Well... It's been a while since I've been out on the old push-iron, 6 weeks to be exact! Reasons including that it's too cold, too wet, too snowy, too icy - the list goes on but finally on Thursday I 'manned-up' and got out of the house!
After a later than planned start (no help that my car broke down, damn those French Peugeot 205s!), some more snow followed by more rain, I eventually met up with 5 other riders, all of us eager to get out for the first ride of the New Year. We all met at an undisclosed location in the South Lakes where, over the last few years of hard work and graft, we've managed to build a half-decent downhill track that snakes it's way down through the woods and finishes with some rather large jumps, perfect for showing off on!
After a bit of a shaky start trying to get used to riding a downhill bike again, everything seemed to fall into place. We ended up sessioning one particular section only about 200ft long but it is one of the most fun pieces of trail that you can ride, especially in the wet! The final sweeping right hand corner after the small fly-off got blown out, braking bumps formed and it was like a motocross track! We set up the camera and got a few photos here but by this point the light was starting to fade and we decided to move further down the course.
By this time I was feeling invincible again! Well, that was soon put to an abrubt end as I was pedalling in to the first jump on the run-in to the final 35ft step up at the bottom of the track. Click. Click. I changed gear but nothing happened. Then BANG! Just before I took off the lip, the gears skipped, my right foot blew off the pedal and the cranks spun down. Next thing I know the cranks jam into the take off of the jump and that's it - I'm spat out the front door! Flying arse-over-tit through the air isn't the most fun experience I can assure you, especially when you see all the sharp rocks and gnarly roots where you're going to land...
I was fortunate enough to roll out of it and stand up with only a bit less skin on me and a lot less pride! After that I called it game over for the day, didn't want to risk it again and end up in hospital. Again.