I really needed to get out for a 'non-training' type ride. Not necessarily short or easy, just involving stopping if i wanted to, going back to do a section again, rather than keeping the heart rate in a certain zone and maybe a stop somewhere for lunch.
So i headed to edinburgh. It fitted in with other things and allowed me to pit the jones against stoorey b. I also wanted to try and get to know my camera a bit better. Trina had shown me how to use the self timer, so i thought i could maybe get some pics of me riding, instead of the usual handlebar and 'bike-propped-against-tree' shots.
I spent an hour or so up stoorey b, even attempting the drop we all know as 'big red'. This starts off steep, hits some roots with a few curves, then just as traction is truly about to go, you can let off the brakes and hit the fall line. I seldom ride it anymore, probably because after some recent erosion i can only make it 40-50% of the time. When you dont make it, it isnt nice. Rocks, a tangle of roots sticking up from the ground and usually a layer of wet dirt over hard means consequences.
Needless to say my skills with the self timer were poor, so buoyed by confidence from having ridden out big red once, but missed the shot, i saddled up again.
Bam, went down sideways after a front wheel slip: tried to keep control with a foot extended as an outrigger, but no luck. Hit the ground and slid, the bike gaining as it shot down the slope in front of me.
Crap. A few scrapes on me, a few on the bike (4th ride and its already looking like its been in the wars, which is probably a good thing...) and quite a nice shot.
Then i headed for the pentlands and out towards nine mile burn. A screaming tail wind back to flotterstone, and over to mortonhall. After a panini and coffee i dropped down to stockbridge and managed a quick amber nectar prior to installing a new tube (a patch job earlier on stoorey b went bad) and wobbled back along the water of leith.
Just what i needed.