Sunday, 5 September 2010

Making the most of it

This could be summer's last gasp. Temperatures have been into the high 20s again today but rain and storms are forecast from Tuesday through to the weekend. With that in mind, we took the mountain bikes out for a local blast today, up the forest track from Pentussa above Cominac in the general direction of the Tuc de la Coume. The route used to form part of le Domaine VTT de Cominac et d'Ercé but for some reason (probably due to lack of interest and personnel to maintain it), the circuits are no longer signposted or maintained which is a real shame.

It was a steady climb, initially on tarmaced single track road which soon petered out to become a decent hard pack track ...which gradually petered out to become a rough, rutted track on which vehicular access would be difficult and eventually that too petered out to become an overgrown, narrow footpath that thwarted further progress on the bikes. Still the views from 1100m metres down towards Ercé in the valley below... and to Mont Valier in the opposite direction ...were predictably pretty.

Once we had reached the point where further progress was impossible, we turned around and retraced our tracks to the Col de Viele Morte. I had a nasty encounter with an overhanging bramble which saw my right upper arm painfully shredded by the small thorns - ouch! At the Col, we picked up the path down the hill to Ercé where Andy had an encounter with a mad shepherd's dog which added some unwanted spice to the route but once Andy had shaken him off, he launched himself into the technical descent which saw me being a wuss and walking more than I maybe should have. But once we were back on to a hardpack track I was able to let loose and picked up some decent speed and before we knew it, we had dropped 540m and then had to start the ascent back up to Pentussa. All in all, a fun outing, 19km/630m of ascent/1hr 40m. Full stats and profile on the usual site.

This afternoon, we finally finished processing all of the wood that we have collected which mainly involved chainsawing logs into useable lengths and splitting the bigger chunks. It took us a very hot and sweaty couple of hours, but, apart from stacking it, we are now set up and ready for autumn and a good winter. Excellent!

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