We first headed towards the "new" trail I have mentioned before in this diary. I had packed my folding spade in my Camelbak with the intention of doing a little work. There was the remains of a small double near the top of the trail that was pretty much reduced to a couple of piles of logs. Baz and I stopped to tidy it up while the others carried on to do a little lap so as they didn't have to stand around watching us. 10 or so minutes of work saw the jump converted to a kicker that can now be jumped or rolled without interupting the flow of the trail. Maybe we'll make it into a small table top on another day? The trail is now pretty well defined and clear of obstacles. Regular riding should finish things off. It seems to be getting this from the 3 or 4 rides a week that various members our group do in these woods through winter.

While we were working Chilli found us. He had arrived late for the ride start and had come to find us. The others finished their lap and the 7 of us continued the ride. As we headed across towards Blidworth Bottoms the trails were as damp as expected. Progress was hard work but fun and at times entertaining! I had one "moment": whilst cornering on a descent both wheels drifted sideways through a puddle for what felt about 2 foot (so probably inches in reality!). The edge of a logging vehicle rut stopped me and let me carry on, laughing as I did.

A brief rest

We also had one slight problem with a dog walker. He wouldn't move on a section of singletrack to let us past. No problem: we just pedalled slowly behind him as the end was not far away. His dogs were off the lead ,running around us.

The conversation went:

Dog walker: "You should be over there." (indicating the nearby fire road)
Baz: "Why's that?"
Dog walker: "Because it would be safer for everyone."
Baz: "Oh really."

That was it. It wasn't worth getting into an argument with the fool. Those kind of small minded folk can never be convinced by sensible argument and it would have just wasted some of our ride time. I'm pleased to say that the majority of walkers, dog walkers, horse riders etc we meet in the woods are very pleasant and appreciate (as we do) that the woods are there to be enjoyed by all. It's rare we do have any problems.

Baz tackling a puddle

We finished up with the traditional road sprint after going up past the golf course. Back at the pub everyone was saying how pleased they were that they had made the effort. Pretty much everyone had had doubts in the morning as they they looked out of their windows at the weather. They were all glad they hadn't given in to those doubts.