All of a sudden, and behind my back, it's gone muddy out there.

Bugger all to do this afternoon and I was getting under my wife's feet. Kids were doing homework. I'd planned to go out later on during the X-factor, but got thrown out of the house a tad earlier - more like dusk than night. Huh.

Anyway, off I went out on the Tassajara seeing as it was the first bike I came to. It rides nice without the Wilkdcat handlebar bag - note to self, those bags rip the paint off your forks. Immaculate Fox RL90's two weeks' ago, now my fork crowns look like knackered old things. Unimpressed - need to tape them up next time. Up the hill, past the golf course, yadda, yadda, yadda, you know the score. Same old same old, Boringsville.

Except it wasn't. It's gone all muddy on me. Deep, sticky mud with standing water puddles in it. Maxxis Aspen rear tyre anyone? Surprisingly it gripped and I got through the gloop. Surprisingly? Well there's little tread on an Aspen and some of the mud sections were 30m long, 15cm deep, watery and just nasty. Bike got through fine, and it all added up into a nice little 2 hour spin out. And for a change I did some old trails that I've perhaps not ridden for a decade; permissive bridleways over on Banstead Heath. They were acceptable plods out. Incidentally I spent an hour cleaning the bike up this morning, an hour to be repeated when I got back home. Ho hum.

It does seem, like the chap I met out the other week, that my mountain biking these days is tending towards riding at dusk and on into the early evening. He voiced it well - that the trails are quieter then; fewer horses, fewer people. Sure you have to be self reliant and you can't go mad, but for me that's not a bad trade. The only negative being trying to clean my bike afterwards in the dark, especially seeing as how my house is surrounded by scaffolding..

Didn't need my lights in the end, which was lucky as the C and B Seen unit on the handlebars took to spinning around. If I'd had to use it, it would have been shining in my face. Now this is a happy enough little light, and good enough for me. So why when I got home did I order a new Gemini 1800 lumen unit? Dunno, just did. Rationale for me being the odd beam pattern these Chinese lights have - bright central spot, then a dark zone with slightly brighter halo. I never look at the spot as it is too bright, but that is where all the light is, so a little pointless. My Gemini 850 Xera has a nice even beam spread, and I'm guessing the bigger brother may well have the same. In any case I'd found the newer light on-line for £90* as a head unit only, saving around £90 on the whole system price - I've a charger and several batteries already, so just don't need a newer one.

*Aha the new reason emerges! It was relatively cheap. £90 for 1800 real lumens? That's not a bad upgrade cost is it. I can sell the C and B seen head unit, plus I've a Nuke Proof reactor doing nothing, so that can go into the pot as well.