Aside from the wee jaunts around the village on my bike, I have been out on a few rides since my first proper MTB ride with PTC et al. The first one was on Tuesday 1st June around Mugdock Country Park with Ross, Paul and a few other members of the Glasgow MTB group. I set off from work early and made my way to Milngavie train station car park via Kilsyth and the all the while with the Campsie's on my right hand side. It really was a pleasant drive and I'd never been out that way for years and years. The day had been dull and wet in the morning and I was swithering whether to go or not but by the time I got to the train station car park the sun was out in a blue sky.
After everyone got their gear and bikes ready we set off on the route. I have to say my wee bike looked pretty good amongst the ones that were on show. I'd even go as far as to say it was better than some! I hung around the back of the group until I found my feet. Then at a point the group split and I elected to stay on safe ground around the tracks instead of going uphill just yet. We headed around the track (probably following the WHW route) and then headed up a steep gravelly section. I managed to get nearly all the way up before getting off to push. Well it was quite steep! When we reached the top we waited on the rest of the group to catch up (since they had been off adventuring through the forest). Then we headed off again, this time the big boys were off to play on a downhill section(?) whilst again me a few others elected to stick to the trails. We were instructed to meet them at a 'big satellite/aerial' next to a gate(!). After only about 10 minutes we reached a smallish aerial and a gate... but then decided this wasn't the correct one so we kept going until we came to the correct one. (At this point I've totally lost all sense of direction and know that we are above Strathblane and could hear kids playing in a park). We waited about 10 minutes and chatted (mostly about Apple products) and then a phone call came in that the group were stopped as a few had got punctures. 10 minutes later they arrived and we headed through the gate and across the moors. It was good and the views were great. Until we came to a wooded area where I got lost. The guy who was with me headed in front and before I knew it he was gone, quick as a flash. I decided to head along the track and waited at a little sign in track which pointed towards Car Park, Country house and something else where I had just come from. A few minutes later he came buzzing along apologising and saying he thought I was behind him! anyway we rode along and caught back up with the group. We were nearly back to where we started after one last big downhill. They all flew down the 'jump' bit and i went down the path, which had stairs, which were made of slippy bark and wood!!! So you can imagine what happened next...
Yes! I had my first face plant. It wasn't quite a face-plant as a loss of control. The upshot is i let the bike go and landed on my hands whilst the pedals dug into the back of my legs. I got up as quick as i fell and luckily no-one saw. I rode on and met up with them on the path back. 10 minutes later we were headed back to the car park. It was a good night. I headed off back home, slightly achey but happy none-the-less.
It took a few days but after that night i had the biggest bruises on my legs i've ever had. And two pedal marks of the backs of my thighs. They're nearly away...
the now dirty bike
the bruise on my hand
Last week I was on a much needed holiday from work and on Wednesday 16th June I headed back to Mugdock Country park with Nicola. We met up at the train station car park and set off on our merry way in the sunshine. We headed the now familiar track to the park and headed along the WHW. I wasn't sure of a few turns but we managed to find our way along the route I'd taken the week before. This was a good day for it. We chatted and stopped for drink and sweetie breaks. We even found this strange hut cabin thing where these two pictures were taken... A Spiderman up a tree and a very amusing piece of wood sticking out of the ground....
We headed along the tracks on the same route except we didn't cut through the field and head over the moors, we carried on with the track and arrived at Mugdock visitors centre where we had a toilet break and an ice cream. A little while later we headed off again, this time downwards. But not before we had to go slightly up again along a narrow track up a small incline where i was in the wrong gear and tried to change it halfway up and.... aarrghhh...... I fell to my left and into a pile of jaggy nettles. Ouch ouch... I lay there and Nicola came to pull me out. We were laughing about it and i realised I hurt my hand trying to break my fall. I cold feel that the bike hit me so I expected more bruises but otherwise I was fine. It was even better that she didn't manage to get a photo of me lying in the nettles. And do you know this, there wasn't a dock leaf to be found anywhere!! Typical.
the mark of me in the nettles
me after the fall - photo courtesy of Nicola (@LilacSwizzle)
Once I composed myself we headed back down the track and made it back to Milngavie just after 2pm. It was a great wee run out on the bikes. We sat there in the sun with big black clouds in the sky too and chatted and ate lunch from M&S.
Despite having to visit the hospital for fear of a broken wrist, I can confirm it is only sprained but is still pretty sore. I've to rest it for a week. Regardless of that it was a thoroughly grand day out and the first of many adventures to come.
Here's a link to our route....