With this being my 4th ride in 7 days and suffering from a energy hole on the 3rd ride, today I was feeling jaded.
I met up with 7 other Moles for the first “real” ride on 2011.
Keith, Jem, PaulM, Tony, Kevin, Lee and Bill joined me for a muddy jaunt over to Newlands Corner. Bill was joining us for the first time having met us out on the trails some time ago.
As we trudged up Dog Poo lane into Admirals track we all became aware the the mud was going to be sapping and slippery. Down under the two bridges and up the other side, owards upi Yew trees until we hit the Ranmore Road. From there we head towards Scouting for Boys onto Badger Run and Collar Bone before taking life into our hands and descending White Down.
The field at the bottom was an example of mud at its worse but once across the main track into the Abinger Roughs was pretty good with the sand being more stable than during Summer months. Popping out at the Abinger Arms we paused for “ol’ Iron Hands” to fix a puncture on his hardtail while Tony told me about his barain wheel upgrade for the Trek.
Heading off agin we battled a muddy climg before some road work and then another Muddy climb. Round the back of Albury the was a mix of mud, then sand, then more mud and a down slope with Lee cackling and cheering as I fought to stay on the bike and not get ejected. I had started to loose pressure in my rear tyre and so began the first of many pumping sessions as I fought the almost inevitable option of fitting a tube.
The climb up Newlands was rewarded by drinks and refreshments while observing and pondering why the Police we see up there are always armed with stun guns and firearms. Lee and I debated that it may be they have word that the Moles were heading that way and we prepared incase the Badgers trun up and it all kicks off. Word on the trail is that King Badger still has a price on Colin’s head.
The Badgers didn’t turn up but Nick and Graham did. Now I don’t know exactly how many times this happens but I reckon it has to be close to 50% of the time.
So we headed back along the top darting in and out of the trees and generally battling with the mud, stopping every few miles to reinflate the tyres before it dropped off the Stan’s bead.
Bill tried to get used to the names we were using and asked where Matt had broken his collar bine before nodding in undestanding after we had come through that section. But from there is was a fairly uneventful ride home apart from where we took the longer road section in an effort to beat the horse up unde rth two bridges only to see it accelerate up the slope and move out of sight. More air at the top and then nurse the tyre back home.
A few people asked again “Where’s Matt?” I made up some story about him being ill as is the norm at this time of year but it looks liek I might have to pay the same actor that came to the Meal to get atstride a Blue 5 with new red hubbed, white rimmed tyres just to keep the speculation down again. How hum.
I headed home to wash the bike and shower before whipping the tyre off to find no latex left inside but one massive 3mm stake through the tread. Deciding not to pull the pin I refilled it and it inflated easily with very little sign of bubbling through the side walls. Anyway, I decided to not go with the 1/2 price Schwalbe offer on the On-One site and instead ordered some Mud-X from All Terrain Cycles.