Thursday, 30 December 2010

The unbearable poignancy of snow.

I love snow. I like the glitter and the crispness and the way it paints everything epic so hills become mountains and mountains boost you instantly into a parallel universe of comprehensive 'too loveliness' - 'too lovely' being a state of quite incomprehensible, well, loveliness really.

And underneath it all, like a quietly chugging base-line, is the poignancy of snow's transience, the knowledge that it's ephemeral, that in a day or a week or maybe, if you're very, very, lucky, a month, it will give way to that sad, dirty, wet greyness.

 Snow today - grey, miserable slush tomorrow.

And unlike the Alps, where that means spring and brightness and warmth, in our benighted British climate, it's just an express ticket to sludgy, damp miserableness.

And that's kind of sad.

But it's also life. Like doomed relationships. And the best novels. And parties. And holidays. And weekends away. And none of them would be quite as good as they are, if things were any other other way.

But it doesn't stop it being sad. But in a way, it makes it even more lovely.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Merry Christmas...

Who says Santa's dead?

Or that tinsel has no place on a mountain bike?

And you can't ride on snow?

 Want this to last for ever...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Dwunk in charge of a mountain bicycle...

Two pub rides in two days. The first one was an 'alternative works do', me and my fellow home-working / sneaky mid-week riding buddy, a spin on freshly-dusted, freshly iced trails followed by a pub lunch and 'several' pints of Mr Scrooge. Pub rides are what ice tyres were invented for... You can't beat a meandering, crackling, giggling progress through a series of sheet-iced puddles...

Then yesterday, added tinsel to the Pig and headed out local like with the Glossop Youth Mountain Bike Project, a worthy effort intended to delinquentify local teenagers with the help of mountain bikes. A fantastic day with insane clouds, treacherous trails with fresh snow artfully camouflaging plates of black ice and cheery tinsellated company.

It all finished at the Sportsman in Hayfield for, erm, a pint or two of Santa's Sac - really - and lunch, before - you guessed it - a meandering solo, 'just two more hills and a bonus descent' progression home. Lessons: even ice tyres have their limits and the steps on Middle Moor are lethal under ice.



Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Things You Find...

At the top of Chunal no less. I have no idea why anyone would decide that the junction of the Monks Road and Chunal would be an appropriate place to site an advert for a Barbie pink, Playboy Hummer, but there it was - with a rainbow behind it no less. So if you need transport to the works Christmas do, here's the answer...

Meanwhile, in a slightly different, parallel universe, had a spectacular perfect arctic day on Kinder with my mate Dave and Zak, the crazed springer spaniel. Just lovely, bring back the snow, please.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Flat And Snowy

End of holiday flatness postponed by a knock on the door at 9 o'clock and an invitation I couldn't quite bring myself to refuse. Proper sub-zero overnightness, frozen trails and the fierce crackle of studded tyres on ice. And one sublime descent of Coldwell Clough at 'fast as I dare' speeds in a proper toboggan run of a trough. After which an under-used Shooting Cabin felt flat and anti-climactic. Lovely in a low key, low temperature, crunchy sort of way.

Maybe we should go a different way?
Snap, crackle and pop...
Downfall tundra.
Looks familiar... same place, different bike.
The world in shades of grey.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Orange bikes look great in snow...

They do - one Ragley, one snowy Peak District, the tail-end of a snuck holiday mid-week ride, lights, camera, action-ish.

And then it got dark.