A few mountain bike words from our resident blogger.
Now like most modern people I live a pretty hectic lifestyle, but I always make sure I fit in time for my mountain bike- it’s the thing that keeps me sane.
After couple of hectic weeks being immersed in mountain bikes, I hastily grabbed my bike and my trusty riding pack and headed for the hills straight after work the other night- but it seemed destined to be a frustrating effort.
Not more than a few hundred metres from my flat, I noticed my front tyre felt a little washy- it was on the soft side so I inflated a little pressure and carried on. Just passing through a park before hitting a steady uphill I was nearly savaged my an off the lead dog- one of those chavvy little pit bulls that should be wearing a muzzle. Putting my bike between me and the growling dog, it didn’t seem put off and started attacking my pedals- and then the owner tried to have a go at me for provoking his dog. I felt like smacking him. I love dogs, but that thing was satan with a bark!
Finally hitting my first uphill I just couldn’t settle in to a rhythm as I was stewing after the dog confrontation- so got out the saddle and gave my legs a beasting to shut my wondering mind up.
Ducking across the fields to the woods I was greeted by a cheerful old lady in a high-vis vest with a clipboard. I asked what was going on and she told me there was a charity fun run through the woods. My favourite woods that I virtually never see anyone in. And because it was charity I had to bite my tongue, smile and ride off in the other direction.
Impatiently ploughing in to the next wood my front tyre nearly tore off the rim so I stopped to see what the problem was and it was completely flat. Thankfully having a patch kit and a pump I got to work, only to discover the valve had been torn off completely- and I had no spare tube. I was somewhere between embarrassed and a fit of rage- no doubt hilarious for a bystander, but I was furious.
So off came the tyre and I rode across another field to short cut to the road, only to be hassled by a herd of young cows. Cows can be a little threatening, but these youngsters were just curious- and bought a smile to my face. I managed to think about my disaster of a ride and laugh, before taking a few snaps of the cheeky bovines, then headed back home for a cup of tea and a long sigh.
Next time, I’ll be prepared and will try and relax!