It was threatening snow last night.
The thermometer said 5C when we pulled into the woodland car park, deep in the Chilterns. Roger, Smilie, Horse and I kitted up and hiked for a about twenty minutes to the top of the hill. Although it was only about 6.30pm it felt closer to midnight and the temperature was dropping rapidly.
We strapped the bindings on, turned on the head torches and one by one disappeared into the darkness. Am I stupid? Am I daft? What an earth am I doing on a freezing cold night in February at the highest point of the Chilterns, throwing myself down a slick tarmac track?
Who cares, the buzz was incredible. It wasn’t about what you could see, rather what you could hear. The tiny pod of light from the head lamp and the occasional distant glow of civilization gave my senses a new and unique feeling. Admittedly I’d night ridden before but that was on a rough private road hanging off the back of a car after a few beverages and without any form of protection.
This to me was mountain boarding virgin territory. Listening to the rubber on the tarmac and feeling my eyes water up quickly meant that it wasn’t a slow decent. Several tarmac rides gave confidence to take on the aptly titled “Rippers Gash”.
Rippers Gash is a good challenging run in the day of light but at night with snow on its way, it was a whole new experience.
An experience that makes for a regular meet, so it looks like Tuesday nights’ all right for riding!