So 2017 started off with a grand plan in mind, Paris marathon. We put the work in and, fairly rigidly stuck to a gruelling training plan which contained far more running than we had anticipated! So after 350 miles over the course of 3 months….life had other plans. From about 4 weeks out a string of injuries, topped off by tonsillitis 5 days beforehand forced our withdrawal and, with that, we were able to get back on the bikes!
After a short period of mourning for our failed marathon plans, we decided to celebrate by getting back to the bikes which had been left sorely neglected by our marathon training. So we loaded the big bikes into the car and off we went, starting the season with a day trip to Tidworth Freeride. Tidworth is a downhill specific bikepark run by B1KE in the South East of England (just outside Salisbury). It has a variety of graded downhill trails ranging from blues (comfortable and flows) and reds (rideable with avoidable suicidal features) to blacks (unavoidable death).
A period of unseasonably dry weather meant that the trails were bone dry and even a little bit dusty (a rare novelty!). We started off on the blues, with General Berminator being our first descent. This promptly resulted in Holly (future sister in law) crashing on the very first corner…great start Holly. Thankfully, with the first crash of the day out of the way, everyone started to warm up and relax into the day. We proceeded to tick off the remaining blues and a couple of reds (including some remarkably successful jumping from all involved) before lunch. This time last year, those wheels would have been kept firmly on the ground!
The facilities on site are very limited (it’s a car park at the bottom of a hill) so bring your own lunch!
The afternoon was more of the same, ticking off the remaining blues, a few more reds and even a go down the jump line. However, the pants wetting terror that ensued meant trips through the jump park were short lived. Overall, a fantastic day of riding to start the season with the general consensus being that “River Flow” remains a favourite trail!