First things first, that’s a bloody good effort at an in focus photo of a fast moving rider using a cheap camera in crap light under woody darkness. I’d thought I’d mention that in case nobody else had noticed.
Other things probably passing unnoticed by the non bike obsessed public are the Ying and Yang of Christmas riding. Ying means the Winter Solstice has passed and we’re half way out of the dark, Yang the unfrozen trails that are epically muddy.
2009 and 2010 were snowy enough to force cancellation of the Malverns Ride Out/Drink Sloe Gin/Eat Mince pies/Mince home seasonal peramble. This week, we had no such problems in Spring temperatures but ploughing through non-Spring filth and slop. This made not for a particularly joyful first hour with much sliding about and removing suspicious looking moist dirt from every crevice and both eyeballs.
Apparently there’s a market for that kind of thing and having passed lots of noncelantly parked cars with dashboard lights on in the last few night rides, it seems to be quite a big one*. Finally we stopped, cracked open a cubic ton of Mince Pies which we happily washed down with a warming dram from a stirrup cup** Things improved immeasurably from there.
A post ride analysis of various empty containers suggested ten mince pies and 700ml of Sloe Gin had disappeared from our Camelbaks. For a total of three riders. Probably a wormhole or something.
Slithering onwards, a slurred enquiry demanded an answer to “are you finding this singletrack a bit narrow?”. I provided a Charades like response bouncing from tree to tree before declaring “Singletrack? I can barely keep it on the tarmac”.
Perfectly metabolically balanced then for a drunken assault on the Antler Trail where I became lost and confused in the manner of a senior citizen circumnavigating the M25. It seems this season’s navigational method of choice is bark. Wiggling the bars didn’t seem to make any noticable difference to the direction of travel, so I just went with the flow. Or with the tree.
Survived that, which seemed an excellent precedent to try again today in the light. 26 kilometres of slop was way more fun that it sounds. Certainly compared to pointless last minute shopping. Or dealing with bored kids. Or peeling vegetables. Staying alive was the guiding premise, something I was reminded of when later making an incautious dash to a Morrisions brimming with a Zombie/Locust hybrid making mud-surfing through crowded trees feel like a safer option.
We finished on something dry and fast before moving onto something wet and slower in the pub. This is exactly how any sane man would spend Xmas Eve. And possibly Christmas Day- but even I can see that is taking the piss.
Talking of which, I’ve run out of beer. And words. So nothing left to do but to wish my deluded reader(s?) a Merry Christmas and promise more nonsense in 2012.
* insert own smutty joke here. The whole dogging thing has passed me by. Surely that’s what the Internet is for?
** No point in slumming it. Next year, I’m hoping for white linen, china plates, silver cutelry and a butler.