock and it slid off onto......nothing. The track was built up at that point and I toppled off the side and fell about a foot and half onto some rocks, bike on top of me. Ouch!
It hurt straight away, I had landed on my left leg and my hand was a little sore. I collected myself then picked myself up and got going again. I caught up with the others, though none of them realised the track was built up like that. Complete numpty moment.
We got back to the van too soon, I was pleased I was feeling relatively good still. A quick survey of the damage: The Garmin has a few small gouges out of it (screen is ok) and I had a bruise right in the IT band of my left leg, with a graze right through the middle of it. The bruise was well formed already so its going to be a corker. This evening its currently about 12 centimetres long and about 7 at its widest point.