Chance encounter

Having had a mountain bike since the late 1980s and ridden bikes of all types since my 3rd birthday (far too long ago to admit to) I’ve found off road riders to be the friendliest of all the sub groups.

The off road fraternity

When it comes to the off road fraternity, mtb, cyclocross and any genre that get their tyres dirty it seems to be a totally different world. I’ve not come across a surly or miserable off road rider. Everyone I’ve met as a stranger has been willing to help, share tools or advice and show you the juiciest trails if you are new to the area. there is no elitism if you don’t have the lastest bike or fashionable kit that you seem to get between road riders. If you’ve got a bike and a helmet then anything goes. Some of the best riders I’ve ridden with have worn non cycling specific kit and have been on a basic bike and they have ridden the socks off everyone else with no showing off or ego.

Head butted down tube

So on Sundays ride when a guy tagged onto the back of H and introduced himself as Matt from Cardiff non of us batted an eyelid. When he said he was just visiting for the weekend and had limited time to explore we of course invited him to join us and tried to show him a few of the local trails. Our trails will never compare with what he has locally to Cardiff but in the small area we have we showed him a diverse range of mud and roots! He didn’t get the above experience of following an expert rider though because non of us are fast or particularly skilled at this MTBing lark, in fact we all fell off at various points. I even head butted Russ’s down tube during a tumble!

Right tool for the job

The conditions were a little challenging and for once the fat bike was the right tool for the job. When the skinny tyre bikes faltered in the sticky clay like mud of Waseley the fat bike excelled. It’s a bit of a misnomer that the fat tyre is good in mud, when the consistency is really soft and sloppy the tyres just slide over the surface. Today though there seemed to be ample grip and I managed to clean all the climbs, roots were in no way grippy but the bike coped well and I got a few Strava personal records. It makes me sound like a riding God but nothing could be further from the truth really. Next ride will probably be the polar opposite but I’ll take any win i can get.

It was great to meet Matt and if he’s ever up in the area again we’ll show him a few other trails and hopefully in better conditions

Ride 7

15 miles

133 miles total

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