More playing in the Mud

I replaced a failed rear wheel bearing and fitted a new number plate and the bike then passed its MOT this week. Continuing the ongoing theme for weekends, I met up with seven others this morning and went off in search of paths through greenery. It was raining heavily when I left the house and most of the morning was in the rain/sleet/snow along with very strong winds. My glasses/visor steaming up was by far the biggest problem and you could barely see where you were going – note to self – treat with washing up liquid before next time!

The direction for the day was Durham and the Tees valley. We covered terrain that was a mix of rocks and mud in a form I’ve not seen before and was an interesting challenge. We also tried some comparatively unused trails which involved riding across heather moors with no path on a couple of occasions. I continue to be amazed at the  surfaces and obstacles the bikes will take on. I found the bike will cross 1ft deep car wheel ruts without noticing, its possible I partially jumped them, I’m not entirely sure but I made it across them when they appeared unexpectedly anyway! 🙂

I’d not been through Hamsterly forest before and kind of enjoyed the rocky exposed erosion there although the damage done by 4x4s was evident. Just before lunch I had my only fall of the day where at speed I tried to cross over what looked like a change in grass but turned out to be a narrow deep well established rut which threw the bike over. According to the witness following, I went over the bars and barrel rolled several times. My left shoulder took the main impact but it feels just bruised, thankfully.

After the off, I just left the bike on its side until feeling came back into my arm as I’ve previously learnt the hard way not to use muscles until you’ve worked out what damage you’ve done. The bike had taken an impact to the headlight, smashing the warning lights support bracket and the speedo support bracket but my design worked as the units themselves are fine, the brackets sacrificed (as per the design) and there was no other damage to the bike.

The lunch stop was shortly after this and quite welcome to let my shoulder recover a bit and to warm up (drying out wasn’t a realistic possibility).

The trip back was a lot of the route down reversed with some added twists and was comparatively uneventful. The rain had stopped and the visor wasn’t misting up making things much more pleasant and my gloves even partially dried out.

I don’t feel too tired so my fitness must be improving. I also managed a few saves today, staying on the bike for a change which was good. The ford and stream crossings today didn’t seem too bad either. I just hope my shoulder/arm isn’t too bad tomorrow as I have a DIY project to start.