Priorities of a mountain biker.

It would be simple if my only priority was to ride my bike though life might be  little one dimensional. Today I wanted to fit in a bike ride especially since the weather forecast didn’t look good. Rain this afternoon and a wet weekend with the chance of snow. What happened to the spring like conditions a week or so ago?

I had a job to do first thing and thought I’d go out straight afterwards on the bike. I soon realised I had a more pressing matter to attend to. The dog.

Freddie is approaching 2 years old and is a very high energy little fellow. His priority will always be a walk so I had to make it my priority as well. Owning a dog is a partnership. You give each other companionship and fun and you both need to fulfil your half of the contract. As I returned home a light drizzle started so I got out for my ride as soon as I could. We’ve had quite a lot of rain recently and the ground is soaked. This meant that I had to fall back on one of my 2 choices of weatherproof rides so rode Healey Nab.

I haven’t ridden as much as usual due, mainly, to sciatica but that has thankfully just about gone now. I thought I’d better put a bit of work in today so I went to the top of the hill at 680 feet and did 2 full laps. Only a few seconds separated the 2 laps and I was glad to ride each in just under 15 minutes. To finish off I rode the climb as a descent. It rides like a natural trail whereas the official downhills as all manmade berms for every man (and perhaps his dog) to maintain their speed on. There is one section of the unofficial route which has a magical combination of corners. The rear wheel slid on the right hander and I almost lost it on the following lefthander as the front wheel tucked in and lost grip. Those kind of moments are such an adrenaline rush and there was still an exquisite few hundred yards to go.

Maybe this isn’t something everyone would enjoy. Even many mountain bikers like to avoid sliding but I love going to the limit, which means that I occasionally go beyond it!

There’s still a very muddy bike to wash though I’ve already put the washing machine on, trying to hide the muddy truth from my wife. First, however, I’d better feed Freddie, who is pictured above. It’s part of our deal.

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