The problem with early nights is that they lead to early mornings. Similarly the problem with reasonable quantities of Guinness and a large meal is the desire to have a long and satisfying shit, and so I found myself waking up stupidly early, sweating profusely and practically bursting to evacuate my overloaded bowels.
Being a naturally early riser, this isn’t uncommon, what is though is having to share a room with a young twentysomething who could happily sleep through an earthquake (which was quite fortunate for him,. given the effects of the Guinness). Kettle boiled, coffee made and several trips outside for a smoke later, the youngster began to stir, woken (apparently) not by me bimbling about, but by the noisy birds outside the window. Several more coffees, a stroll to Greggs at the service forecourt and some breakfast rolls later, Tommy was finally awake enough to get showered and dressed, and after much further pfaffing about with backpacks, gloves and other miscellaneous bits and bobs we were finally ready to get cracking. Until that is, we go in the car, whereupon Tommy decided another trip to the toilet was called for before we set off.
20 mins later we were parked up and unloading the bikes at the trail-head, deciding whether to dive straight in on the ‘proper’ trails or have warm up on the ‘family’ trail, a 10 mile circular loop.
Deciding on the family loop we embarked on our journey, and have to say what a great trail this is, OK there’s a lot of up-hill segments, but they’re gentle long ascents rather than short sharp steep ones, with little exciting side trails for skills (slalom, pump track, berms) to keep it interesting.. As warm-ups go it was great.
Some lovely views