20/09/2016 - Some Perspective

Here's a copy of the latest mailing list email that Cy sent. A more thoughtful piece....

On Sunday night I went for a quick spin on my Roadrat. Not so unusual you might think, it was a lovely evening. But recently it has been quite unusual for me. I've got a little bit stuck on needing to go on a "proper" ride to make it worth the faff of getting ready.

I was feeling a bit 'stuck in the house' after tea. Been in most of the afternoon having a lazy day with the family, which was all very nice, but with rain coming today I felt like it would be wasting the nice weather not to do something. I was pretty tired and didn't really fancy dragging myself all the way up onto the moors on my mountain bike. One of the great things about where I live is that I can ride from the door onto the Eastern Moors around Sheffield. However, I've been riding this and nothing else for a while and it's a 300m climb to the top of the hill too, so that wasn't the one.

Having ummed and ahhed and prevaricated, for the first time in ages I decided to just grab my Roadrat and go for a roll around the block. Civvies, no gloves, no pack, no faff, no helmet (GASP!). So off I went for a spin. Up the hill, round the corner, off the main bypass and down the old road I never take in the car. Just spinning, looking at the view. Then I spot an Unsuitable For Motors sign on a right hand junction. Interesting. What's that? So I take this and lift my bike through the motorbike barriers. It's an old Hollow Way, dropping down the hill. Bit bumpy, but fine. Then I get to the golf course, vaguely know there's another trail around here. Spot a new trail on the left, but leave that for later. Carry on, down the drive, past the old Abbey. Then I recognise the place. It's where the nice singletrack at the top of the woods pops out. It's a lovely piece of trail I sometimes pop down for a lunchtime breakout. It's only 5 minutes long, and I never knew how to do anything but turn around and go back the way I came before. Now I have a bit of a loop.

So, turn around, head back, there's that trail I saw earlier, but now I have my bearings I reckon it might link up with the singletrack. Nothing ventured and all that......Off down this path, lovely views of the Abbey, quite a nice narrow trail, new things to see not a mile from my house. I've lived here 9 years and still didn't know this! And I was right, it does link up onto the singletrack, so I pop into the top of the woods and ride the skinny trail, popping the slick tyres over the roots and generally having a nice time.

I head to the end, over the road, past the pub, and into the other woods, and home. I've been out 40 minutes, not really broken a sweat, had a lovely spin and now have a nice little loop I can bust out on if the mood takes me.

Obviously it being dry helped enormously, but I was on my old 8spd bit box Roadrat; flat bars, rigid fork and seatpost, 37mm slick tyres. And it was nice. The sport was not progressed in any way, but I had fun and with minimal faff, minimal effort.

People who say "any ride is better than no ride" always strike me as insufferable, so that's not where I'm coming from at all. 4 hour death marches across winter moors you can keep. But I have definitely found myself guilty of not riding at all for the sake of it not being a 'proper' ride on my mountain bike. It's also easy to get carried away with the notion that it's imperative to have a head angle in the mid-60s, a dropper post and all the other toys to have a good time on trails, and with me having my designer head on most of the time I ride my bike, I'm probably more guilty of that than most. The Roadrat has a 72 degree head angle and a 100mm stem. EEERRRMYGEERRD! And I didn't die. It's not what I'd chose to attack Devil's Elbow any time soon, but it was lovely to just do a bit of idle exploring and to pass a spare hour of a sunny evening.

No real point to this I guess. Enjoy being on your bike. Any bike. Where does that trail go? Just thought I'd share.



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