When I first began at Alpkit, I mentioned to Nick that I was planning on doing this year’s End 2 End on the Isle of Man, which is where I hail from. This 75km mountain bike race goes from one end of the Island to the other, crossing pretty much every available hill on the way. Returning to the office in February after a week’s snowboarding, I realised the guys had updated my online profile and committed my plan to writing – I had to do it now! Consequently, I realised that with the start of Spring, training must begin.
This last weekend marked the fifth birthday of the in-laws’ outdoor activity centre, Boulder Adventures in Llanberis, North Wales and consequently a party was planned for the Saturday night. This gave me a wonderful excuse to stop off at my favourite track ride at Llandegla on our way over to Wales and combine my first training session with the chance to try out the new Gourdon 20L drybag rucksack. Col even managed to find me a sample Gourdon 20 in Easy Blue that matched my biking kit! Thanks Col. The weather forecast for Saturday was rain, rain, more rain and a bit of wind, just Gourdon’s cup of tea. He was ready for the challenge but was I?
It was a cold and chilly start to the ride but after just 10 mins of uphill out of the car park, I was warm and toasty and Gourdon seemed just fine acting as a wind buffer and keeping my chocolate bar dry. It didn’t take long for me to settle into my ride and despite the wind and rain it felt really good to be out again. I’m a bit of a wimpy rider and when we got to the black section, although I considered it, I headed right and rode red. Halfway round my energy dipped and I stopped to have my choccy bar – Gourdon had done his job and kept it dry so, fuelled by nougat and peanuts, I was able to complete the ride - well, nearly. The Northshore at Llandegla, made out of small tree trunks, beats me every time. Clearly more doughnuts at Alpkit HQ are needed to build my energy reserves.