Lead legs, grey skies and horses. A typical winter ride then, except for the double dose of Diary of a Mountain Biker.

No miss the X-factor ride for me last night; wife out with Number One child watching Friday Download in London, so I'm at home with the boy. No worries, watch Doctor Who with him. Hmm, note to self; don't watch Doctor Who again, bit boring. Anyway, out this morning and for the first half an hour my legs really didn't want to play ball and felt very leaden. One suspects the rather dull grey skies had something to do with it, and early on in the ride there was a splash of drizzly rain in the air, which always drags ones spirits down. But you know, this is it for the next six months so either stop at home and get fat, or man up and deal with it. And whilst the grey didn't go away, and my legs turned from lead to jelly, overall it wasn't a bad day to be out. It wasn't a good day either though. Grey skies, rained a bit, not warm but then not cold either. Some bits of the trail were dry, other bits mud fests. Lots of black or brown jackets in evidence, as were wellington boots and smelly dogs. Think slippery trails then.

I didn't do anything too exciting; spin to Headley Heath and back. Normally I avoid those A to B, B back to A rides as they lack imagination. So I'd intended on a more interesting route but Headley seemed populated by horses going in my exact direction. Rather than spend ages saying "excuse me" and dawdling past, only to encounter another a few hundred metres down the trail, I just turned around and went in the opposite direction - it seemed more prudent even though that was where I'd just come from. Though as with these things I may well not have bothered. At the turnaround point I stopped to eat a banana. Stopped at a point where the roadies meet up after the climb out of Ashtead, so I was in a public place where cyclists stop for a breather. Indeed there were four roadies not too far away. An horse and rider popped out of the wooded trail, into the clearing, and gave me a rather shocked look as if they'd caught me looking at a porn magazine. Sorry? It was a slightly bizarre encounter and I figure she must have been day-dreaming prior to suddenly finding herself in normality. Indeed I'm having a weekend of odd encounters. On Friday night AD turned up unannounced in the pub just as I was in full "Billy No Mates" flow with my newspaper. On Saturday I was selling t-shirts at a local school only to find Aldo Zilli manning the opposite stall. Doesn't happen every day that. Must say he looks trim so life is treating him very well.

So, a there and back along the North Downs Way. This did mean bumping into the Diary of a Mountain biker crew not once, but twice as they were on a venture East for once. Clearly there-and-back routes were the order of the day. They were a happy bunch, passing with cheery hand waves, especially Mike from Dialled Bikes who was alert enough to note that I was indeed the same rider who passed at the exact same spot earlier on, but in the opposite direction. Either they'd done a big tour du Gatton or had been munching cakes at the Urban Kitchen. Must say they looked very Ninja today, all dark colours. Rather amusingly they too must have been pedalling with lead legs as they were being chased down by a couple of elderly gentlemen on shopper bikes - really, they were. Two plump men in their seventies were hacking along quite contentedly on shopper bikes with slick tyres, miles from anywhere so out on a serious ride. Never underestimate the shopper bike say I. Talking of which, at Redhill station you can now hire Brompton bikes for £2.50 a day. How cool is that? And what a poke in the eye for the slightly shitty Borris Bikes. A Brompton for £2.50 is a bit of a bargain if you don't do it too often. Indeed at those prices isn't it cheaper than catching a bus? No idea as it must be ten years since I was on a bus of any form.

Talking of Gatton, although I wasn't, I must really stop doing my off piste routes when there are people around. Where I ride isn't an issue; there's no illegality to it, but for families seeing a lone rider promptly turn left into some odd woods must be slightly disconcerting. There are trails to follow, but they are not clear unless you know where they are. So these innocent families start to move aside for me, only for me to suddenly disappear where there's no obvious place for me to go. I do feel sorry for them.

Still managing to do the distance on my semi-slick rear Aspen, even on The Impossible Climb over near Pebble Hill. Sure it can spin up, and it pays to pedal in circles, but I'm quite impressed with what this tyre can cope with.

Got home after three or so hours out and, well, nothing untoward had happened to me at all. Well, I'd thought not but my boy child pointed out a little trickle of blood down my right leg. No idea how that happened, no idea whatsoever. Funny that, how you can have what must have been an incident and not notice it. Perhaps my legs weren't so leaden after all? Certainly my bike looked as though it had been properly thrashed, being plastered in mud even though I'd swear blind that it wasn't a muddy day out.

Stop in and suffer the greyness of life, or go out for a spin? Your call but you know what I did today.