Go Darke

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it

Fundamental Joeyism

Mountain bikes and mixed metaphors

Ow. My aching asshole.

Which, as opening lines go I suppose, occupies the same dubious realm as clickbait. My discomfort does not stem from any Leviticus censored activity, but rather from something more mundane, more self inflicted (and depending what you’re into), potentially less exciting.

I uncoupled my mountain bike from its wall mount, cursorily brushed it down (it was still dirty and a little muddy from the last time I’d used it) lubed it up and then took it for 10mi1 sojourn up the valley.

*For some reason my apple watch measures my runs in km, but my bike rides in miles. It doesn’t worry me, I am multi-mensurational.  (Which I initially write as menstruation(al) which is a entirely different form of cycle) Joey takes a moment to laugh at his own joke. (someones gotta)

Look at this sketchy bridge, I am totally NOT going to attempt

I’m a bit saddle sore today. I haven’t ridden in a million years. Moving house, Covid, child rearing… insert other vaguely lame excuses here. But, having recently decided that I actually hate running, I need some other form of kinetic energy transfer to counter the effect of maturing (into a slab of… deeply marbled meat). Its either that, or, I guess, I could eat less. Stuffing food into my mouth-hole however is (kinda) the apotheosis of my entire life… and therefore unlikely to happen.

I’m quite lucky, insofar as there is a series of MTB trails that start quite close to my domicile. Cut through past the stables, left at the Brewery and you’re at the trailhead, maybe a kilometer as the crow flies.

There are four routes (green, blue, red and black), the shortest is about 7km with only 90mtrs of gain (and almost zero technical skill required) all the way up to a 65km loop with 1650mtrs of elevation to murder you with, and eh… interesting terrain features meant to test your sufferance of blunt force trauma.

Broadly all the routes twist their way up the Hemel en Aarde (Heaven and earth) Valley and then through the various vineyards that occupy the top of half of this geography. The river that flows down through here is the same one that empties into the lagoon (and then into the sea) near my house.

And while there are some river crossings of both dubious origin and engineering, most of them are quite pretty… and seem structurally capable of handling my tonnage.

And the downhill sections are pretty fun…

I try to embed this from Instagram before getting frustrated and just doing a hatchet job. Apologies to the owner. I am not this quick. Not yet. (I am, if anything, aspirational) Also, one day, when I’m big I want cool glasses like this. I was actually going to wear my goggles… because it was quite muddy (also probably why I was the only one on the trail), but I couldn’t find half my gear. Eventually found some cheap sunglasses I was willing to sacrifice and after thirty minutes a pair of gloves and my camelbak.

I must be honest I’ve been a little weary about hitting the trails here because of the snakes (we have like five of the top-seven-you-don’t-want-to-find-curled-up-in-your-slipper-list). I’ve heard these vague murmurings of riders coming down the trail and whipping a puff adder up into their chain and gears. (they have a tendency to lie on the trails because its a good spot to get maximum exposure to the big yellow without the intervening foliage, and because you’re on a bike you’re on top of them before they have time to slither off)

Its obviously something I’d be keen to avoid. My wildlife encounter this time round was more mundane… but enough of a threat that it got me up and out of the saddle and peddling faster.

We encountered each other at a bend, me at pace, her rooting around a muddy patch (which meant I lost traction) and made for a bit of eh… awkward engagement. She also had piglets. And suddenly she’s charging me.

Ha ha.

On my way back down I encountered them again. Just seemed to be out and about, doing swine-ish things. Living their best hog life. They were less angry about the situation this time round. But wouldn’t pose for a photo.

In any event, I’d forgot how much I enjoyed riding. Bruised sphincter aside I mean. Not sure how you guys do it. ‘You guys’, he’s says motioning with a broad sweeping hand gesture to encompass people of a certain proclivity and tendency. But then again, maybe I don’t know what I’m missing? Downside, is having to clean up post event, since by that time I’m usually quite lethargic. Cleaning the bike I mean. Maybe I need to invest in one of thoseā€¦ power-wash-sprayer-thingies? (I’m sure there is a more technical terms for these). Which I still haven’t done. I am a bad owner.

I know this is overshare, but I’m seriously considering going to scratch around in the bathroom cupboard for the now (probably) expired nappy/bum cream. And then spending some time alone in the bathroom together.

And now that you are most likely disturbed.I feel like my mission is complete.



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