Enjoying the weather

Amberley Brooks from Amberley Mount
Amberley Brooks from Amberley Mount

The Weather is always a hot topic for debate in Britain. In fact in normal weather times it is often the way that people greet each other and converse. Perhaps it is because it is ever changing that Brits tend to adopt a glass half full, pessimistic approach to its vagaries. No one says that it might be sunny later (except for me) the usual comment is that “it looks like rain”. You can’t blame the vast majority of the population as their insight into the weather may well be tempered by the BBC – the arch proponent of negativity.

This year, we can all agree that the weather is severe and water abounds. I even let this get to me as I planned my ride. I put crud catchers on front and rear and for the first time in my 30 year mountain biking career packed a waterproof jacket and shorts into my bag. However, we had a pleasant ride. The sun even came out.  It wasn’t very muddy or wet at all but hellishly windy. Of course it is February and it has rained a lot so was soft in places but mostly avoidable. What was remarkable was how clean and hard packed so much of the riding was, I also chose a sensible route but, to be honest there was less mud than you would expect for this time of year. We even ventured into Houghton Forest; again soft but not a big deal and with so long off the bike it was fun dealing with a squirming front wheel.

South Downs Way, Houghton
South Downs Way, Houghton

I am not saying that it was not wet as the low ground and anywhere flat was soaking.  The Arun has burst its banks and was threatening to engulf the church hall at Houghton. The South Downs Way bridge look most odd as its arc joined two huge lakes at either side.

Whilst the weather is bad it is also good. Raining, as I write and riding home on Saturday evening, but dry and sunny when I rode. I has been on/off, good/bad for most of the winter so I am not complaining. I can’t wait for my next ride. Remember: stay high and stay dry!

Here’s the ride, recommended. I even tried to claim back a Strava KOM as the trail was so hard packed and the wind so strong (I lost it to a windy rider) – failed 2nd!!! Bike Whyte 29 Team

Whyte 29 Team with mudguards
Whyte 29 Team with mudguards

with Maxiss Beaver tyres, Oh! And of course, Cyraguard mudguards. After all the social media abuse I got for using those, they may well come off. Hard men aren’t frightened of the mud!

The Whyte 29 Team weighs 22.4lbs and rides like a dream. It was probably the reason why I wasn’t worried about the front wheel sliding around.

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