I hope you’ve noted the seamless evolution of the medical title theme, started last Friday. It’s not all beer and skittles in here you know “ rather a more complex game of blogging chess where moves have to planned three posts ahead. It’s hardly classy to juxtapose grouting lyrics with a forthcoming anal probe reference. You would be rightly irked by such lazy linkage and on that tangential note, here are some words that should never be seen together.
Marketing Budget, Holiday Slideshow and, my personal Armageddon, Alcohol Shortage. Feel free to add you own while I suffix Weather Forecast to this list of unholy couplets. The finest computers which advertising revenue can buy, predicted firstly dry but cold conditions, then localised flooding before settling on dreary and prolonged showers. These meteorological charlatans have clearly shunned their electronic doomsayers in favour of a glance out of the window following an intense study of the tea leaves.
We had a fantastic ride in what are considered the lesser lights of the Peak District. A cheeky route plotted by Andy TrackLogs” Shelley “ a man who has spent three years hunched over a computer developing mapping and GPS software. It was with a little surprise and not some alarm, we noted his total lack of navigational aids other than Google maps. This Guerrilla niche double bluff marketing is clearly more subtle than I thought.
But we didn’t get lost and the rain never came. Some thirty miles and five thousand vertical feet ascended left us with a warm glow of satisfaction and the urgent need for vast acreages of food. The route took up thousand foot climbs, through fantastic singletrack edged with damp bracken and then on to sinewy trails snaking through dark, deserted woods. These leafy spaces filled with off camber roots and lippy rocks resonated to the shouts of adrenalin crazed mountain bikers and, frankly, the odd cry of pain.
More traditional peaks terrain followed post lunch while the weather stayed fine but my legs more accurately forecasted imminent multiple limb failure. A couple of gruelling climbs were more than compensated by slabby built-for-packhorse descents and a final flat out blast through a mile of mini rock gardens.
The big ride reward came in the form of proper ale and a mixed grill containing every major land mammal. Augmented by local wildlife which lacked sufficient fleetness of foot to outrun the cook’s machete. We ate and drank like the trail champions we are. Or had convinced ourselves that we were, which is almost the same thing.
So this weekend has added much to the Al sum of knowledge; firstly weather forecasters are to be placed in the same trust bucket as estate agents and politicians. Secondly All Mountain Strolling” is the new Power-XC “ the less sophisticated may simply see this activity as pushing but really it’s right there in the vanguard of the sports’ bleeding edge. Of which there was much; both bleeding and edge.
Lastly, I’ve remembered rather than learnt that at least half the enjoyment of riding is who you’re with rather than where you are. The other fifty percent is cocking a snoop at the weather Gods and racing down incredible landscapes with beer to follow.
Marvellous. Stay away stormy rains a little longer, we’re having too much fun here.