I've got the mountain biking bug again. So while sensible people were indoors next to the fire, I set off this afternoon on my ancient mountain bike for my new haunt, Hodgemoor Wood near Chalfont St Giles. I wanted to explore the woods while the snow still lay very crisp and not so even. Last weekend's snow was lingering, with a fresh coating on Thursday night.
Botterills Lane was easy going (a contrast to last Sunday's treacherous ice) but the wood was again a fun challenge. I missed my way at first but my sense of direction helped me gain the bridleway (The Mount) that runs westwards.
I had stuffed my Canon SLR in my Camelbak Mule so I could take some proper photos. I was lucky: the sun bathed parts of the wood even after 4pm on this bitterly cold February afternoon. In the deep of the wood, I propped the bike against the route sign and started capturing the scene. As last weekend, I barely saw a soul - although a friendly dog took a mild interest as I took a few photos.
This was almost certainly my last outing on the Diamondback Ascent bike I bought at Roylan Cycles in Cheltenham in April 1994. The gearshift has failed and I could only use the bottom 4 (out of 21) gears. It made me even slower than normal! I can't wait to get its replacement later this month.
PS: last night was bitterly, bitterly cold. The photo below shows the temperature reading on my Mini as I drove Owen to his football class at 8.45 this morning. (I thought last Saturday's minus 6.5C was cold enough!)