Oh one of THOSE winter rides.

You know the fantastic ones I was eulogising over in the last post? That never really happen. Well one just did.

Two hours of superb riding with grip levels switching between “lots” and “none at all, no really nothing“. Playing about in deepish white stuff until each foot was nothing more than one big frozen toe. And then racing home through a half pipe of still fresh snow, entered by a decent drop that was then an almost stop as your wheel hit a deep compacted wall of white.

Malverns Feb 2009 Malverns Feb 2009

Still on the bike allows you to ride up and down the sides in the deepest snow, trying to do lots of quite complex ‘staying on the bike stuff’, but being brilliantly distracted by the long rooster tails of snow kicking off Tim’s tyres.

Then when you think it’s over, the easy switchbacks to home have been hard iced and there is nothing you can do but hold and hope. Brakes, feet, praying to a local deity – none of this helps as the faintest twitch of the bars sends the wheel sideways and over a not insignificant drop.

Malverns Feb 2009 Malverns Feb 2009

It’s not often I’ve thought “well I’m glad that descent is over” but today was certainly one of these days, and I was even happy to find a bit of mud at lower altitudes. Never before have I been riding on narrow, off camber muddy trails thinking “shit, this is ace – loads and loads of lovely grip”.

Best ride of the year by miles. First proper snowy ones for a very long time. Snow is good, bikes are great – snow and bikes are just the most fun you can have outside in the winter.