Early morning MTB ride in the forest

For some reason I found myself awake at 5:50am today - on my day off!  So I decided I'd haul my ass out of bed and take the MTB out to the New Forest for a quick ride;

I arrived at Milkham car park (a favourite haunt for me and my riding mates for many years now) at about 6:50am and was just riding out of the car park and onto the trail when I realised, to my horror, that I'd left the old cleats on my summer MTB shoes and couldn't clip in to my pedals!
Now this may seem a bit over dramatic but it causes a fairly large issue when you have pedals about the size of a 50 pence piece and shoes with very stiff carbon soles - you can't clip in at all so can't get any real power (there's my excuse for the slightly slower ride time!) and can't get any stability..

Now the easy option would have been to bail and go home, and it did cross my mind, but I decided to carry on and get on with it.

It was a lovely morning, misty to start with no wind and around 15C - perfect for mountain biking and the forest in the morning is a lovely place to be - nothing around but birds and horses!

I decided to return to the car park via Slufters Enclosure as there was logging work in Milkham and I didn't fancy the last hill with no pedal power!

All in all a nice ride and the start of my proper fitness plan in preparation for the Cairngorms at Christmas and, hopefully, Mont Blanc next year!


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