Big tree, small axe…..

If you are a big, big tree, we are a small axe”. These words come from a song by Bob Marley.

Yesterday I wrote a post shortly after my ride. In the evening I reflected on the ride whilst the TV droned uninterestingly in the background. I had ridden 10 laps of a short circuit and was still buzzing from the experience. The lap has such an exciting downhill which was taking me just over 60 seconds.


The trail begins with this almost secret track. The shale surface betrays the areas former use for mining.


Freddie observes the first serious corner. You have to avoid the tree stump on the right and take a bit of speed off to get round.


Next comes a left/right. The only grip on the right hander is on the far left hand side. Taking a line towards the right is far too slippery.DSCF6822.JPG

Applying any power along here had the rear end slithering around. Freddie seems fine.


The trail then rises over a hump before twisting down to the left.



A first chance to get some air lies ahead.


Freddie carefully inspecting the right hand berm. It’s at the bottom of a steep slope and you can rail it at real speed.


A series of small jumps warms you up for throwing yourself off the end of the world.


Looking down the 10 foot drop with a right hander at the bottom. Freddie appears to be taking the leap.


The downhill had taken just over 60 seconds. The climb, meanwhile, took only around 100 seconds. This is highly unusual in mountain biking, to have a circuit with more than 40% of the time spent on the thrilling downhill and less than 60% climbing. If you rode a bike around this circuit and weren’t massively inspired by  the experience I’d suggest you hung up the bike and bought some golf clubs!

Maybe I’ve lived a small life but I have been to Paris and seen the Mona Lisa behind a thick sheet of glass and frankly wasn’t that thrilled. But I haven’t sipped cocktails on the silver sands of a tropical island, I’ve yet to drive a Ferrari and I’ve never thrown a million on red, though I’ve ridden this circuit and a small axe may cut down many a big tree.

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