With all the noise on social media, it is perhaps a good idea to explain the name of our rides: It is Dark as in Night and Dirty as in Mud and/or Dust.
For some time now I have been having problems with my light. At first it only switched off from time to time; normally on a nice, technical downhill. So I replaced all the cables and the battery connector, but no matter how well I tested it; as soon as the ride started it would just switch off. Last week the penny dropped: As soon as I strap the battery to the frame the problem starts. And there is a simple solution: Simply put the battery in my pocket; the cable is long enough. It worked, but lead to my downfall – literally….
Last Thursday 18 riders assembled in the rain, but after a few minutes it stopped and we could get underway. For some reason all the ladies had excuses having nothing to do with rain. In the direction which we wanted to ride, the weather looked very threatening and we decided to go in the opposite direction towards Ezekiel’s drop-off which we gave a skip after riding the bumps leading to it. Going down to the railway line on a road less traveled, a number of riders almost became unstuck on a sudden ditch in the road.
We took another track less traveled to the VO2max wall where we did the speed zone followed by a lengthy wait to get a flat fixed. While standing still, I decided to get off the bike for a while and that is when I got tangled in the cable between the battery in my pocket and the light on my handlebar resulting in a somewhat inelegant sitting down on the ground. That was not too serious, but as it happened, Jacques had his camera ready and snapped the event and with the proof on WhatsApp and FaceBook, I could not get out of writing this report.
We were hardly moving again, when the rain started and got heavier as we went. The decision was taken to return to the Moo mall although we hardly had ten km on the clock. After about ten minutes the rain stopped again and we decided to go to Xtacy Park (Aka Puncture Park) to play a bit. After some rounds of drop-offs, we discovered that Johan, our sweeper and another rider were missing. We tried to call, but there was no answer as Johan had left his cell-phone in the car because of the rain. All we could do was to back-track the way we had come, but there was no sight of the missing riders so we headed back to the Moo mall. They were also not there, but after a few minutes they arrived, rightly somewhat upset that we did not wait before entering Xtacy Park. They did not see us and went past.
At this stage we had only done about nineteen kilos and everyone agreed that we should do another loop as the rain had stopped. We added an enjoyable ride down the Mieliemuur, speed zone to the second road to the left, up to St Georges, down the old road, up Heartbreak Hill, down Smuts House, Tour d’ Tar, Nellmapius and then another single track less traveled. As we waited for yet another flat to be fixed, it started drizzling again so we put foot in the corner to get to the Moo mall where the rain really started coming down in earnest.
All in all we enjoyed another eventful and fun-filled wet, dark and dirty ride!