Now that the WHW*Falldoon is all public, and the hilariously worded press release had been sent out, I think it’s dawned on us that we’re really going, and the runners are now feeling the pressure. Us on the bikes though? Lets put it this way, I had a sausage supper and a can of Coke when I was waiting on Craig to finish work before we met Phil at mine to go for a night ride/run. Aye, the bike folk will be fine. Probably?
What a lovely night to be out, clear sky with a few wee clouds occasionally diffusing the moonlight, cool autumn air and the hills to ourselves.
Craig made good time on foot and soon left us behind on the climb. Once on the top, Phil and I found the tracks to be on the moist side and cosequently bike control was on the tenuous side at times. A couple of stops to adjust the lights and we were through the forest and ready to charge down to Overtoun, Milton and hot cuppas.
But as soon as we lifted the bikes over the fence and started down, Phil went straight over the bars as the bike got all upset in a deep rut. He wandered along beside me with the light on the bars looking sideways.
We sorted it all out, straightened ourselves up and headed off again. The trail was slippy, with all the difficulties, steep bits and the same speed as usual. So when my front wheel went into one rut and my back wheel slid into another I knew I was going into the bracken. It was soft in there and as I lay and looked up at the moon I could hear a voice floating through the night time chill “Are you aff?”. First proper stack on the new bike, that feels better now.
We slid and skittered our way down the rest of the way without incident, and also without Craig. We thought he’d maybe streaked ahead as I was fannying around adjusting my light angle, or taking photies (again), so we didn’t pause and flew down the tarmac to the BP garage at Milton where we sipped coffees and wondered where the boy wis.
Ten minutes later, a headtorch bobbed into the forecourt. “I went left at the trail junction”, “We went right”.
Night riding is great, but it takes a wee while to get your eye back in as we found. My lights are superb, an Exposure Maxx D on the bars and a Joystick (original, anodised purple!) on my helmet, it was like daylight in front of me.
Phil drew blood from his leg, I merely tenderised my hip. Craig just needed a Honey Stinger Protein bar. We did push though, and the times were good. But I’ll tell you, I don’t care because it was just great fun.
And, the Montane Lite-Speed got its first outing, it survived bracken intrusion and thwarted a hot coffee spillage admirably. It also has arms long enough on me for biking which the Featherlite doesn’t do so well at. Nice.