It all started out with a vague plan to ride, Ian and I had ridden on Monday, i had ridden the single speed yesterday and Howard had indulged in many a libation over the weekend and also does that daft "running" sport so non of us were in particularly good shape and the rain that started when we met could have put a literal dampener on things. but I'm proud to say we MTFU and decided to ride to Waseley cafe and assess the situation over a hot drink.
the trails were pretty grim but nothing we weren't expecting or have experienced in the NWAlps at this time of year before. we made the best of it and giggled our way down some really sketchy muddy trails. Bus stop in particular is now back to it's slick, greasy best
By the time we reached Waseley the rain had stopped and once again we vowed to carry on, over the summit of Romsley and via a diversion due to road works up to Nimmings cafe (these road closures were to become a feature of this ride) where we indulged in a warm drink. the day seemed to be getting colder and toes and fingers were protesting as we descended off the Clent Hills via a very entertaining seat of the pants trail. then began the ascent of Calcott Hill. never easy in the summer but now a real challenge. Howard received a "Bro fist" for clearing the entire technical climb without dabbing a foot. Ian could clearly be identified as a non mudguard user by wearing most of the trail on himself but he was still grinning.
back now in "civilisation" i was desperate for something warm to eat so in keeping with the dirty theme of the ride we took as many off road routes as possible, including a play in the skate park to Greggs and stuffed a hot sausage roll each into our faces whilst getting funny looks from the locals. feeling like we'd earned that fat fest we then tried to burn it off up the narrow climb of "between the garages" a bar banging bonanza of thick off camber mud, loose bricks and bmx trails in the woods.
what a top ride, awful conditions, it probably took longer than the duration of the ride to clean the bike and myself but I'd not change any of it. top wrk guys, great determination, just imagine how great this route will be in the summer!