I wanted to check out some passages on my Secret Meerdael training loop so I set out this morning whilst all was dry but with menacing skies. Riding these little trails I always meet lots of wildlife, birds, squirrels and at one time 4 roe-deer jumped over the trail, their white tails disappearing quickly into the now leafless undergrowth. I love these little moments you only capture if you ride alone. Come here with a big group and all the shatter and clatters scares the wildlife long before you actually get to see it. The trails were moist, and that is an understatement. The temps are pretty high for this time of year so all the mud just remains wet , making the top soil very slippery indeed. I prefer nevertheless to ride with low-profile tyres, in this case the excellent Nokian NBX Lite, which has more than sufficient sideway grip to avoid sliding away on offcambers and in corners, but has low knobs running along the center of the tyre, thereby making it more difficult to find grip while climbing and descending. This has two advantages, it makes for an excellent bike-skill training and it avoids damaging the trails . Slipping and sliding is an excellent way to master the handling of your bike. Speeds are low and the wet soil makes it feel as if you are skating on ice.
This first part of the loop is fairly flat, nevertheless accumulating 240 heightmeters in around 24K, and consists of a lot a small trails, meandering through the forest. When I emerged from the forest both my bike and myself looked like something out of a swamp. Mud , leaves and little branches covered the bike and my clothes were full of specks of mud, thrown up by the tyres. As the ride progressed it started raining more and more and by the end it was fairly wet. I never had the intention of doing the whole loop, which consists of more than 60K and has some 1000 heightmeters in it. This first part is more than enough on days like these.
Had a great ride though, rinsed the bike as soon as I got home and took a good long hot bath myself. My average speed of just over 15kph says a lot about the trail conditions and the inherent difficulty. After all, this IS my training loop so it's not supposed to be a stroll.
Ride Stats : 26K and 280 heightmeters in 1h40
06-01-2007, 14:54 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf