Went for a ride yesterday. Just a short 20 miler but as the frost was disappearing- and the temp was rising from Brass monkey time- I left it till later. But at 9.30- way past the time when I would normally leave- two of my mates came round to see if I wanted to ride. They are a couple of mates from my MTB days and although I do occasionally go out with them- it has to be offroad. A road ride with me on a road bike and them on MTB's does not make for a good ride.
Well I made my excuses but if they reversed their ride- I would meet them at the Cafe on the seafront. 30 minutes later and I was ready to ride and there I was on the road- I Pod playing my music and eyes peeled for the Ice patches on the edge of the road. Got to the cafe and I waited for them. And I waited for them and waited. Must have missed them as I had done an extra loop on the way down.
Got back home and found out why I missed them. Offroad was sticky. The frost in the ground on the hills was just going and it had left a 1" layer of sticky clay just sitting on top of the trails. This was the kind of mud that my MTB is set up for. Thin mud specific tyres that do shed the stuff and my frame just does not collect mud. Not the case with these two. They tried to keep going in it- well it is not the done thing to walk up Long Man at any time. It may be long and it may be steep but there is too much loss of pride to let it defeat you. They got nearly to the top of the long climb and "PING" One of the bikes had collected so much mud and it had collected round the rear derailler. One little bit of extra effort and one bent derailler and a couple of spokes gone.
I have done this hill before in this sort of condition and it makes it extra tough. And funnily enough- I had the same Derailler problem on the same hill a few years ago- caused by the same sort of mud.
I don't know if it was premomition or what but I had an idea that these two were going to call on me for a ride today. I had carefully thought out my reasons for not going with them but have to admit that on Saturday- I had prepared the MTB for a ride- if the weather was not going to be suitable for a road ride----again. All I know is that with Hind sight I had the right idea early enough in the morning to say NO.