Monday, August 17, 2009

Bormes Excursions

Steffi and I recently went south to see her mum and dad, have a break and flop around getting burnt by the sun, lounge in bars, people watching on the beach and drinking cocktails in the pool. Hard life. I should point out that she is still out there whilst I languish here, cat meowing incessantly at me to let me know she hates me for putting her in prison, whilst visibly loosing my hard earned tan...

Whilst away, I did do some active things. I went on several rides on the sweet Marin Hawk Hill that resides sleepily in Jerry's garage. Its a light, 8 speed, xc orientated mid range 90s rad machine with Gilla RST forks producing an joint shattering 60mm of travel or thereabouts and is truely quick on the road!


Its quite hilly down on the Riviera and has some large, awesome areas of forest which I don't know how legal it is to ride in and are stuffed with goats, snakes and wild boar. Excellent! At certain times of the year they are also stuffed with frenchmen, with guns, shooting all this animal bounty. Beware!

I often sit on the beach at St Claire, cooking, and scan along the line of the hills behind the beach and think 'I want to go round them'. So I did.

However, I took a bit of a different slant and turned it into a kind of cyclo cross training event! Rode on the road from the house and along the coast, then climbed up a hundred meters or so on roads before picking up a very vertical trekking path. at this point the bike was shouldered or rolled out in front of me as I sweated my way up the next 35o meters!


St Claire beach lies below. Beautiful.

And sweat...


After about forty minutes of grunting, sweating and being scratched by vicious thorny bushes, whilst trying not to think about the fact that this was prime snake country, I summited. Then promptly discovered a cliff by arriving on top of it! I then did an off road traverse before picking up a corniche road back for a few miles and along to a descent route. The amazing views were only paralleled in exhilaration by the sheer terror of riding the very xc shaped frame of the Hawk Hill down this route, which was steep and gullied and I felt continuously like I was headed over the long stem, whilst the RSTs did very little to pretend that they were suspension forks. Any review of these forks, no matter how bad, will be too glowing in my opinion.

Strangely though, by the end of two weeks and several rides, I was loving that setup and was hanging it out on the downs, whilst it was an absolute Trojan on my 14km climb later in the week.

We also had a day diving! Excellent it was and I'll do a post on it later on, but here is a quite devastatingly bad photograph of me in a diving suit to keep your excitement at bay...

This does nothing for my figure. However, even Gav would look fat in one of these Beuchat rigs.

No comments: