Stodge is back! well fingers crossed.
I started mountain bike orienteering with Dark & White Summer series events in the Peak District back in 2006/7, I still remember my first event, my new bike’s front brake failed on a decent and the climb back up to Teggs Nose showed me I wasn’t used to proper hills, but I loved it.
I managed 3 of this years summer series on consecutive Wednesday nights in June and July.
Week 1 was from a new venue on the outskirts of Southern Sheffield and used the hilly area down to Chesterfield including Ramsley Moor. I took it very easy, coming in early and not biting off more than I could chew, loving just being out. I did find it hard getting back into navigating on an OS map again, overshooting a track on the way to my first control and misreading the faintly printed contours on the next resulting in some route choice muppetry and extra climb.
Still it was great to finish in one piece with fantastic views and of course great to natter to friends I’ve not seen for the best part of 3 years.
Week 2 was from another new location for me – the highest village in England – Flash! Just south of Buxton – firstly a quick plug for the Flash Stores – top cake and pasty’s! http://www.maccinfo.com/Flash/
I was a little braver on this event, which took me on lots of terrain I knew between Flash and Macc Forest and some I didn’t to the south. I ended up having to work really hard on the climb back up to Flash, finishing just inside the 2 hour time limit. My back had to endure some pretty rough tracks though which worried me a little but it seemed to cope OK. The views on the drive home were simply gorgeous and I vowed the following week to do something I had been meaning to do for years – drive my spitfire to and from the next event.
So Week 3 saw me zooming up from Ashbourne over the Peaks in my old 1977 spitfire with the Whyte E5 tied on the back, in the late morning sunshine. After parking in New Mills and a quick shuttle into Manchester for a business meeting it was over to Hayfield for the last round of the summer series. Filled with confidence after the first two rounds and no real issues with my back I put in a bit more effort and loved every minute of being back working reasonably hard on climbs, trying to pick clever route-choices and hooning it down narrow lanes, enjoying the hedge-rush at 60kph. I finished a little early keeping the red mist at bay and not trying to go for one last control and then enjoyed a fantastic drive back over the Peak District in the setting sun.
Thanks to Dark and White for a great welcome back – cant wait for the night events later this year and of course the 3 hour winter series. http://www.darkandwhite.co.uk/