Adventure?? or Ride to Hell and Back??

Post work yesterday my lovely wife and I had arranged to go for a bike ride and we decided to go to our Wharncliffe woods. All was fine as we enjoyed the ride on the easy route nice wide which is a nice wide fire road with a fun series of corners, ascents and descents we had gone about 5miles and were enjoying our selves when I (the experienced mountain biker with apparently no sense of direction) decided that we should take a different route heading what i thought was back the way we had come but via a different route…… It so was not!!

We ended up walking and dragging the bikes for about 2 miles along a very skinny single track above the crags! It was bloody awful! we were dragging our selves through dense wood, over rocks through brambles. The light was fading fast, we were very lost and the likely hood of spending the night in the woods was looking more and more real.
We eventually made it to the top of the crags only to find the path continues and we were very much no where near the car park that I had thought was there, there was just more woods, more trees, more skinny single track with brambles to snag our exposed ankles. This was not looking good.

We had to get out of the woods so we made our way across the a field to a path and we were finally able to get back on the bike after over an hours of walking whilst pushing and dragging our bikes! At the path our spirits lifted somewhat as we were pedalling again now we were on Wharncliffe chase and it was really starting to get dark fast. We pedalled through farm and found a map of the area now it is here where Amy starting to take over the navigation and we started to make some progress we went about 1/2 a mile across the chase and came to a fork in the path giving us the options of heading back to the woods or staying on the chase….

We headed back to the woods by which time Amy had really had enough of riding over the horrible bumps and drops on her 15 year old fully rigid bike. (new Giant Arete is on order) so we were walking and climbing over fences back into the woods. Thankfully here we found a part of the yellow route and were once again moving a a decent speed but with continuing failing light and me having the only light (not good enough for night riding) things were getting quite dicey a few more miles up the road Amy once again made a brilliant navigational choice sending us down through the woods I had been repeatedly trying to head back to the car park but by now we just needed to find a real road!

Blasting down through the woods we were going quicker than we had gone all evening in near total darkness now and after about 10 minutes of descending we thankfully found a house, and a road out of the woods we were at Oughtibridge 2.5 miles down hill from the car park. Amy by this point was so cold and tired and scared that she had enough so she stayed in the safety of the well light footpath and I went to get the car.

Oughtibridge lane is one massive hill 600 feet of climbing in 1 of a mile after my 20 miles ride this morning and the 8 miles ridden and walked tonight it nearly killed me!

As i neared the car park panting like a haggered dog, my legs pumping acid my vision had started to narrow down to what was just in front of my wheel I saw the car park but couldn’t see the car….. keep pedalling Rob, just keep those cranks turning, Still can’t see the car! Oh GOD!

As i rounded the corner I saw it was still there thank the lord!. Threw the bike in the boot and drove like a rally pro back to Amy who was cold but in good spirits when i got her back in the car. We were nearly laughing about it by the time we got home… nearly!

So lessons learnt.

  1. I have no sense of direction
  2. Amy has good sense of direction
  3. Take the bloody map
  4. Stick to the wide paths
  5. Take food

So it was an adventure… or bike ride from hell Not decided yet.

Commute to work today was very steady due to being shattered from yesterday!

Time: 30 Min’s to work
Knee comfort during & after 6/10
(1 being can’t walk and 10 being no problems)
Weight: 14.2 stone or 199 pounds
Mileage so far this month: 48

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