I bloody love Spring time. It’s my favourite season of the year as I’ve mentioned before on the blog.
Winter is always a killer on riding time and consequently fitness. Riding to work helps keep the sloth gods at bay, but with the associated shitty weather that usually comes with winter here in the southwest (no fun snow, no hard frosts to solidify the trails…just perpetual wetness everywhere), even weekend riding can be a struggle to get motivated for.
So when Spring starts to show early signs in March and the evenings getting lighter noticeably by the end of February, suddenly motivation comes flooding back to get out and ride. A week of decent weather and the trails start to dry up nicely and you’ve gotta make the most of it whilst you can…the weather can turn 180 degrees in the blink of an eye!
Spring arrived early during the last week of February this year. A funky ass jet stream sucking air up from Africa brought unseasonably warm temperatures and dry weather to the UK and I just had to get out in it. Several busy family focused weekends since the New Year, some crappy weather weekends, bike apart for servicing and a drop in motivation to ride meant that I’d not been out on the bike much in 2019. And when I feel unfit, it can drop me into a self-reinforcing spiral of decreasing motivation. With only a month until my first enduro race of the season, I had to pull myself out of the hell hole…and the good weather was perfect timing!
So on the Monday, with my bike back together after some much needed suspension servicing, I knocked off work at 4pm, got changed quicker than Superman flashing his little man in a phonebox, grabbed my bike out of the car and headed off for a quick power hour from the car park. Fortunately I work near the epicentre of Cornwall rad riding so in a few minutes I was at the local woods and the trails, looking to get my legs and my eyes back in. I always have a bit of a mental block on jumps after time off the bike so although a sweet run has been constructed by local trail pixies over the winter, I wasn’t willing to risk dead sailoring on my first run. A dick about there for a bit then over to Poldice for more hand crafted DH and jump trails and again, keeping it to the mellower trails. I say it every year, but one day I WILL session the ‘Fine Line‘ and do it!
Day two, Tuesday and same again – finish work at four and I’m out the door! This time, I drove 10 mins out to the north coast, pulled the bike out and did an 11 mile route on some of the best little coastal descents in the area. Loose and fast is how these trails run and although they drain really well, kicking up dust in February felt a little surreal! When the sky is right, you get some amazing sunsets here so I took my time towards the end in the failing light hoping to get see something special and I wasn’t too disappointed. February…you’re doing it right.
Day three, Wednesday. The weather forecast was for normal February weather to resume from Thursday on, so not wanting to miss out, I took the afternoon off to go ride Grogley Woods. I posted up on a local rider Facebook group asking if anyone also fancied skiving off work to go play on bikes and Adie replied with a big fat yes.
As I pulled up into the car park, the temp gauge on the car read 15.5 degrees Celsius! The sun was out, blue sky enveloped the tree tops so it was definitely short sleeves conditions. Again…this is February FFS! Descending through the natural, root infested trails, they were in prime spring…nah, SUMMER conditions – fast as feck with a glorious rooster tail of loam and dust being kicked up by the Maxxis DHRs on our bikes! 15 miles of winch and plummet later, with tired legs and massive grins, we called it quits as the sun was starting to get low in the winter sun.
Driving back home, the stoke was high. Three straight days of perfect riding on my favourite local trails in perfect weather, was just what was needed to get the mojo going again, as I wait for winter to do one.
As I type this, it’s raining, grey sky everywhere and there’s a weather warning for high winds. I’ve not ridden the Rallon since thanks to more bike servicing and family weekends and the mojo has dropped back down…not great with the first race this weekend! It’s a little depressing, but I’m pretty sure race chat with mates this weekend will help get it back up…gotta hold on to this sunny reminder of how good things will be in a few months time!
Thanks for the love Africa, the warm hug was much needed.