Happy New Year everyone!
Just before Christmas, Dave posted to our Facebook page that there was a rumour we were thinking of changing our name from the MuddyMoles to the Water Voles in light of the Great Flood of 2013. That might not be a bad idea…
This Christmas has been a frustrating time if you are a mountain biker who wants to go riding without a snorkel. In fact, I’ve just read that Surrey has experienced it’s wettest December in 99 years, with the 210mm of rain falling on us poor souls only marginally eclipsed by December 1914. Of course in comparison to 100 years ago, it could be worse, you could be in a very wet trench in Flanders with plenty more things besides falling on you, so be thankful for that.
The upshot of all that is that the start of 2014 gives us the perfect opportunity to put the mud into Muddymoles, so best learn to love it.
I did manage to get out once on the MTB over the Christmas period, after a disappointing failure at both my 10K a Day initiative and at keeping the weight off. I joined Yvette, Ginny, Jo, Jess (from Singletrack School), Albert and Dave on a ‘lady ride’ to Newlands Corner as a kind of toe in the water (no pun intended) to check my fitness after a virus I picked up mid-December. It didn’t work out well.
Actually, that’s not true, the ride itself was great, taking place in lovely sunny mid-winter weather at a gentle pace with some great company. Despite a lot of fallen trees to clamber over I enjoyed it hugely even if my wife couldn’t help noting my five hour absence (I brought out the rarely-used ‘multiple chain fixing’ excuse, which was in fact true). The trouble was the next day I felt I’d been the unwilling recipient of first prize in a ‘Cage Fighter experience’ competition, so much did every limb in my body ache. Seeing as early December saw me riding every day for 16 days, it was a little surprising to find my ride fitness had disappeared so quickly. I blame the mince pies.
At least I can say I managed 3000 miles last year, although a good chunk were road miles. That needs to be rebalanced a little this time round, and will be helped by revamping the Five. I’m going to see if I can hit 3600 total miles for 2014.
I will admit it would be easy to retreat to the burrow and not emerge again until, say, March but that’s no way to spend your time is it?
So, January. Mud, overflowing rivers, dubiously deep puddles, our natural habitat. Game on.