We’re lucky living here at the epicentre of some fantastic and varied riding. Head north to the small but perfectly formed Malvern Hills, drive west for 45 minutes to confront the hard edged mountains of South Wales, or draw a 10 mile circle around our house to find cheeky singletrack hidden in vast Forestry plantations.
It’s almost as if I planned it that way. No really, there are people who honestly believe I am nothing but a slave to such a single agenda. And while my smug gloating of mud free rides all year round are based on the almost truth, occasionally I need to pay homage to the sloppy dirt embedded in every mountain biker’s DNA.
Today I promised riding pal Tim an endless vista of carefully crafted singletrack nestling between fast fireroad transits, spiced with roots going one way and cambers the other. What a rain soaked forest delivered was something significantly more muddy, and immeasurably more comedic.
This is a silly sport, and days like this remind you of exactly why. There are trails in this forest that could justifiably be charged with corporate manslaughter – all slick roots and jagged stumps. But most of our two hours of mud plugging were spent heading sideways occasionally backwards, and sometimes still on the bike.
That picture up there is taken from a carefully chosen position, into which I’d fallen trying to ride the same trail about twenty seconds before. My tumble from the bike was punctuated by a slippy slide of giggling and general tomofoolery. Tim – the bastard – only rode it, but then generously fell off one second later to make me feel a little less rubbish.
We felt better than that as well – once the ride was done, we couldn’t decide between Egg or Bacon sandwiches. So we had both. Tomorrow is forecasted -2 at 8am, which’ll be one hour after I’ve stumbled out of a warm bed. Stupid? Probably. Looking forward to it? Oh yes 🙂