There are two really good noises in the world, yes, only two. One is the distinctive thunk that an ice tool makes when the placement is spot on, solid, right, in good ice. And the other is the strange hollow, crunching hum of mountain bike tyres running fast and loose over dry, hard, singletrack.
Given that Kinder Downfall thawed at least a month ago and even when it was in, looked worryingly think and brittle, no prizes for guessing that this evening's dying of the light soundtrack was the second.
But actually, what made it a really lovely ride was the company, a climby mate who doesn't ride mountain bikes much, but with a mildly broken foot ain't going anywhere fast without wheels.
It's lovely riding your local trails and seeing them, just a little through someone else's eyes. And when they're drying and fast and framed in golden late afternoon light and punctuated with incendiary grins at the bottom of every descent and hyperventilation at the top of every climb, it's just ace.
And at the end, when Danny said thanks for the ride and the loan of the bike and I said no, really, thank you for dragging me out, it was special, I really meant it. Bikes are great, but after all, they're just bikes. It's people that really matter.