Glorious Mud | Eclectic Cake: Glorious Mud

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Glorious Mud

I never expected to win a triathlon but when I was consistently racking my bike dead last, it was obvious cycling and I didn’t get on. After leaving far too many races feeling sorry for myself, I quit multi-sport and sold my race bike. Besides my 1.2 mile cycle commute to the train station, I vowed to only travel by foot or motorised wheels.


And then a friend suggested we go on a mountain bike ride in the Brecon Beacons. She had the home advantage, she’d been learning to bomb up and down the hilly tracks on her new bike since she moved there a few months ago. I didn’t want to turn down the offer of adventure but I felt a little out of my depth. The last time we’d cycled together, I’d had a grump because I couldn’t keep up and scratched my legs to pieces by slipping off the pedals in the rain.


With a brave face and some encouragement, I loaded my squeaky mountain bike onto the truck and we headed for the hills. At least the Welsh scenery would be nice enough to distract me – the hills rolled on for miles. But that was the thing, I struggled enough on the flat, let alone forcing a bike up any incline. This time was different, though, thanks to the surprising addition of thick, sticky, glorious mud.


I don’t mind getting dirty, it’s why I love trail running so much. So to have mud splashing up my legs and back and even on my face somehow made the uphill charge a little more enjoyable. My heart felt like it was trying to bust out of my chest but all I could think of was bombing down the other side to splash through more puddles. I was actually having fun!


There was no pressure of a race, no embarrassment from being last, just a ridiculous grin from the simplest of pleasures. Being playful, getting grubby and sharing the experience with friends seems to be the key to my cycling happiness. So now I vow to only travel by foot or motorised wheels…or mud.

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