Listening to your body

I’ve been a bit quiet of late, and theres some good reasons for that.

Firstly I went on holiday with my Wife and Wee man, I had simply the best most relaxing time. It was the perfect break from the normal routine to spend some quality time with both of them and to leave feeling refreshed and recharged.

Secondly I’ve not ridden as much as the last few weeks I have been a little under the weather, nothing serious but another lesson learnt.

In March I had a fairly bad throat infection that had developed into not quite a full blown quinsy, but still had quinsy like symptoms. This had happened as I had tonsillitis and was a little run down, I had not listened to my body and had not let it rest enough. I had continued my lunch gym sessions and routine as I had the SES round at Pitfichie coming up, a race that I later pulled out of for other reasons.

By the time I went to the doctor I was suffering with headaches, sore throats, difficulty swallowing and even laughing was a little painful. All as I didn’t take the time to get over a simple sore throat.

But had I let myself recover properly in the first instance and taken the time off the gym and the bike then it wouldn’t of progressed to the extent that it had. Lesson learnt. Riding bikes and working in the gym makes you fitter and healthier, but if the engine has a problem when you start, running it wont make it better.

Thats not to say that I didn’t ride my bike, but there were a few rides when I really should of resisted the temptation.

I now feel back to full strength and ready to get back to the gym and riding properly again. Which is just as well as the clocks have changed and the evenings are lighter later. The local trails are also in absolute prime condition, a dry winter and warm April have dried them up a treat (even with the late snows attempts to dampen them down again).

A preview of one of those video projects.

The time off the bike has meant I’ve had less to write about but has also given me time to think of some new projects and posts for the coming months. I’m also going to make some video projects which I hope people will enjoy. But as always, it is something fun to make that I would probably do anyway.

Well heres to a great summer season and see you on the trails.


Elsewhere

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Fungle Road

Heading south from the Fungle singletrack is the Fungle Road itself.

The old drovers road connects Deeside in the north with Tarfside in the south and is usually part of a larger loop. I have a favourite section, from Birse Castle up to the edge of the estate. It is a real leg burner of a climb but one fast descent coming back down.

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I normally take the Fungle on my XC whip as the climb can be a little, intimidating, it is the sort of constant grind that benefits from a lithe XC machine.

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Its a stiff old climb.

But I thought I’d take the big bike for a change, not being on the gas for the climb was a good plan. The weather God’s looked on me kindly and the temperature was around 17-19 degrees. Pretty toasty for early April.

The start of the climb is literally at the end of the road, the tarmac ends and the dirt begins. You quickly cross the sheep pastures then the landscape begins to change in character to a more rugged austerity as the hillside grow in front of you.

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The sparse heather covered hillsides hide burns that cross the trail, they grow and recede with the rains, thankfully they are never more than a quick rinse for the bike.

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Bike wash.
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Genuine snakes in Scotland.

Once that climb has been defeated its time to make your way back down. From the top you can climb further and explore other back country options that take you into Glen Tanar or down the shooting estate fire road into Tarfside.

Or, do like I did, turn around and burn straight back down the way you came.

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Being a historic walkers path your not going to find berms and lips to send off, but if your out here your not looking for that kind of riding experience. What you will find though is a very, very fast  trail, with plenty of ruts and drainage ditches to get playful on.

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The 5km+ of descent quickly fly by, and all to quickly, the heather fades away with the grassy pastures on the boundary of farm and heath coming back into view.

All in all a great wee section of trail to build into a larger loop, or, if your short of time but want a taste of some wilder riding riding, enough to scratch that itch.

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