So, in no particular order:-
Alright, I’m 38 years old and have lived in England all of my life, so I should be used to it by now. It’s the unpredictability of Britain’s weather that gets on my tits. How many rides have I set out on dressed according to how the weather looks as I set off, only to find that 15 minutes later I am soaked to the skin, or boiling hot, or freezing cold, because the weather has changed, and the kit I put on for riding today is now totally inappropriate. If we could “guarantee” the weather, then I could dress accordingly
Again it’s an oldie and a goldie, but why do ramblers believe that they own the whole countryside? We ride on bridle paths, green lanes or roads for most of our outings and rarely ride on footpaths or churn up any other forbidden paths. We are also invariably polite, although there are exceptions. However when we approach groups of ramblers, they always give you a look as if they feel you shouldn’t be there and that somehow they have some moral authority to enjoy the countryside, where as mountain bikers are all hooligans, whose sole purpose is to destroy. To me it comes across as plain arrogance, but I’m sure that they have different opinions.
Simply put I don’t have enough of it. I have already mentioned my general lack of available time for riding at the moment. Even when my wife isn’t pregnant, my kids attending ballet lessons and birthday parties galore, and my Mum hasn’t just come out of hospital, I still struggle to fit in more than one ride a week. Partly it’s guilt. My wife is at home with the kids all week, whereas I only have evenings and weekends. So if I disappear for a whole evening and half a day at the weekend, then I spend even less time with my family. Like Matt I often sit at work, wondering if I should go for my 27th cup of coffee for the day, gazing out the window thinking, “I should be riding now”.
Finding anyone else who rides a mountain bike
I work in an office with roughly 200 other people. So far I have found only one other person who rides a mountain bike. Given how many mountain bikers there seems to be in our end of the world, where do they all work? It sure as hell isn’t at my place! I’m used to being a niche hobby freak, my other main hobby is building model kits, Airfix and the like, so I’m used to being treated as an anorak. But just once I would like to be able to have a chat with someone about mountain biking without them looking at me as if I have just announced that I like donkey porn.
I don’t have the financial capacity to buy myself a new Orange 5. Come to that I don’t really have the capacity to buy myself a string bag of Satsuma’s, but why is it so hard for my wife, my mum and my in-laws to understand that I might like to replace parts of my bike, even though they aren’t worn out. I have been riding my trusty Nail Trail for the last 5 years. Despite all the nasty things I’ve done to it it’s still going strong. But I would like to replace the frame with a shiny new On One Inbred Slot Dropout frame. Whenever I mention this, and believe me I have mentioned it, it appears that I have just suggested that we sell the children into slavery and then become Scientologists. Please let them understand that sometimes we just want something better than we already have.
There’s my five, and hopefully not too much like Grumpy Old Men.