A versatile term which might reasonably be used to refer to when Mark has his video camera attached to his helmet, it’s rolling and he’s
getting great trail footage.
Well tonight Mark had his head- on….but the video was nowhere to be seen. Shame really as it could have been some spectacular footage…….or a spectacularly smashed
Six of us set off from the car park roughly on time having not let
Ronnie’s new toy distract us too long. Well it doesn’t take long at
all to realise you can’t just hop on a unicycle and get going. I look
forward to seeing Ronnie juggling firesticks while slaloming round
our parked cars at the start of a ride in perhaps a few weeks (I mean years don’t I?).
Our route took us through upper and lower Stanmer trails with every
last one of them proving bone dry and fast rolling. It was a mix of
increasingly familiar single-track but laced together in a different
order. Add in the ever extending daylight and it seemed like a fresh
new ride. Maybe this is what got the adrenaline flowing but one way
or another we were in attack mode and eating up the tracks.
Tucking into the ‘nadgery’ section that Mark has called T&C he commented that he’d been using this trail a lot recently and was getting very familiar with it. He then missed a turn enabling me to take the lead. Congratulating ourselves at our
speed we continued on aggressively, Mark back in front and flying, literally
flying……..a major front flip over the bars, between two trees and
slapping down on his back, the bike pivoting around the front wheel
which appeared to have stopped dead on the trail for no apparent
reason. It was pretty high speed and violent so the fact that man and
machine were ok was lucky (actually I’ll bet he’s feeling it a few
hours later). Turns out he’d got just a few inches off line and hit
a stump hidden in the undergrowth head-on. It might as well have
been a brick wall.
Later on we discussed disgruntled walkers attempts to booby-trap the
woods, dogs that bite cyclists and how tonight an eerie quiet had and
stillness to it…..oh and madmen with axes. The fact that only 3
out of 6 starters arrived back at the cars wasn’t due to any of the
aforementioned thankfully, the others just peeling off early.
To reassure any newbie’s nervously considering night riding don’t worry,
a ‘madman with an axe in a wood at night’ is more likely these days
to just be an ardent trail builder, rather than a good old fashioned
‘madman with an axe……….’