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Weight loss rider hits the dirt

| Blog, What Mountain Bike | 18/06/2010 14:57pm

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading this blog, I’m primarily pedalling to lose weight but with the added benefit of being able to get back out on my mountain bike.

This I was able to do quite a bit recently, pounding my local trails of Clent, Lickey Hills and Waseley Hills. Commuting everyday on my new Giant Defy 2 road bike is just a means to an end – ie losing weight and build fitness for mountain biking.

As I booked a few days off to be with the family over Easter I knew my pedalling would take a back seat due to family stuff. So, after a bit of negotiation with she who must be obeyed, it was agreed that I would be up at my normal commuting time of 5am and I could go out to play as long as I was back no later than 9am for my fatherly/husbandly duties.

This was not a drama for me as I am used to an early start; in fact the best bit of the day for me is the dawn, I absolutely love it. Pedalling down the Bristol Road in Brum at first light, I feel like everything belongs to me – it seems I’m the only person who’s stupid enough to be up and about at that time!

There’s a saying on the Fat Bikers Blog community – going on a ‘micro adventure’ – that really captured my imagination. So I never just go mountain biking anymore, I go on a ‘micro adventure’. I film the ride with my helmet cam and take pictures with my digital camera (although my filming and photography are pretty pants; like my fitness and weight loss, they’re a work in progress).

The first ride I went on over Easter was to the Lickey and Waseley Hills. I did nine miles: I rode over the Waseley Hills and took some good shots, then pedalled over to the Lickeys. After the Waseleys and the slog back up the Lickeys, I had a screaming descent from the top of Beacon Hill down towards the Rose and Crown.

As it was not quite light, my path through the trees was like riding down a chute; very exciting, but not quite as exciting as when I realised I was in fact riding down some steps put in by the wardens to stop path erosion. That concentrated the mind a bit!

The next morning there was a hell of a frost and the sky was crystal clear. I was pedalling at the beginning in the half light whereas yesterday it was darkness. A swift downhill towards Clent then a bit of road work to get towards Walton Hill Clent. The lanes were very quiet and I saw virtually no cars. Then I had a ball-breaking climb up towards the summit of Calcott Hill. Again I had to hike-a-bike! I was rewarded by a fantastic sunrise over the Waseleys as seen from the Clent Hills.

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