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WMB’s Steve Williams extols the virtues of riding in the rain

| Blog, What Mountain Bike | 01/05/2012 10:53am

I love the rain…Here it comes again.

So after the driest March in 59 years came the wettest April in 100 years. What will May bring? Snow? Volcanoes? A hail of frogs? Perhaps all these things. But for now it’s still wet. After the dry, dusty tease of spring, it’s even harder to take – right? I thought so. Until last night, as I listened to the warm white noise of rain in an otherwise silent forest, and fell in love with it again.

Having grown up on the coast I find the sound of breaking waves incredibly relaxing, as do many people. But rain billowing into the flat, pattering greenery of a forest is a very close second, an almost secret second, and nothing is better than a mountain bike for giving you such experiences. They take you further than your feet alone can; they provide warmth through your pedalling; they slither across every incline, camber and obstacle, boosting what’s easy/flat in the dry to a tricky, shimmying test of balance. Mountain bikes – and the frankly amazing clothes and kit that keep us warm in the worst of it – make it fun to be out in a downpour, threading through a tangle of sodden deadwood, tree trunks running like slow waterfalls, and glistening fresh leaves.

So it might be grim out on exposed hills and ridges right now, but it’s warm and ugly-pretty in the woods, with the best soundtrack you could wish for. Get out the map, head into your local woods and see what you can find.

Last night I had mud in my teeth because I couldn’t stop smiling.

Steve

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