With the country coated in the white stuff there was never going to be much chance of riding either of the two local reliability trials. I know the Beds Road Club event was cancelled, but I'm not sure about the Hemels one.
Anyway, by 9pm Saturday I'd decided that the best option was to take my recently built mountainbike out and over to Woburn.
With no firm offers of riding partners I set off from my door at 8.20am. My route gets off road pretty darn quick, after only 200 metres I'm on the BW running up through Southcott Stud. Another short road section then I'm in Bluebell Woods. This was a great section with a descent through virgin snow. Onto the road again for a bit before turning off road proper.
Up through Rushmere with it's new cycle trails (see photo) Whilst riding here I can see three tyre tracks and I know who they belong to! Marcus, Julian and Jack. I follow the trios tracks through Rushmere and up an arduous climb to Stockgrove Country Park. Still following their tracks I hit a massive drift and I'm forced to dismount for a few feet, God knows how they rode it?
Through Stockgrove I approach the A5 to jump on the cycle path. The trios tracks have now gone so they've obviously taken to the road. The next section is along the old disused section of the A5 and then I see three tracks rejoin the path....no fun on the road huh?
Next is Woburn. The trails look stunning. I'm forced to think of the Biathlon circuits I like to watch on Eurosport. The snow is briliant white, the pines are draped in snow and there's a mist hanging low, it's like a mini British Columbia or Scandinavian forest.
For some time I've been sweating like mad, I thought I was working well within my limits, but the sweat pouring down my face says otherwise. And I can feel a hole forming in my stomach from the calories I've burnt.
In Woburn I bump into riders from Corleys Cycles and Twenty3C, but I don't tag along. Instead I make full use of the tracks they're leaving and the going becomes a lot faster.
After a full loop of Woburn I turn and trace my path back home after letting my tyres down to 30psi.
Now fully dialed in to the conditions I push it, and find the snow is dealt with far easier at speed, which I knew already!
Woburn, Stockgrove and Rushmere done I just have the long climb up to Bluebell Woods to complete. And complete I must as I have an audience of sledging families. At the top I meet Barney from the club and find out I've been out for over four hours
The final hill done and it's road - off road -road and home.
I'm feeling very pleased with myself. Today it was good to ride there, but I know if it freezes it's another story, and one I don't want to Blog about.