Keep and eye on me in case I start to foam at the mouth.

8am start, and a ride 8 miles north to meet Simon, Martin and Dave. I was running a bit late so I was redlining on my way along the canal and up past the sailing club. This is no way to warm up!

Once I’d arrived (and stopped hyperventilating), we were up Holcombe Hill to meet the other Simon and the other Dave. We couldn’t see the hill as we approached as it was completely shrouded in fog. A short wait for Simon and Dave at the top then we were off on the cheeky paths down the hill…

A big loop on the moors via Darwen and Tockholes, then back towards Ramsbottom.

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Plenty of mud, general talking bollocks and plenty of freezing fog at first, then lovely sunshine later.

Only one puncture following a fast rocky downhill and a sudden inability to avoid a large square-sided rock.

It’s a big ride that. I’d clocked 45 or so off road miles. I felt good though so presumably the pesky cold that’s dogged me for the last couple of weeks has gone.

The fun started a mile from the house though. On the way back I was attacked by a dog, bitten firmly on the leg and spent the rest of the afternoon being bandaged and jabbed with a needle (oh, and sat waiting to be looked at).

Here’s the leg complete with punctures and mud:

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Go see Simon’s somewhat surreal “account” of the ride and more pics over on Industrial Fell Biking.

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