With round 13 of the London League CX cancelled, we woke up to a snowy day. Excitement, heightened. We’d been praying for CX in the snow for so long, and it was here, and we were riding in it!
The boys were planning on braving the roads, so we decided on a pre-ride meet at my flat for coffee, and homemade oat bars before setting off on our separate bike adventures. Rory the cat was hella confused with the invasion of the lycra clad. Feeling just a tiny bit reluctant to leave the cosiness, there was a fair bit of hallway bike tinkering.
Eventually we were out, and hell it was crisp. I swear we must be the friendliest bunch on the road, shouting “morning” to everyone we passed. We flew down the canal, startling runners and walkers with our over excited greetings.
A short bit of road and then bam, in the forest, trying to meander our way up a steep, snowy hill. Then mud, so much mud, some of it slippy some of it crunchy. And many a local log (in jokes). All I could hear was laughter and giggles, trying to make our way through whatever the elements threw at us. FUN, so much fun!
Then we hit the “junction of dreams”. A junction with trails leading 6 different ways. And what was that? Two fat beagles. Adeline loses it. I think Clare eats a whole Soreen. Soph has spotted two more fat Beagles, coming from the other direction. It was too much for Petra and smash, man down.
Following our route was getting a bit difficult so we took the sensible decision to get lost for a bit. Yessss, good move. We found some awesome trails that had barely been ridden, the ground was indecipherable which made it all the more fun. Is that solid ground? No it’s inches of sinky mud.
A short stop at the tea hut. An icon of Epping, 95p for a proper builders brew and then we were heading back. Everyone on a high. Adeline with a broken front brake. We went down a hill, damn my brakes aren’t working. Uh oh, road barricade, I jammed my foot on the ground, not stopping fast enough, steered into the hedge, relief. Disaster avoided. With mechanicals we made our way slowly back.
If that wasn’t enough of an awesome day we then went to meet the boys at Crate brewery for some top notch pizza and seriously good beer. Stories were exchange, excited talk about the 2016 race season and then we all reluctantly went our separate ways.
Had to be one of my favourite days on the bike, thanks to new teammates and friends, beautiful Epping and the rare surprise of snow. What bike riding should be, pure fun. What a start to the year, can it get any better than this?
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