Monday, 10 November 2008

Northumberfest 7 (or is it 8 ?)

A few more hours spent riding to and from work in the bright cold finished October a treat....

but then the grey returned with a vengence....

After last weeks cold and the returning greyness so came the stress, I'm becoming more and more convinced that the weather is a good indication of whats in store for me during the day, grey equals stress, wet equals mither, sunshine equals the odd happy day, wind means lots of phone calls !!

last week was mostly grey and wet

So a difficult working week and that totally unispiring weather meant that the first weekend of November was sacrificed to photography, and the working week rides were just commutes, a couple of longish rides in to get some exercise but really just going through the motions....

Then came this last weekend, an early start down the A1 and I was stood outside the car on a country road in Northumbria revelling in the last few rays of sunlight on my face and then before I knew it I was eating fish and chips, drinking excellent beer and catching up with some friends I hadn't seen since this time last year. I think that it must be about No 7 in the Northumberfest history, some of the same faces, some new ones, but all linked together by a love of bikes and mountains.

Since the first ever Northumberfest at Andy and T's house back in 2002 things have quietened down a lot, the banter is still there, the drinking is probably the same but the party has calmed down a little since those heady days and the riding has certainly slowed a lot (well for some of us anyway).

This time we once again followed the by now familiar trails around Rothbury, climbing and descending through some of the loveliest countryside around, guided as ever by TIm and hosted by Tim and B at their lovely home, the Saturday was fine but the trails were very soggy, a couple of hours was enough for me, we finished on a high with some excellent singletrack through the trees and home for a shower and more beer.

By the late afternoon some of the more refined gentlemen decided to take a walk around the town (it was either that or a nap) and to say we looked odd is an understatement, all armed with cameras of varying sorts, all snapping away at the recently flooded river !

and we even bumped into a father and son who were also out snapping...

Saturday night was even more subdued, Tim made a fantastic chilli, more beer and red wine was consumed and a relatively early night was had by all ( however, it was still 1.30am, this is Northumberfest after all).

Sunday dawned early and everyone was eating breakfast by 9, some hardy souls were out riding soon after, some others went a little later but I was happy to play the card and head home early, as I may have already said at some point riding in the rain does nothing for me anymore.

But it really didn't matter anymore, during the many conversations over the weekend I came to the realisation that I am no longer a rufty tufty mountainbiker anymore, in fact I don't even qualify as a weekend worrier these days but to be frank I don't care, it will come back I'm sure but for now I'm happy that I'm fit enough to do the odd ride (at my own pace) and the new year will see me riding more than ever.

This morning was a late start and a late finish so I'm sat here with 40 minutes of riding on the cross bike spread over two commutes, happy to reflect on another great weekend :-)