A meeting in central London on Tuesday scuppered this week’s regular ride, so instead I made a guest appearance with http://www.ottmountainbike.co.uk/ . My brother in law is one of the leading lights of this loose amalgam of Hertfordshire off roaders, and you can always guarantee a good ride with them.
It’s been a while since I’ve ridden with this group, and having spent most of the year on the road, I wasn’t really sure how I’d fair. A good sized group turned out, and I think we numbered 10 or 11. My pre ride plan was to stick at the back and see how things panned out, but that didn’t last long.
The pace was pretty quick from the off, and a couple of lads were really pushing the pace. I consoled myself with the facts that I was probably giving away the best part of 20 years to a couple of them, not to mention a good few kilos.
I never ceased to be impressed with the routes that Si puts together. This one had a bit of everything, from draggy climbs, to fast flowing singletrack, to fast fire road blasts.
I’d also forgotten how different an experience it is riding off road in large groups, to road cycling. Short(ish) sharp(ish) bursts of effort are interspersed with re-grouping, which give ample chance to take a breather.
It’s difficult to give any real detail about the route due to the fact it was pitch black, and I had absolutely no idea where I was. Fortunately the faithful Edge had everything under control, and a summary is below.
Full details can be viewed here.
As a fully paid up bike geek, riding with a new group gives the opportunity to check out a whole new collection of bikes. The group was a real mixed bag, and although dominated by Specialized, included a Marin, a Lapierre, as well as the ubiquitous On-One Inbred. Some minor rule violations were noted, including mudguards, wheel reflectors, as well as a dork disc, and I’m relying on my brother in law to show these miscreants the light.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable ride, and it you’re ever in or around the St Albans area on a Tuesday night with your mountain bike, this is a group well worth tagging along with.