Yesterday was obviously a bad day for cycling, what with the "Tour" riders having to deal with a loose dog on the course and then the chaos in the last 3km.
As for my ride, it was just as disastrous. After reading an old copy of "What MTB?" I felt inspired to do some of our local singletrack. The weather was grey and miserable and Mikey wasn't overly enthusiastic about riding anywhere, but my eagerness spurred him on to join me.
So off we set. The weather was seriously horrid. It was really wet - but too hot and humid to wear waterproofs. My happy mood quickly changed as I got wetter and wetter. Oddly though, Mikey had now cheered up and he was now the eager one as I dragged my feet.
The dirt tracks that I had been so excited about were trickier than ever. The recent warm weather had dried them out but with this down pour (and the recent winds) the dust had been washed off and there was nothing apart from slippy greasy rocks. After a fair few dodgy moments where I nearly went face first into the ground my confidence had vanished and progress was slow.
I kept telling myself that I was having fun, but just as I managed to convince myself, the first disaster happened. Whilst chattering to Mikey, a huge fly decided to fly right into my mouth hitting me quite forcefully at the back of my throat. An involuntary gag reflex unfortunately took it further down, which made matters worse and induced vomiting. Yuck! I wasn't best pleased. Ah well, it was only a fly; isn't swallowing flies all part of the joys of cycling? See, I was still convincing myself I was having fun.
Onwards! Grrrrr.... now I had a puncture - a tiny wee hole in the tube caused by one of the many overgrown brambles. After a slow and mud infused tube change, we were off again. But not for long. Just 5 minutes later I had another flat on the same wheel. I couldn't believe my luck, I now had an inch long thorn and a very large hole in my tyre. This time, we had to do a quick tube repair.
In another case of misfortune, I then lost Mikey. He was leading the way and one moment he was infront of me, the next he wasn't. I just presumed that he had accelerated off down the dirt track and I'd find him at the bottom, but when I got there there was no sign of him. A few moments later he trundled up behind me. Turns out he had taken a turning off, expecting me to follow, but as I was so focussed on not falling off I had somehow not seen him. Silly me, that'll teach me! ;-)
By now, I was seriously naffed off and soggy wet. I wanted to go home. But on the way back, I had 2nd thoughts - Things weren't too bad, it was only a fly and a couple of punctures - which are all part and parcel of cycling. So what, if the weather was miserable? Doesn't mean I had to be. We decided against going home and took a detour to do a loop of some old fave local haunts. I started to have fun again. Weeeeeeeeeee! This was more like it. I had my Mojo back! Amazingly, at the next junction that could have taken us home, I decided to continue. Wooooppppeeee. I was having fun now. I liked riding my MTB!
Unfortunately, the joy didn't last long before the big disaster of the day. After stopping for a moment to choose a route, we went to set off again. I put one foot on my pedal, then the other, then "snap"... OUCH! My lower back had just gone. The pain was immense (it still is). Not sure what happened, why it happened or what I've done to it. All I know is that it hurts. Worst thing was we were 2 miles from home and I could barely walk. Sitting on the bike was not an option.
Who's silly idea was it to ride Mountain Bikes today? (Oh, ;-) that would be me!) This cycling malarkey is bad for my health; there may be a dramatic improvement in my overall fitness and lungs, but I keep getting silly injuries that I wouldn't of got if I'd stayed indoors watching TV! :-P