As all mountain bikers know, we are now well and truly hub deep in mud season - and with it comes the opportunity to have an immense amount of fun getting caked in the stuff from head to toe.
To quote the favourite children’s book, ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’…
We can’t go over it, we cant go under it….oh no, we’ve got to go through it!
Within moments of setting off on your ride, mud gets EVERYWHERE, splattering every surface it meets: wheels, forks, frame, bars, cranks, shoes, ankles, legs, your back, your bum, your face.
Trails that run smoothly in the summer suddenly catch you out with puddles of gloop that send your back tyre into a thrilling slide as you corner, or threaten to bring the entire bike to a halt. Selecting the right gear, pedalling with conviction and lifting out of the saddle a little to ‘unweight’ the bike will usually get you to the other side. But sometimes the mud is just too much, too sticky and you come to a grinding halt. Still, it’s a soft (if not a little cold and wet) landing, should you accidentally topple over!
Just power through and hope for the best, then wear your mud soaked socks and shoes with pride!
Descents that you normally tackle with ease become a slippery-dip chute that you ride/slide down with bum-over-the-back, squealing brakes and fingers crossed (or they would be if you weren’t gripping on so tightly), leaving you grinning so hard at the bottom because you managed to stay upright. The climbs you normally fly up seem to grip your wheels and pull you back thanks to the wetness of the ground and the traction of the tyres, forcing you to power your way to the top (so no chance of getting cold, no matter how wet you are!). If only those mud tyres knew when to stop gripping quite so hard!
And then there is the innocent mid-trail puddle – who knows what lies in its murky depths or how deep it is? Just power through and hope for the best, then wear your mud soaked socks and shoes with pride - because if you’re not muddy, you’re not trying.
Remember that jet washing is strictly forbidden for mountain bikes.
You are, of course, too dirty to even think about going into a café, post ride, and sitting down. Just crossing the threshold leaves a telltale trail of mud in your wake - so you take our tea and cake outside, and hang around with the other trail splattered riders, feeling a little envious of the ones who remembered to bring A Change Of Clothes.
Post-ride, washing the bike takes almost as long as the ride itself. Remembering that jet washing is strictly forbidden for mountain bikes (it plays havoc with the bearings!) you’re left to shiver it out with a dribbling hose, a bucket of soapy water and a brush. And all this despite knowing that, next time you ride, your bike will be coated in crud within 100m of setting off.
But one hot shower and a mug of tea later, you’re shoving your muddy gear into the washing machine – and planning where to go on your next muddy ride.
Are you VeloVixen’s muddiest rider? Share your muddy photos on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MyVeloV
Unit 28, Wheatley Business Park, Old London Road, Wheatley, Oxford OX33 1XW // firstname.lastname@example.org // +44 (0) 1302 249 323