Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as…

So it’s Sunday, looking out of the window it’s cold, raining and windy…perfect weather to go mountain biking! 🙂

I’m pretty much a roadie and a commuter when it comes to riding and I don’t own a mountain bike but luckily Tom’s blood runs down hills and through woods so he managed to sort me out with a steed for the day. Earlier this year we had a day out at Stainburn, my first time on a mountain bike since I was 17 or 18. It was a steep learning curve, things like suspension, current mtb geometry and the concept of trails with obstacles/drop offs were all new to me. However I had great fun in the two hours and after a shaky start gained confidence, I’ve wanted to go again since.

A short break in the rain.
A short break in the rain.

So eventually we put a date in the diary and so I rolled out of bed to a text message saying something like “It’s raining, are we still going?” my response was “I’m in, if you are”. So our number reduced by one to just Tom and I we headed off to Gisburn Forest. I believe the trails there are quite new but they fulfilled the aim of the day which was a longer ride with ups and downs. Eventually after getting slightly lost we arrived to a car park that was pretty full with people and bikes, we pulled the bikes off the roof, donned waterproofs and gloves and set off.

Fun!
Fun!

We rode the red route for the day which takes in a number of technical trails linked by stretches of fire road. It’s a strange feeling being  a relative ‘novice’ at something and then riding past a sign that says ‘difficult’! You don’t learn if you don’t give it a go though and there in lay the one thing that held me back…balls! Mountain bikes these days are design to pretty much ride over most things with sufficient speed and a little bit of skill/balance but although I knew this the fear in my mind kept making me slow down which actually in a way made the trails more difficult. As the day wore on I did conquer some of my fear tackling larger drop offs than previously and holding more speed downhill as well as into berms.

An early section to defeat me.
An early section to defeat me.
Tom shows me how it's done.
Tom shows me how it's done.

There were some sections though that were completely beyond me I watched Tom dissappear up steep muddy inclines mouthing the word ‘how’ to myself, I also just didn’t have the bottle for some of the more rocky sections. All in all though it was a good day out and again I’m hungry for more, I want to be able to ride anything put in my way on a trail  and I know that practice would boost my confidence and put me closer to this.

RIMG0006
Outdoors + bikes = happy! 🙂

So someone lend me a bike and let’s get out there again, also if anyone is thinking of going up to Gisburn it’s well worth the trip. On a wet and windy day with a lot of mud it tooks us just shy of 3 hours to complete the red route at my slow pace and was a really good way to spend that time.

4 thoughts on “Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as…

  1. good times benny boy! hopefully you did the massive berms though? only ridden gisbun once but those rocky tech bits are tough going, i reckon…

  2. Having just watched this

    If we did the massive berms at the end of the film then I didn’t notice they were massive berms and just rode them…they don’t look familiar, where abouts are they?

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