Skids are for…

… adults with real responsibilities, and an understanding of trail erosion who should know better. Right, right tossed out of the “well scanning phrase bucket” to lie contextually embarrassed before you, but I thought we’d try some festive honesty on the hedgehog. I expect we’ll be back to big whoppers, outrageous slurs and general inaccuracy come the new year.

So snow then, quite an interesting trail medium when under Mountain Bike tyre. The correct approach is – apparently – to hang gently off the back so allowing the front wheel to meander in a generally terrifying way, and then having a big crash. Tim and I tried that earlier in the year, whereas today on eve of Christmas with kids bouncing off the walls and Al feeling pretty similar, our approach was somewhat different.

Malvern Xmas Eve Ride Malvern Xmas Eve Ride

Because when you’re in touch with your inner five year old, the only snow riding technique is to barrel bravely down the straights, weight firmly over the front wheel and whispering “be brave, it’ll be alright, be a bit braver, no not quite that brave on reflection“. Until a corner hoves into view, at which point your left hand squeezes almost as much as you bum, your hips shift in the opposite direction of proposed travel, while the bars are yanked hard in the alternate direction.

Malvern Xmas Eve Ride Malvern Xmas Eve Ride

And if you live a righteous life, the unweighted rear will begin to slide the perfect arc slicing into the corner’s apex, and you will squeal with delight like the small child you clearly are. It is also vitally important to risk a look rearwards to check the height of your snowy rooster tail. You may crash of course, but hey practice makes perfect or close to mediocre in my case. As while Tim was sashaying side to side as if method acting a drunken fish, I was more having it quite small. And working down from there.

Malvern Xmas Eve Ride Malvern Xmas Eve Ride

But disk brakes have such brilliant modulation, and dicking about is infectious which pretty much summed up our two hour ride in hills still full of snow, but mostly free of other grumpy trail users. And driving back sandwiched between the stupid and the timid, I couldn’t help thinking that it was a shit load easier to pilot a chunk of steel supported on four fat tyres with the driver protected by a huge metal sandwich, than ride on 2 inch tyres on trails that offered nothing but hard times if you got it wrong for one second. No ABS, no traction control, nothing between you and a frozen ground promising the gift of much soreness for Christmas.

Malvern Xmas Eve Ride Malvern Xmas Eve Ride

Which is the way it should be, and may go some way to explain why – on the transition from gritted main road to the ice rink that passes as ours – the big old four wheel drift was corrected with a deft flick of opposite lock and a burst of throttle. Frankly I was bloody disappointed with the lack of rooster tails showing in the mirror.

And that may be the reason I explored the envelope of 4WD and a violently applied handbrake in our little patch of Herefordshire. It was bloody ace, mainly because even my own kids thought it was immature. Trust me on this, that is officially a good thing.

Anyway I’m back a better person and ready to deal with a day of waste packaging, sibling fights and sloth. Which seems an ideal time to thank you all for continuing to participate in my on-line therapy, and wish all a Merry Christmas. On that note, I’m off to get drunk.

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