A Very Wet Ride
I Blame Pete for posting on the forums saying:
“See you up there later, looks like it might be a calmer one than of late too !!”
Because as soon as he posted it yesterday morning it started pouring down and continued to do so almost all day. When we arrived at Angler’s Retreat for our weekly night MTB ride it wasn’t actually raining, but within 5 minutes the heavens opened and we were wet before we even started.
Luckily I had re-proofed my waterproof jacket earlier in the week and had even managed to extract the cleat from my Goretex boots with the aid of a drill. I was therefore fully kitted up an eVent jacket, waterproof trousers and in an attempt to keep my feet warm, wollen socks, goretex boots and neoprene overshoes. Dave, John and Pete were also suitably attired for what was bound to be a wet ride.
We planned to head out along the MX trails to the Chute. The first little descent was OK, although Pete came off on a rocky slab and ripped his tights and John had a few moments too. At one point I thought I was following Laurel and Hardy! We then headed out through the forestry where we found some pretty deep puddles. Despite the fact that they came up over the tops of my boots, the added protection of long trousers and overshoes seemed to be working a treat as my feet were still dry. We then came to the river crossing which is usually at least hub deep but today was swollen, running very fast and probably at least twice as deep as usual.
We decided against the likelihood of at least one of us going for a swim so early in the ride and headed back through the puddles to do the MBR Killer Loop instead. My feet did get a trickle of water into them this time through the deeper puddles but they were otherwsie toasty and fairly dry.
The deep puddles on the Conti Trail were full of Moor Grass (Molinia) which clogged up our wheels and deraileurs and managed to dislodge Jons chain which got stuck in behind his cassette. In the end he had to split the chain to remove it and get himself going again.
Other than this the ride went without event, but was of course very wet as the rain was still lashing down. The descent down to the mines was more of a river bed, but I enjoyed the climb back out. My lights then failed on the final climb of the night, but I did it in the dark anyway.
All in all a good night ride in appalling conditions but as usual, once we were out there and riding the rain wasn’t really an issue. My feet stayed relatively dry and more importantly warm and I can now rejoice in the powers of modern technical fabrics!