Friday 13 August 2004

Grin factor nine

It's the middle of the sailing season, and I've got a lot of work on,
and I've also been doing stuff to the house. And the consequence of all
that is I haven't had much time to take a bike up a hill for a while. When I've got on a bike it's been to nip into town or to nip round to see someone, so it's been my road bike.

This evening, after work, I took the Cannondale out and just blasted up Bengairn to the 200metre contour and back down to sea level. And it reminded me why I love that bike so much. 200 metres of climb in under 3 kilometres of track, and it just blasts up - the only time I put a foot down was on a short crest where the track was rising so steeply I couldn't keep the front wheel on the ground. Then, at Forest Hill, turn round, spend five minutes drinking in the glowing post sunset view out over the sea towards the cardboard cutout mountains of England and the Isle of Man. And then blast down the track again, feeling the bike do its magic carpet thing over stones as big as my skull, riding as steady and as comfortable as a road bike on smooth tarmac. Hurling down through the hairpins to the gate, and when the brakes are needed - no fuss, no anxiety, no worry, no noise, just smooth sure-footed stopping.

Through the gate and blast down through the wood, in and out of shadow too quick for eyes to adjust, the track at times no more than a dim grey snake through the trees. And not slowing down because there didn't feel to be any need to slow down - knowing for certain the bike could cope with far more than this track could throw at it.

Total blast. Total fun. Total grin.

I mean, road bikes are fun too... but nothing beats that. I love that bike.

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The fool on the hill by Simon Brooke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License