A flying visit from Supawal

Yes, a flying visit from Supawal – the bringer of new bikes and good weather!

Supawal, he’s my brother, he came out for a flying visit on Friday to bring my new bike. Amazingly it was cheaper for someone to fly with it than it was to pay a courier to bring it. I was gonna travel home to get it, but Wal insisted on bringing it out.

Of course Wal had an ulterior motive. To bag some quality mountain bike time on the trails out here ready for his first attempt at the GTL. So, he brought some nice weather with him, and we headed for the hills. Wal rode his Cove Handjob, Carla rode her Spesh Hardtail, and I rode Big Bird. What a combo.
Carla the Supawal down emerald alley
Our plan was to do a couple of hours, then break for lunch, then do another couple of hours. This would give Carla the opportunity of pulling out for the second half. She’s in training for a two hour race, so doesn’t need slow and long. We parked above Boscartus, and headed towards Le Chimes.

The weather has been wet wet wet through March, and there were some muddy sections, and maybe the going could have been a little firmer, but with half a day of dry weather things were improving to the point where they were dry.

Thrashing along the tracks that contour the North side of the hills I could tell that Wal was enjoying it because each time I gave him a route option he chose the longer, and each time he got on the front he’d go haring off like a nutter. Meanwhile Carla, sporting a meagre 75mm of travel on the front flew up the climbs but found herself visually impared on the rocky descents.

With two hours done we raced down from the high point at Puy Grenier, crossed the Cieux – Blond road and dived into the switchbacks down towards the lakes. We rode ragged (well I did!), but made it to the bottom in one piece. Just the long haul back to the van to do. I planned it like this knowing that Wal’s empty belly would drive him on to the sarnies at the van.

I had this idea that I’d push on, and take some pictures further up the climb. Wal must have seen it as a challenge, and Carla was determined not to get dropped. I struggled to get my camera out, and when I did it magically hooked it’s leash around my bars. Too late, SuperWal had gone through with Carla in hot pursuit. Back at the van with two and a half hours done.
Wal and Carla battle it out on the climb
Following our snack, Carla decided to sit the next section out. I was sort of hoping she would, and asked her to meet us at Arnac. This meant that Wal and I could have another couple of hours with more downhill than uphill! Meanwhile Carla had a snooze in the van!!! 🙂

Wal was up for it, and rode hard at first, but with an early flight, and getting on for four hours of riding under his belt he was starting to fade. Then you have to factor in the Birthday celebration that we’d planned for him (he was 50 on 1st April!!!). He’d still got a long way to go. We finished of with our customary sprint to the van. He won, of course. Tired and weary we packed the bikes away and went home.

That evening Carla cooked a bumper meal, we toasted Wal’s birthday, and by 9pm he was a goner, couldn’t keep his eyes open. Next day he had to be up early to fly back. We had just enough time for a recovery ride around the village and he was jetting home.

Next time I spoke to him it was Monday night. He told me that by 8pm, which was really 7pm on Sunday evening. ‘cos the clocks went forward, he was already in bed, Eleanor had read him a story, and he didn’t wake up until 7am the next day!

Thanks for bringing my bike out bro’, see you in four weeks for the GTL 🙂

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