Friday, February 02, 2007


It had to happen, and it required a greasy mud slick on the road to do it. I took a fairly minor spill yesterday while descending into the aptly named Slaughterford.

I was riding with John, who was a bit behind me, and it was my idea to go this way instead of on the main road, because it was more "interesting". But even before we hit the descent, both of us nearly lost it on a straight, flat bit of road because of the mud. This wasn't just dirt washed onto the road, it was soft clay. It's worse than riding on ice - I'm serious. We even passed a farmer with a load of dirt, ready to dump onto the road.

We started the downhill and were only descending at 30 km/h. It would have been suicidal to go any faster. But that meant we also had to brake at regular intervals. I was in front, approaching a very slight corner, when my front wheel decided that the coefficient of friction was lower than it needed to be, and it slipped out underneath me. I followed with an unplanned extra 1m of descending. Full credit to John, who managed to stop without suffering the same fate, although he has had a lot of experience as a MTBer.

I ended up with some fairly minor abrasions, no damage to the bike, and a hole in my leg warmers. And covered in mud. A bit stiff on Friday, but not that bad. Slaughterford has been purged from any training route in the future.

I expected it to be a lot better than it was, because it hasn't rained for over a week. But in talking to the Others, I realise that the roads are still quite slippery from a combination of salt and dew, which brings all the crap to the surface. I've noticed my back wheel slipping a lot recently, and I thought it was just my tyres (now changed for some Hutchinsons). But no. Rain is actually better, because it washes all the crap away. Cold and dry is best, then icy patches, then the damp dew/salt combo, then semi-hard packed mud.

TV quality has improved since I got digital. I can now watch Friends and Little Britain.

Pete and Lucy have got a flickr gallery now at:

No comments: