The New Year’s Day ride has a special status for Idonotdespair. It is the anniversary of my first blog post here in 2012 and has generally provided me with excellent days out and a great start to the year.
This year was two hours excellent mountain biking around the tracks and trails of Wallonia, enjoying the benefits of the unseasonably warm weather.
I also needed a little redemption because last year’s New Year mountain bike ride was a disaster. I had to call out the rescue squad because of an irreparable bike failure, but it seems I got most of the year’s bad luck out of the way in that one day and this year there was no repeat.
The special joy of this ride was its tranquility, in two hours I think I saw one moving car and that was only when I crossed a minor road. This was not just luck, I picked a route that wove around farm tracks, cobbled lanes, steep sided valleys and golden floored beech woods because I had a new ride companion.
Ozzie the Australian Shepherd Dog is staying over for Christmas and he is a bit of a shock to the system. Our old collie used to be a great riding dog but now he is old and arthritic he hasn’t run with the bikes for a couple of years.
Ozzie is young, plus he is taller and faster than Murphy ever was which means he spent most of our two hours looking back at me wondering why I wasn’t keeping up. (In that way he is like most of the other people I ride with.) Perhaps I will tire him out next time.
Finding a completely car free route that lasted two hours means I even got to add some new paths which is always a bonus, some of the woodland tracks were stunningly beautiful.
A great way to start 2016. Happy New Year.