It had been raining quite a bit during my enforced abscence from cycling and as my Cove Stiffee still has it's "summer" tyre combination of a High Roller up front and a Crossmark on the back I was worried that things might be a bit slippy under wheel?

That's the excuses in! How did it go? Well the tyres weren't a problem. The woodland singletrack was all damp but firm. In fact it was about as good as it gets! The loose sandy stuff had been damped down and everything was grippy and running fast.

Initially I was feeling good and riding ok but I had underestimated how much the week of illness had taken out of me. I was soon dropping off the back on anything that vaguely resembled a climb! The guys kept waiting for me but as the ride went on I was getting further off the pace.

It doesn't help in these situations that as soon as you are knackered that you lose concentration and start struggling with the technical stuff. This leads to not carrying speed through obstacles and so more effort is required leading to more tiredness. It just snowballs.

I still enjoyed the ride but I was absolutely exhausted at the finish.