Thursday’s ride was had more firsts than a swotty set of University finalists holding incriminating pictures of their examiner pleasuring frisky llamas* Most of them were good, taking this long to find time to write something less so. When I get a spare moment, I’ll be off to the shed with this scribbled drawing and an illicit feed from the substation, so getting started on the time machine.

First of firsts was a ride that started and finished without lights. That’s not to say it was actually still daylight as we peered through technical dark around 9pm. One of the lesser known side effects of testosterone is “Carrot Vision” enabling those of the dangly genitalia to dismiss artificial trail illumination as “something that a girl might need” until the first victim fails to distinguish between dark space and dark tree.

It’s worth stating here that Carrot Vision works only at top speed, and the gift of organic night vision shall be dispelled with the briefest grab of the “scared-now” bar mounted levers. Second first was a dab-less climb of “THE BASTARD“. A hill that is thought by some to be the stiffest lung buster in all the Malverns. I don’t know about that, but for me it’s the first time I’ve managed the fifteen minute nose-stem gurn without finding an excuse to lie on the trailside until I can remember my name.

I shall be returning to the subject of the Bastard in a post all of it’s own. Fully deserved and guaranteed to get a sympathetic nod from any rider whose looked at the distance between their current location and an apparently unscalable peak and cried “Oh Fuck, you are joking aren’t you?

First amongst equals was a brakeless descent of the old** defensive ditch which has both vertiginous drops and a flat out gully. It’s always a tad moist, ready to wash away your front wheel and leave you wondering what to do with quite a lot of speed mostly being scrubbed off by your face.

But flat out is so much fun, we had to go and try it again, passing the local unsmiling cycling club who seemed to have forgotten how bloody lucky we are to have this kind of riding on our doorstep. Apparently they don’t “do” this descent because it loses too much height. What? Isn’t that why you climb in the first place?

Anyway we left these aliens, and I was staggered that I was able to do so, since I’ve done not to much riding in the last month what with every decreasing slices of spare time, and the dodgy knee to boot. I’m giving up healthy eating – instead just going for the rubbish vacuum packed “Big Breakfast” sandwich which sustained me the whole way round.

Last of the firsts was the realisation that it’s barely a month to the longest day. How can this be? The police should stop investigating whether the Daily Torygraph can categorise all MP’s as “self important twats fiddling their expenses“*** and go after the big crimes. I’ll be onto the local station first thing tomorrow asking them to find out EXACTLY who has stolen the first half of 2009.

CLIC next weekend. I’m not scared. Much.

* Worked for me 🙂

** Proper old. Iron age. Men wearing furry dresses, women sporting latest “Bone Hair” quiff and decent chance of being killed in all manner of interesting ways on a daily basis.

*** I’m summarising here, but that seems pretty much the conclusion you have to come to.

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