We set off to ride on Saturday more out of optimism than enthusiasm given the forecast and weather conditions when packing the van. After a fair bit of Twitter bravado it was depressing to realise the rain was setting in and getting heavier as we headed into Hebden, but it was going to be Barney’s first ride back after breaking his collar bone so we felt we ought to give it a go on the commitment front.
Luckily common sense saw through.
Sat in the van, rain bouncing off the tarmac outside, discussing the options we decided on Plan B: drink coffee, wander around shops, chat. There’s no point going on a ride everyone will just endure rather than enjoy. Ride fail, social life win.
Sunday however saw overcast, windy but otherwise okay conditions. So in an effort to maintain Christmas domestic bliss I manfully offered to take the dog out while Sharon went last minute shopping. All heart, that’s me. So waterproofs on, Highball Carbon out of the shed and it’s time to head out for some ‘catch up with the dog’ action.
I’ve been riding the Highball Alloy for most rides recently as we’ve tended to be riding ‘tech’ and the 140mm forks and slacker front end come in handy for Hebden steep, the greater mud clearance has helped too.
For a ride where I was going to be trying to keep up with an over-excited Patterdale, the thought of a lighter bike with more gears seemed the sensible choice. After a few hundred metres on the road and on the lead, we were off road, off the lead and climbing; Pip sprinting to take the lead, with me out of the saddle trying to keep up.
It’s easy to forget how unforgiving she is when we’re out riding but she’s a great training partner. No stopping at the top of a climb for a chat, no cruising up anything; everything attacked at full speed or barking if she thinks I’m slowing her down.
Eight miles later and there’s still no let up on the last drop back into the village. We’re both loving belting through the heather singletrack. Full speed all the way round, a quick stuff of biscuits when we get in and she’s fast asleep in front of the fire. Perfect.
So now I’ve got this written it’s time to do it all again today, and maybe tomorrow and probably all the way though to the New Year.
Have a good Christmas folks!
Did you get out this weekend? Share your thoughts and photo’s here: http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/monday-morning-debrief
Posted on: December 24, 2012