Where's my mojo gone? It's solo, on Headley Heath; that's where!

Hidden mojo.

Been a bit bored of mountain biking of late. Something to do with the house needing constant work, so a ride seems like I'm running away. Always a bit of guilt. Plus my bikes have needed work, which hacks me off. Three bikes, all of which need new transmission.

Each ride starts the same these days. Moving my bike through acres of discarded tools and paint tins. Tools lie there, making me feel bad. Walls; do they plaster themselves? When will the painting get done? Patio a mess, what with all that winter wood lying around.

Then there's the ride itself, or rather the technicality of it. Can't do jumps, forget to drop my heels, inside pedal loadings. It's all bad.

Run away little cycle boy, run away.

Ride away from it. Go and hide.

Except it's still there when I get back, a whole house worth of work.

Today no different. Boiler gone awol leaking like mad, kitchen needs ripping out and replacing. Two bedrooms to decorate, two downstairs rooms. And then the jungle that we sometimes call a garden. Cat likes it that way though, lots of birds to kill and bring home in bits.

Do work on the house, or go for a ride?

All work and no play....

Cross country rules the day.

Tassajara still needs the brakes bedding in, take that, go cross-country. During the week I'd fitted new jockey wheels. All spiffing and new, old ones looked like Ninja toys. Naturally the first few miles were a faff. Why is it that changing one minor component causes the gears to jump around? Not constantly, just now and then. Adjusted the cable a few times, ended up being back where I started. By then whatever malady those little wheels had, had self cured.

Whilst I'm here, and this may be moot. Why did Shimano stop putting 'top' and 'bottom' onto the wheels? Easy that. Tension and guide mean nothing to me. Could they not just put both labels on??

Normal Box Hill and back? Nah, don't fancy that. Shake the tree. Do those routes that were always a bit crappy back in the day. The ones that you stopped doing because they were scary with cantilever brakes. Some of these trails I've not ridden more than twice in a decade.

That's really going to gee me up isn't it? Go for a crappy ride to crappy trails on a bike that's not quite working.

You know what? Those trails were where my mojo was hiding and I had a brilliant time.

Dismissive trails.

Solo, cross-country specific bike, riding trails that were dismissed years ago? Wouldn't do it every week. Those trails were dismissed for good reason - they kind of go nowhere. One goes down a 45 degree slope, terminating in an uphill 45 degree slope. That your kind of thing? Roads that terminate in blind fields, hoick your bike over fences, walkers tutting. Enjoy that do you?

Today it was mine.

Naughty trail pixies.

And who are those little trail pixies out building berms and drops? Hats off to them, but heck I can't ride that stuff. 75cm, downhill drop on a 45 degree slope, right into a switchbacked berm? Whoever you are, let me kiss the ground you walk on.

Can't do drops.

Forgot that I couldn't. Newish trails meant that drops came up unannounced. Did them unnoticed. Small ones, true, but they were just ridden and jumped.

Managed to remember to load the outside pedal.

Heels may, or may not, have been dropped. Quite frankly I don't care.

Anybody out?

Didn't really see any other riders. I was chased down by one guy, but he gave up the chase when I spotted the game. That was a pity. Few walkers, no horses.


Got home, 24 miles up, all happy. House still trashed, cold shower waits. Somehow it's all manageable. My ten year old daughter is cooking a sponge cake, all on her own. Leftover lasagna for tea, beer in the fridge.

Life's good isn't it?