It's the first time most of us have been there in what seems like forever, climbing up to the new trails we were a bit gutted to find they'd mashed the orginal track and replaced it with a motorway, a badly constructed one at that...think Tony is going to having some words...
Onto the trails, I'd forgotten how tight the berms were on the top part, ended up on the black for a bit somehow as its a bit confusing in there then down to the new stuff at the bottom which is all really nice, the berms aren't anywhere near as tight. Up the new singletrack climb then up another one that is only partially constructed, though we only did that because it was so dry.
Over towards Great Hill, past White Coppice and on the new bridleway until Wheelton Plantation. Jez goes straight up the main footpath the rest of us decide to try a piece of singletrack that I've run part of and I'm pretty sure follows the fenceline up and around to where the main track comes out. It does. It's very steep to start and very rooty and bits of it aren't really rideable as an up but it was an interesting new track and probably much better the other way with gravity assistance I would imagine though those roots in the wet would be entertaining.
Up to Great Hill on the big track, getting quite dark as we're on the summit, lights on for heading down. I tell everyone how dry the moorland crossing to White Coppice is but that there are possibly still a few front wheel traps. Obviously visibility very reduced with lights so can't see too far ahead on the line I've chosen and come to a bit of a dip that looks a little soft. I'd ridden through a smaller one just minutes earlier and it was fine so rather than go round I went in, expecting to roll out the other side.
Front wheel drops in and sinks, then sinks more, then sinks even more. My weight wasn't very far back at all as totally not expecting it and everything slowed down as the bike started tipping over....I thought I could save it so started pushing back on the pedals but it was to late for that and tipped over. I stuck my hands out but they went into the dip and I broke the fall with my face, what seemed like my two front teeth in fact, striking the edge of the dip. Ouch, bloody ouch! Watch those front wheel traps!
Got up and spat a gobful of peat out, thankfully both front teeth still there and somehow not wobbly. My mouth is completely numb though at least there seems to be no blood and no other damage to me or bike. So get riding again before I have time to think about it and no further mishap.
Well no more until about 5 minutes later when I get to the last rutty, loose and rocky drop into White Coppice where I part company from bike again. No idea what happened but one second I was riding well and confidently, the next the bars were wrenched round and the front wheel flopped to the left, perpendicular to track, which never tends to end well. Luckily I wasn't actually going too fast but crashed off to the side with a "bloody hell not again" and a few other choice words!
After disentangling myself again I noticed a whopping boulder lying on the track, I'm sure it wasn't there before I crashed so maybe I clipped it at the side of the track..who knows. Back on once again and catch up with the lads and we start heading back to the cars.
Onto the cheeky track around Anglezarke and I suddenly feel like my arms have turned to two bits of string, no strength to lift the front wheel. My legs start following suit soon after, it took a while for me to catch on what was happening but a quick time check showed it was 9:45 pm and I hadn't eaten anything since 4pm (a long time for me). I was starving and heading towards the dreaded bonk. The last mile or so was like wading through treacle. It's been quite a while since I've headed that way as I've been making a real effort to avoid it, though had been wondering if taking bottles of energy drink and slices of malt loaf out on my long road rides was overkill, err no, not for me it's not.
We didn't leave Riv until after 10, picked up some food on the way home. Eating so late meant it took me a while to get into a decent sleep so shattered this morning and resting HR was something ludicrous like 65 (normally around the 48 mark) so I had a complete rest day today.
I woke up with what felt like a massive fat top lip but thankfully it didn'tt look anywhere near as bad as it felt. The inside of my lip is very bruised and has a cut from where I bit it, I have a few small scratches under my nose and I had a few bruises on my legs but other than that I thought I had gotten off really lightly. However, as the day wore on my jaw got increasingly stiff and the side of my face a little tender. It feels like I've been smacked in the face, which I suppose I have. I also now have very sore ribs on the right hand side and probably a good few more bruises but really, I have gotten off lightly.