Okay, so the plan is written, the bike is ready and your kit is packed – time for a day off right? Kind of!…
If you’re used to riding lots of miles each week you’re probably getting itchy feet by now, but fear not today is the day to go out and have some fun. It doesn’t really matter where you ride as long as you love it. The plan is to be out for as long or as short as you like, just don’t overdo it. The point of a good taper is to rest and recuperate so the rule has to be – no heroics!
Hopefully in the last few days you’ve been able to catch up on some food and sleep and a little ride on the trails is a great way to keep your eye in. We’re lucky in Sussex to have some of the finest trails in the world and I’ve spent many a happy Thursday night bathing in the warm summer sun that sets over the lake or slicing through the dank mist that hangs in between giant fir trees and chestnut coppice. Come rain or shine this little corner of England must surely have no equal.
I’ve been fortunate in my life to have had time to explore our island and sometimes a little further a field and when the summer racing season is coming to a close I look back fondly on the trails and races I’ve ridden. This year is no exception and has introduced me to some amazing places. I was staggered by the scale of the world cup course at Dalby and was able to race here for the first time, revisiting the rough singletrack twice through the year.
Dartmoor is a place I’ve always felt enamoured by and my January trip here showed me snow covered moorland and gifted me my first win of the year. For that and its sheer beauty it’s a place I’ll look forward to seeing more of one day. Checkendon and Crow Hill were set in lovely wooded areas and provided some great flowing singletrack. Storrington was the start and finish of the finest riding I’ve done yet on the South Downs and was truly epically muddy, which I and Ælmbla loved. And my old favourite, Newnham lived right up to expectations and was the setting for THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY’s first ever pairs race and our first podium, but nothing can compare to my own, sweet sussex!
The rolling hills are a little greener, the shores are a little warmer, the sky is a little deeper and the wind whispers just a little softer in your ear. So if I can find an hour in the day to get out and ride my bike, it’s a pretty good day!
THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY proudly use Kona™ Framesets, Fox™ Suspension, Rohloff™ Transmissions, Shimano™ and Ritchey™ Components, Schwalbe Tyres, Exposure lights™, adidas™ Eyewear, Clothing and torq™ Performance Nutrition. We also buy additional gear from Cotswold Outdoor to support our riders at races. We’re not sponsored by these brands, but we wouldn’t use any other equipment.
“83.R”, “THE.8.RAC3R” and “THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY” all appear courtesy of, and belong to, Glen Whittington.
We also support The British Heart Foundation and will be racing this weekend at Insomnia to raise funds for them. You can help by pledging as much or as little as you’d like here! Please give generously.