Getting back out there
The last few weekends I haven’t been able to get out on the bike due to an annoying lower back injury. This week I was starting to feel much better and not even the forecast rain and thunder was going to stop me cycling. So when I woke this morning to see the sun shining and no niggling pain in my back it didn’t take long to get ready for a ride.
I decided to head up onto the Mendip hills for some steady riding on the quiet and peaceful lanes. The only problem is getting up there. Every route I’ve tried from the Chew Lakes involves sustained steep climbing. Wanting to protect my back I went looking for an easier climb. On this occasion I tried a new route – a tiny, unassuming-looking little lane from West Harptree. I immediately regretted this decision as it ramped up to something vicious with mud, leaves, potholes, stones and running water on the road. After a couple of little switchbacks the road started going downhill very steeply. Knowing that any distance descended would have to be climbed again, this wasn’t great news. At the foot of the descent the road was flooded from the recent rain which had also washed the contents of someone’s stone driveway into the road. Skinny tyres on a rocky riverbed isn’t ideal but I made it across with just a few ungainly wiggles.
After more climbing I reached the top of the Mendips and was rewarded with some spectacular views, and chilly winds. I took it easy and covered about 45km in total including a quick loop of the Chew Lake on the way home. My back thankfully feels fine, in fact strong enough to cut and chop a couple of wheelbarrow loads of logs to take to my Mum’s for Christmas next weekend. I haven’t decided whether I will be taking the bike …