It’s time to get sporty again with the adrenaline-fuelled mountain bikers as they cycled their equivalent of a double black ski slope at the weekend as part of the Aston Hills black run competition. Just like ski runs, mountain bike trails are graded according to difficulty from broad flat paths to cross-country single tracks and extreme forest roads. While most normal people try to avoid obstacles of roots and rocks when they’re taking a stroll through the woods, these mountain bike enthusiasts seek them out. The sport requires endurance, good balance and core strength and is performed anywhere from a gravel road in the Lake District to a sand dune in the Arizona desert. It seems the larger and more unavoidable the features, the greater the challenge!
It is for this reason that I decided to stay at home and leave John to the high speed outdoor action. No lethally positioned jutting out branches or sudden vertical drops for me! Last time I accompanied John to a mountain bike shoot, I came home with dust between my toes and spikes of sticky pine leaves all over my belly. Don’t get me wrong, I love the woods and the wonderful trees that provide homes for wildlife and give us clean air and water, but last time I had a tick scare and thought I caught Dutch Elm disease! After much persuasion from John, I finally accepted that only elm trees can be stricken with this horrible sickness but I have since developed a phobia of fungus which I swear is a result of my experience. Every now and then I get a flashback it sends shivers down my spine, so my lovely John helps by giving me a vigorous brush down, one of my favourite non-food treats. Good times!