May 17, Sunday — 30 km
Route highlights: Epping Forest (High Beech area) – Strava entry
Wildlife: ten deer (two packs)

Had to go back. I promised myself yesterday. And to that roller coaster of a forest road. It wouldn’t leave my mind otherwise. Not that I wanted it to.

Feeling tired. Haven’t slept enough. Doesn’t matter, I’ll granny-pedal if I have to. Good thing the days are longer now.

Got my hear monitor on. Bad idea. I’m pushing it again. Oh, green light. Sprint. Personal record. Dammit. Can’t I have a peaceful ride for once? Good thing I stop for photos, getting a bit of rest every now and then. Still taking rubbish photos while moving.

Into the forest. Peace and welaxation, in Elmer Fudd’s words.

On the roller coaster again. I stop for a few photos here and there. Some parts I ride twice. Rolling around, up and down. So much fun.

The High Beech junction. Haven’t made up my mind yet, which way to go. Downhill Church Road, definitely on the menu today. But not yet. How about the Sunshine Plain road first, then come back up again, past Robin Hood’s pub? Sounds good. No longer tired either. As usual, the right answer to the question ‘should I go for a ride?’ proves to be ‘yes’.

Enjoying the quiet road. Barely hear the chain rolling. Something to the left. I stop, surprised. I smile. Five deer behind the trees, close to the road. Surprised as well. They move quickly.

I ride on. Eyes wide open now, cap brim flipped up. Lucky. Five more deer, even closer to the road. They move quickly as well, but I manage to take a few photos. Beautiful.

Dashing on Epping New Road, back. Fast uphill to the junction, as planned. Fast downhill on Church Road. Fastest. So far. Then into the forest. Fast still. Fun.

Getting dark, cloudy. No sunset like yesterday. Still nice. Lucky today, again. Happy.