Navigation. From where I am standing – which is normally in a featureless forest, pointlessly twizling a map and trying not to panic – it is merely a bunch of letters starting with N. To my friend, ‘Columbus‘ Nige it’s a mandate to explore new trails, submerge oneself into suspicious smelling bogs and occasionally claim a virgin track for the fat tyred collective.
In five hours of riding, we found enough in the Isle of Purbeck to suggest a return trip may unearth further singletrack gems. In the spirit of balance, I should point out we also determined that recently harvest forestry is no place for untracked vehicles, and cheeky footpath entries sometimes hide arse pumelling field crossings.
But the views were fantastic, the sky stayed dry and the riding lacked the technicality to make one fear for continued existence, each time the trail added degrees of verticality to degrees of anxiety. This didn’t stop me having a sky-ground-sky experience ending with man and bike in a spiky embrace. But that’s more a testament to my skill rather than any significant trail obstacles.
Highlights included being blown UP an off camber slope, a mad urban singletrack sliced by blind ninety degree switchbacks, a tea shop with ten varieties of cake and a full day of riding bikes in a single layer of clothing. Laughing at the Trailbreak competitors as they zoomed off in ever decreasing circles had a certain comedic merit as well.
I have a sneaky felling Nige was giving them directions 🙂
Today we went to the Grand Designs show and spent about£400 an hour. We now have a cooker that will fit perfectly in a house we don’t yet own. This is the kind of fiscal insanity which makes my obsessive bicycling buying seem almost well planned.