RETO winter tour

Yesterday, the RETO club in Arnhem organised their winter tour. As we drove towards Arnhem, the woods were clad in a damp coating of dense fog and I feared the worst, but fortunately, before long, the mist cleared away and although the temperatures were only just above freezing, there was enough uphill to keep us warm. The biggest challenge came from the cold, but not from the air but the ground temperature. Some bits were just above freezing and some just below. So that meant that there would be a patch of slightly soft mud and then all of a sudden the ruts and ridges became glass hard and unyielding. So it was necessary to keep your wits about you and do some careful steering at those points. The other problem that I had was that I was with a couple of members of our club who were younger and faster than myself and in the first half, I made the mistake of trying to keep up with them. Not only did that slow them down but it meant I was cycling at 95% of my maximum heart rate for a lot of the time. That's obviously not a good idea if you want to keep going for getting on three hours.  However, after the break, we sensibly agreed to go at our own pace and the others kindly waited for me from time to time and that was a lot more comfortable. It was a great route, most of the time along paths I didn't know, but occassionally doing a stretch I recognised. Some really nice singletrack across heathland, which must be magnificent when the heather is flowering and lots of nice woodland. Very well organised as well, clear signposting and someone even standing in the cold to warn us to slow down at an icy patch at the bottom of a hill which was potentially hazardous. A great tour!

 

RETO tour profile

RETO tour route