Although “knackered” would be a better adjective to describe my current condition. Two hours of messing about in the local woods, and straining every muscle to remove a muddy deflated tyre has left me quite spent. And that’s before the final pull home on gear ratios that are going to make a man of me.
I have, however, discovered a number of important things – even on such a short ride:
a) My “slam into things because I’ve paid for a big fork” translates not at all to a bike with thin tyres and no suspension
b) I’ve ridden some fast steering bikes. Only I haven’t because they all feel like oil tankers now. The bar has been well and truly raised. And, er, shortened.
c) Sliding round muddy corners on 28c tyres while gripping the arse end of 12 inch bars is terrifyingly involving…
d) … and more fun that you would imagine
e) Non disk brakes don’t really work well off-road. I considered dropping anchor a couple of times until it became apparent the top tube is at the same height as my love nuts. Arresting velocity using ones testicles as braking collateral feels even more dangerous than just accelerating ever faster to an accident that’s out there and waiting
f) Closing your eyes helps. It’s not like you can see anything anyway.
But – and it’s a big one – tracks that’d be dull on an MTB are really quite ace. And being fast on the road encourages you to explore all those paths written off as dull before. I’ve linked up more in two hours today than in the last two months, and finally a loop from home is beginning to emerge from the contours on the OS map.
Before setting off on my first dropped bar ride since puberty and “10 speed racers”, I completed the rebuild of the little DMR and took it out for a bit of skills training. I can still just about bunnyhop, trackstand and wheelie up to and past the balance point. Murphy found the whole experience quite exciting and – while I was sat on the floor rubbing my sore arse – he ate a tyre.
I’m thinking of this as a worthwhile period of dog/bike bonding. Although he’s going to be a rubbish trail dog if he just injests vital components when we’re miles from anywhere. Maybe I’ll get him a saddle 🙂