Covered In Mud

On the first day of the new year, and keeping up with traditions of New Years Resolutions, Josh (my brother-in-law) and I headed over to the local woods/trails that afternoon. It was reasonably busy with walkers and dogs, so some care was needed navigating around them before we got to the start of the bike trails.

It’s quite a simple place with a wide fire road that runs through the woods and bike trails dotted along, diving off into the trees. As we reached the first of these trails, I mentioned to Josh that someone had been working on them and, at the end of this particular trail, there were a few new jumps.

We headed down the trail at a steady speed, following it down and around trees, stumps and ferns. Considering there had been heavy rain a day or two before, the trail ran very well. The ground was soft but not boggy except for a few puddles here and there.

We slowed down once we reached the new section, stopped and had a good look at the takeoffs and landings. It had been split into two different routes, one that was a simple tabletop jump and the other which consisted of two small doubles. We decided to continue warming up on some of the other trails that we knew and come back to try these new jumps later.

Riding the wet, muddy trails on a hardtail in the middle of winter is incredible. You really can slide the bike into the corners and have a massive grin on your face, even if it isn’t the fastest way around the corner.

After discovering some of the other trails were, well, a bit boggy and waterlogged, we decided to head back to the first trail and session the newly built jumps at the end. What could possibly go wrong…

Yup, you guessed it, I crashed. Rather unspectacularly, if I’m honest. After a few goes on the jumps, I started to build my confidence until the 3rd or 4th attempt which, involved going slightly off course and my front wheel slipping on landing. As I said, it was a bit pathetic. I simply rolled off the bike, covered myself in mud and got back up.

Naturally, I had to give the jump another go, not because I’m a man and egotistical. (Maybe partly). But if I didn’t give it another try, I would have a mental block on that route/jump. Best way to tackle that. Just do it again.

I made it with no drama on the next run and, we had one final go on the whole trail before calling it a day and heading back home.

What was your first ride of 2022 like? Has anyone else fallen off already?

Until Next time.


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