As usual on a dark, cold, miserable, lashing it down with rain, windy Wednesday night all the hard riders arrive early to show who's not afraid of getting wet and muddy and to show who's the hardest SCCC rider.
7.10 A hard rider pulls up into the car park to see a throng of nobody else. Obviously, the hardest rider has just arrived. The other hard riders will be here soon.
7.15 The bells on the clock begin to chime. The other hard riders will be here soon or they will be late.
7.15 and about 15 seconds. The bells on the clock stop chiming. The other hard riders are late.
7.22 As the now already soaking wet hardest rider leaves the Arden car park, the throng of nobody else waves him away.
As you weren't there, this is what you missed.
Woodbank Park was a quagmire. The singletrack by the running track was a river. Every muddy puddle was full to overflowing. Most were becoming mini lakes. Everywhere that wasn't a muddy puddle was only minutes away from becoming a muddy puddle. The lone hard rider rode on.
The lone hard rider exits Woodbank down the road towards the garage and enters the huge puddle in the dip just as a car enters the same puddle from the other direction. The lone hard rider is already soaked. It matters not.
Scally Alley is different to Woodbank Park. It is not full of mud nor is it full of puddles. It used to have puddles but not anymore. They have all joined together to form a fast flowing shallow, wide stream. The lone hard rider is already soaked. It matters not. However, the lone hard rider starts to dream of waterproof shoes.
Turning right uphill towards Brebury to get out of the stream means riding up through a small river. It matters not. The lone hard rider is already soaked. However, the lone hard rider starts to dream of waterproof socks.
Onwards to Tiviot Dale and under the M60. A dry path, but only one set of tyre tracks are left behind.
I know you'll all leave this lone hard rider trailing in your dust on dry summer trails but come 4th Feb, let's hope it's raining. I've been doing secret training!