Repeat to fade

Had a good circuit of the Kilpatrick’s trails last night, the two mtbs versus the two runners.
We cranked up the tarmac from base and onto the ascent, but they other two buggers caught us as we lost traction (and lung capacity) on the steep gravel near the top and had to push. It’s quite disconcerting being chased and passed by two bobbing headtorches atop skinny legs finished in shiny black.
After last weeks diversion by Craig, we met up at Loch Humphrey to check routes (although we did have radios for each pair, now there’s fancy from Phil) and the footpads set off. We followed shortly after, making little progress through the treacletastic new trail section. There’s an amazing amount of different surfaces in quick succession on the top, it really does keep you on you toes.
It was getting cooler and a heavy shower started out of nowhere, we pushed on and found the guys in the trees hurridly donning wind shirts. On the undulating tracks we stayed ahead now. Phil left a lightstick to mark an awkward trail junction (which they picked up of course) and we all met at the stile at the forest edge for a word or two of “encouragement” before we launched into the downhill run.
The ground was wet, it was dark (it was around 2200hrs) and it was cold, but the trail was fast. By the time I got the fence at the bottom I was picking grit and twigs out of the widest grin I’d had this week so far.
We waited for the footpads and they were doing well, they seemed to be hitting a joint rhythm a lot of the time we saw them. It bodes well.
We flew past them on the hill down to the A82 and were waiting at the garage deciding whether or not to get our cuppas while we waited, when Craig sprinted in ahead of Ian (in the orange windshirt below) for a well timed coffee/cake rendezvous.

Where are we at? Phil and I thought the ascent was punishing, but the times was quicker tonight. In fact, I think we’ve cut an hour off of this route since we started timing it.
Craig and Ian seemed happy with performance and times, and we all noticed that out recovery times were good. No wheezing and sitting down.
But, they’ll beat us on the climbs every time, we’re not going to attempt to tackle every gradient we come across, we can’t afford to burst ourselves. And a walking man is faster than a man pushing a bike. On the flat and the downhill the machinery and gravity are our saviours. But I’ll tell you, it’s going to be bloody close.

My legs aren’t unnaturally pale or bandaged below, I’m wearing knee-warmers. Smartwool are supporting Phil and I with some amazing kit from their 2010 range, and I was testing their shorts, leg warmers and NTS zip-neck (and beanie there as well) for the first time there. I’ll go through all the kit we’ve been sent from various folks next week, a lot of it’s going to become regular kit after the bike goes in a skip in a couple of weeks anyway. Multifuctional and  lightweight, that’s what we like.

Aye, another ten days of all this bollocks and it’s back to normal.

12 thoughts on “Repeat to fade”

  1. Respect for you all, especially as I have enough difficulty walking up that hill at pace without bursting maself!! Will hopefully be wandering up it at some point over the weekend with the dug I’m looking after so might bump inro you

    Looking forward to catching up with you all on the day in The Real Food Cafe to cheer you on

  2. adi, the back is good. A little stiff in the morning and at bedtime, but that’s decreasing by the day and I just don’t see me being able to use it as an excuse when it all goes tits up.

    Blondie, we’ll see you soon one way or another!

    Chris, I think we can’t be any readier than we are, but whether that’s enough I don’t know.
    I’m thinking of daft stuff like getting listers from pushing the bike uphill in stiff bike shoes, sleeping in, leaving the front wheel in the garage…

  3. The challenge is always in the head once a ‘race’ begins… I always sing to myself if I’m finding stuff hard mentally. Just make sure it’s not Britney Spears that you hear last on the car radio!

  4. There was me thinking he had a decent playlist too. Shocking! Well, I guess it matters not a jot, unless of course the pics from the challenge include four men with bunches wearing plaited school skirts and cardies…

  5. Here, my iPod playlist is beyond reproach.
    But my iPod earphones are in my jumper’s pocket. Which is in the washing machine.

    Just added to my playlist is John Du Cann’s “Don’t be a Dummy”.
    Older folk will recognize it.

  6. Tried this walking in the hills with music in your ears thing the other day. Sun was shining, had Coheed and Cambria belting through my head but gotta say, don’t think it’s for me. Missed the whisper of the wind, sound of water etc. So I tried listening to the original Dracula book being read by some american lady, that was even more off putting… kept looking over my shoulder!

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