Mud and Gusts

Like many other people, I use Strava to log how far I ride and how long it takes. This is great when I only ride on the road, but I ride a mountain bike and every now and again I like to use it for what it was designed for and what I really bought it for and go off-road. What Strava can’t take into account is the amount or depth of mud you have to wade through when you go off-road, neither does it take into account the wind speed, but I guess that’s the same for everyone.

Off road is so much more fun and much tougher than riding in the road, it also gives a sense of adventure you just don’t get anywhere else. It may be true that when you are on the road you don’t risk life and limb ducking under tree branches to the left whilst riding across slippery cobbles, trying not to drop down a ditch on the right, but hey its worth it!

For this ride I went out with a friend, one of the two I started riding with in June. This is probably why we went off-road in the first place, don’t think he’s much of a ride round the windmills type of guy.

Around here if you want to ride off-road you have to go more towards Emley Moor than away from it, that means you have to go down into the valley then back up towards the mast.

Looking at Emley Moor Mast

Looking at Emley Moor Mast

You can get quite close to the base of the Mast, but can no longer go up it for health and safety reasons. I’m sure the view from there is stunning as you can see back towards the windmills – Sheffield and Manchester, along with the other side of the hill towards Wakefield and beyond.

The view below is looking back towards the windmills which I thought made a good contrast to my usual photos that have or look towards the mast. The windmills are to the right on the horizon and not the one you can see in the centre right!

The windmills in the distance from Emley Moor Mast

The windmills in the distance from Emley Moor Mast

I also took a quick picture of myself for the first time on a ride, covered in a bit of mud from the off-road bits, very wet out and very windy. The problem we had coming back down from the mast (we rode around up there for a while too, not just up and back down) was that the wind had picked up and was blowing straight into our faces. So even though we were riding downhill we had to pedal hard just to keep moving, the gusts where quite scary too, almost knocking me off a couple of times.

Me covered in a bit of mud

Me covered in a bit of mud

If you squint you can just about see Castle Hill just outside Huddersfield next to my Sunglasses.

So although it’s not all about the time or the distance, here are the details anyway:

Ride Details

Distance: 11.2 miles

Time Taken: 1:32:57

Elevation Gain: 1,101ft

As we move into November I think I will take up jogging in my quest to compete in my first (and probably last) triathlon in 2014.

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