Inspiration is an interesting concept; sometimes it wanders in disguised as an old friend with a new idea, occasionally it is the product of weeks’ of intense rumination, and about once in a lifetime it is a lighting strike of â€œGood God, The Flux Capacitor, OF COURSEâ€
Iâ€™m currently orbiting a geostationary position in a galaxy full of new ideas; and after a moment of mild epiphany when the trail pixies fired up the adrenalin compressor last weekend, it seemed apposite to try the next thing that came into my head.
Thankfully it wasnâ€™t â€œgo and find a gibbon and see if she puts outâ€ â€“ instead a rather boring go and find some trails and see if they give good vibes, sent me riding from home in the hope of finding something other than field edge rubbish. Iâ€™ve tried this before and itâ€™s always been a collision of disappointment and frustration as promising looking mappage is nothing more that hub deep hoof shadow.
So with a low level of expectation and a similar level of light, I struck out with a a map I canâ€™t read and a GPS I donâ€™t really understand. Sat here in the pub a couple of hours later, I reflected on what Iâ€™d learned:
1. Footpaths round here are mostly footpaths for a reason.
Theyâ€™re rubbish field edge slogs on an elevation profile similar to Holland. All the enjoyment one can elicit from receiving a saddle up the Japs eye at one second intervals for approximately ever.
2. Some footpaths arenâ€™t
And they are upgraded to evening bridleways, carefully highlighted and shared only with the other shadowy members of the Creation of Unseen Natural Trails*. We rarely use the four letter acronym as it upsets people.
3. MP3 players rock when youâ€™re riding alone.
Especially when you have a shiny new one that has more memory than you have songs. Okay transferring music to it has sounded the death knell of my elderly PC but as the review goes â€œwhen listening to The Throbbing Buttchumpers â€˜Sprouts are my museâ€™ the retroactive bass blends perfectly with a trebly surround bumped acoustically by a deeply pleasing squish faderâ€ it clearly offers something classier than your mate farting Abide With Me.
4. Living somewhere isnâ€™t the same as knowing it.
Itâ€™s great to find some bonzer new trails after riding the same ones for over five years especially as some have sufficient cheeky value to promise much fun over the next half decade. There are clearly some very rich people living round here as well with sprawling piles (must be the expense account lunches) marking the end of lost footpaths. I hope theyâ€™ve read the Aylesbury expansion plan because theyâ€™re about to have 10,000 near neighbours.
5. Riding bikes is just bloody ace.
I was running of light so cut short my exploration at the top of a stingy climb. Reversing direction, it was a delight; some fast switchbacks in the woods then a fantastic trailside upâ€™nâ€™over where a footpath intersected, leading to a flat out brain out rooty gulley finishing in panic stop as cars flashed past on the main road.
It wouldâ€™ve been about perfect if the player had dished up U2â€™s Perfect Day or something pumping rock chords from Feeder or Linkin Park. What I actually got was Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes â€œThis is the time of your lifeâ€.
Like I said, Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner**
* I stole this joke from Nick Cumminsâ€™ about five years ago. Iâ€™m assuming heâ€™s forgotten
** Iâ€™m not explaining this. If you donâ€™t get the film reference then youâ€™re way cooler than me. If you do /Waves