the question today wasn't so much "where shall we ride" but more "what shall we ride those trails on" Dan's original idea was to ride parts of the Tour of The Black Country route which is a sportive based on Paris-Roubaix, a mix of road and gravel paths and bridleways, traditionally ridden on a road bike and the off road sections are quite tame. but due to poor weather we thought we'd stay closer to home. So i suggested riding the trails we normally use our MTBs on but on the gravel bike inspired bikes instead.
The conditions were warm but wet, over night rain made the trails very slippery and would have been a challenge on fat rubber, 35mm "gravel" tyres made for very nervous moments but huge grins. having to pick a line to avoid the worst of the slick roots, the patches of deep mud and daring to lean the bike over on corners made it seem like i was riding a 80's twitchy "ATB" with narrow bars and useless tyres. I've not had so much fun doing 8mph going down hill on the edge of adhesion for years and years!
I'll admit we didn't ride "double drop" or "certain death" or anything remotely technical but the trails we did ride felt that technical as we reached the limits of the bikes we had. we also managed 34+ miles, something we'd not have done on the fat bikes. for once i think i earned my slice of cake!
it may have looked to anyone who saw us like we were riding in slow motion but i can assure you everything was clenched and the woop at the end of a difficult section was a genuine cry of relief and happiness at surviving intact and upright.