Sunday, 28 December 2008


" Frosty the snowman ,do pe do pe do pe do..... "*

Ok ,so it was' nt snowing ,but it was frosty . V.cold setting out . Jeff and Gareth ( who I havent seen for about a year or so ) came round to ours at 0900. Surprise surprise we're off to Haigh Hall again . I dont think I'll ever tire of riding around the plantation.Ridden at a bit of a pace it's as hardcore as anywhere. Add a touch of gloop to the mix and it can be a right ding dong merrily on high.
Usual thing up along the canal . Spinning up through Wigan centre. " I suppose this is 'urban' mountainbiking ",Gareth said . I suppose it is. Haigh Hall is situated just outside the town centre. It's the kind of thing that these days we might take for granted . A nice old 'ancient forest ' just on the doorstep. Way before we all had motor cars though it must have been a nice place for the proles to relax on their hour off each month from the drudgery of t' pit or t'mill.
Well you can take the lad out of the prole ,but you cant take the prole out of the lad ,or something . I love it. And it's free . It only costs me a few grand a year in council tax.

Where was I ? Oh yes . MTBing.
We dropped into the trees at the back of the 'Bellingham'. A kind of 'alternate' way in. The plantation has an upper and lower section. We just had a play around in the lower bit . Whilst it was frosty ,and still very cold ,it wasnt quite cold enough to fully 'bake ' the mud. Technical then. I'm on the loaned Cannondale Rize. It's very good. It must be really difficult these days being a MTB journo type . Testing bikes . How do you find fault with them ? I 'm looking ,but all I can think is why does it have a painted ( IE ,scratched) white seatpost. Yea . Very good . Now, I know I'm a very accomplished rider with many many years of experience,with a list of palmares as long as your arm,but this thing ,you could win the Tour De France on it in the morning and then ride across the serengheti in the afternoon. I surprised myself today by pointing it up a usually all but impossible incline . Halfway up I was hoping it would slip as I'd had enough and needed a breather .
I thought " There's that root. That'll stop me "
But it didnt. It wound itself ,and me , all the way up that bastard of a climb until I was at the top . All a quiver . Ooer. Yea . V.Good . And then you point it down and it's just as good at that too.
After a piece of time messing about in the lower plant's ,Gareth had to split. Jeff and I headed up towards the top plant's. Same kind of dance. Wet slippy.
In all we were out about 5 hours,with the ubiquitous toast stop halfway.
Jeff was on the Cannondale Rush ,by the way. Another blast of a bike. Only 4" of boing at each end but as light as a feather. The tyres are a bit lacking for that type of ride and he thinks the BB is a bit too low . Maybe . But it's that type of bike . It's a bit small for me but I'll see if I cant get a whirl on it before it goes back to Cannondale. Only 4"! However will I cope?

I cant find my USB lead. Pix soon . If I can find the thing.

OK ,found it .Worst pictures ever. I dont know if it was the shivering ,or just the cold affecting the camera,either way . Here.....

*I'm thinking of the Phil Spector ,' Ronettes' version . 1963? I suppose "when will I see you again ?" would have been equally suitable.

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