The perfect ride – mountain biking at its best

What was supposed to be my gentle return to mountain biking, turned out to be one of my best ever rides, both in terms of the actual experience and the pictures that came with it. As much as I like my current job, getting off the train in such perfect weather yesterday proved to be difficult. In my days as freelancer I would have taken the day off to do some cycling, but I simply couldn’t, so all hopes were on the late afternoon.

In short, it was simply magic. After a short climb through the forest I hit open country climbing towards Dumyat in the Ochill Hills, with Stirling and Bridge of Allan in the valley and beautiful spring sun in my back. I was a bit afraid how I would cope with being off technical climbing bits for a long time, but it felt like I had never done anything else. Things simply worked, I picked the right lines and after some occasionally pushing (some stuff was just way out off scope) I arrived at the summit of Dumyat. Two other guys had pushed their bikes to the top, and seeing them disappearing down the hill was an even better inspiration.

But it was time for the wee camera to come out first, as not just the trails, but also the light was simply amazing. I had passed two people on mountain bikes on the way up we shouted ‘don’t bother’ and simply wondered what they’d been up to. This, where I was, was paradise, there haven’t been many more experiences for me that came close to the magic of that evening. Out of many good shots the ones riding with the low sun in the back were taking my breath away while looking at them on the camera, and I was set for a nice shot down the hill, gliding into the setting sun. I picked a super technical line at the start, guess my enthusiasm won over some initial fears, and managed to ride through it smoothly. It was just all meant to work this evening, and the rest was one big fast technical ride. Mountain biking truly had me back, and I remembered the very moment when we were sitting in our living room in Wellington watching ROAM, only to walk to the best bike shop in town to get kitted up with a Stumpjumper to ride those trails on our doorstep. The stuff I rode up and down yesterday has given me that magic back big time, so there should be plenty more stories popping up here soon.

See all pictures here