I nipped out for a quick ride this morning and was faced with some of the oddest conditions I’ve ever experienced.
I’ve been riding in this area for a decade. I know what to expect in any given month. I know which trails to avoid in winter because they’re too muddy and which to avoid in summer because they’re overgrown. I know which ones have a sweet spot in spring and autumn when they achieve “goldilocks” conditions. I know these trails like the back of my gloves.
It’s almost July. July means, dry trails, dust motes in the air and lots of free speed. It also usually means lots of vegetation and a sea of green every time I go into the woods.
That’s what I was expecting
Yes, there is a lot of greenery out there. An awful lot. The amateur botanist in me suggests that the warm winter, the bright spring and the incredibly wet conditions over the last few weeks have given everything a massive growth spurt. So there really is green absolutely everywhere, some trails are narrower than usual but some are utterly impassable because of the vegetation. It gets even more exciting when the weight of the water is causing things to lean over more and I’ve seen several trees come down in the last couple of weeks. It’s also REALLY humid out there. It’s overcast, sweaty and close.
What really caught me unawares, though, was the sheer amount of mud out there. I’ve not seen that level of mud since April. Some places are clarty as anything and others are really quite skitey at the moment.
It’s weird. It’s as though I’m riding through all the fun of summer and all the fun of winter at the same time. I’ve got shortened the sight-lines and nettle-dodging of summer combined with the mud spray and sideways riding of winter. All whilst boiling in the bag.
It’s like riding through a rainforest. I came home soaked and caked in mud.
I also came home grinning like a loon. It was great fun.