Hot, hot hot! Time for a night ride.

My night rides aren't exclusively for winter. Indeed they're a bit random. Sometimes I've shows to do over the weekend, sometimes my family find themselves doing something on an evening where I'm not needed. Last night both children and my wife were squared away, so I had a few hours to spare.

Actually I lie. My kids were self occupied and I was in the dog house. I'd taken a dislike to the kitchen so had ripped a quarter of it out. There was no permission to do so from wife.

Stop in with somebody who hates me, or go watch the sunset over Colley hill?

No brainer really, especially as my lights are charged and still attached to bike and helmet.

Just after 8pm, I'm out.

It was great. 30 degree C heat, dry as anything. The trails are baked solid - even the likely, always wet culprits are bone dry.

I practiced my drops and jumps, getting some serious air time.

Ah. Things are all relative here I may add. My jumps involve slopes perhaps of less than 10 degrees inclination [water cold pool on them] and my drops could be measured possibly quite accurately by CERN but not human eye. In each instance they were not pretty things, involving a lot of huffing on my part, and heavy rear wheel landings by the bike.

On one bigger drop I intended on rolling in slowly, using the back brake. Now this was a proper drop of around 75cm to flat. I rode up, went to use the back brake to control my speed only to find that it wasn't actually working, possibly never has. My speed didn't decrease, it increased. What was a rolling drop ended up being somewhere between a roll and a jump. This was unplanned and the result was a severely cricked neck.

This was the first thing I did, but heck! it wasn't going to stop me. Off I went popping off other stuff.

It kept me happy until past dark, even though by then to all and sundry I looked like a sweaty nutter. Indeed I looked a nutter as I set off, let alone later. I'd made pulled pork, and that's and explosive thing, popping red sauce all over the shop. My t-shirt looked like I'd just killed a bull by hand.

Happy I set off home. Now there are a few routes back from Colley, one tame, three a bit mad. You don't do mad at night, not on your own. You do tame.

Which is why I found myself barreling along one of the madder routes back. This in itself has four options as it splits half way. None are hugely challenging I'll admit, but trails are different at night. What is easy during the day takes on a different personality at night.

There's one boring day route for example. Double wide, down a slight incline, usually muddy. Normally always avoid it. However it does have a ninety degree bend mid fall. Brain suggested that this being a dry season, and the double wide now singletrack thanks to plant growth, that it may be more interesting.

It had to be taken at speed Joe Breeze, Clunker style. Went for it at speed, foot poised to catch the slide.

Except I'm a bit shite at all that. The trail was so baked solid that my tyres just gripped and gripped. Ended up that there was no need to be foot down, just low down. Went around at some speed conscious of the trees ahead, but it was great. No fear of somebody coming up hill, just go for it.

Again this is all relative. I was probably so slow I'm now a feature on Google Earth, multiple satellite images and all. Again being relative I was happy as.

Glad I went out.

Wife wasn't too happy when I got home, yet there's a thing about having a great time yourself. I breezed past her, cracked open a bottle of white and sat there glowing with happiness. She was still moody but it didn't hold. No point, not with a night time cyclist who's had a blast is there?