The newly rebuilt Canyon came out for a shakedown ride tonight. New bearings, cables and whatnot, freshly serviced forks and shock, new brakes. It worked pretty well, mostly; had to tighten up the headset, the front mech still doesn’t shift properly (old problem), and the saddle has developed a really annoying creak, but otherwise it ran very nicely indeed. It was my first time out on full suspension for a good nine months, and honestly the only reason I dusted the Canyon off is that my trusty Soul has had its forks removed and packed off to LoCo for servicing. I’m still not convinced I want to keep it, but I’ll give it a few more rides to see if I change my mind.
This evening was also my first proper trip out on two wheels for as many weeks, which is frankly pathetic. The ugly end of the school holidays has done a real number on my riding. But I have plans for this weekend, oh yes. Big plans.
Night is coming earlier and earlier. I finished today’s ride in complete darkness, whereas it would have been lovely and light at the same time a few weeks ago. It was wet and windy too, and the bike needed a good hose down to shift the mud when I got back home. Last month’s dust is a memory. It was still nice and warm though, and the trails are only really showing a little gloop here and there, we have a reassuringly long way to go before we’re wading the deep, grim, bike-killing slime and sludge of Yorkshire’s winter again.
This was one of those rides that I obviously needed to do for mental health reasons. I was moping about the house looking at the rain, stewing about nothing much of any importance and getting grumpier and grumpier. I was this close to opening a beer and throwing the evening away making myself properly angry looking at rubbish on the internet, but I dragged the bike out of the garage instead, threw it at the nearest hill as hard as I could, and now I feel much more sane.
Nearly two weeks since my last outing on a bike, which is pretty disgraceful even taking into account the array of reasons, no, excuses accumulated to explain the situation. Work demands, family commitments, fear of vehicular murder in London, torrential downpours; pitiful all, but sometimes you just end up in a loop of not-riding and it takes a deliberate effort to break out again. In penance I thrashed myself around about 60 kilometres of Peak District, gave myself a headache crawling up Holme Moss in the muggy evening heat, and even swallowed an enormous, suicidal flying insect of some description on a fast descent. It flew straight into my mouth and down my throat, I could feel the thing wriggling below my larynx and had to stop and neck half my water to wash it down. It wasn’t small either, a horsefly at the very least, possibly even a medium-sized moth. Disgusting. I hope the cycling gods are appeased.
I’m glad I went out though. Sometimes you just have to eat insects along with the good stuff, it can’t be helped.