by Dave Anderson
January 27, 2014
It’s easy at this time of year, and especially in this kind of weather, to opt out of riding and find something different (and usually indoors) to do.
But after an extended and enforced time off the bike, I’ve got an itch that no amount of scratching seems to cure. So there was nothing for it but to embrace everything the weather wanted to throw at me and get out and ride. There’s no denying that the local trails (and I’m sure yours too) are wetter than I’ve ever seen them before. In fact with the amount of water flowing down them it’d be fairer to call them streams.
We’re fairly lucky up here that there are enough well draining tracks that a weatherproof loop option is usually available, and it wasn’t too hard to choose a route that whilst it was flooded would at least not get chewed up if I rode it.
I managed to squeeze three rides into the two days in total. The first two a test of just how long I wanted to cope with the deluge and strong winds; hail, sleet and cold driven rain defeating the waterproof I was wearing.
But then the sun came out and I was tempted to squeeze one more ride in, one more fight against the wind. Riding was a blend of traction and front tyre surfing on a saturated layer of peat, as tiring as a constant climb, that special kind of ‘pedal or you’ll stop’ downhill.
The reward of watching the sunset over the skyline of surrounding hills made up for it all. And another day of sofa surfing was avoided.