Mad March Hares

There is a saying* that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. Judging by the complete absence of any other mountain bikers last Sunday, it is not only scorching summer sun but also large quantities of rain and wind that deters sane people. Especially towards the end of the afternoon, it was really quite impressively high work pedalling into the wind. It was not only the weather, the day before I had been out with the club and my energy reserves were still depleted from that. However, it was that or sitting drinking tea and making polite conversation the friends my wife was visiting, so storms and tiredness did not seem too bad. We were visiting Almelo, which is a town (officially a city) about an hour's drive northeast of Wageningen, in the province of Overijssel.  The route next to Amelo starts from the village of Wierden.  The landscape is quite flat and open, so the makers of the trail really had to do their best to make something of it. I had been forewarned by the reviews on the MTB routes site that there was quite a lot of asphalt, so that was not such a problem, but there was also a lot of narrow singletrack sandy paths snaking alongside fields and some really great pieces of small woodland with nice windy tracks made through them. The woodland was nearly all broad leaf, so the picture below is completely atypical, but that was the only moment when it stopped raining long enough to take a photo without destroying my phone. The singletrack was not really difficult or technical, but did require me to concentrate on my steering. What was difficult was the sand.  Probably in more normal weather conditions it would have been all right, but with with everything so incredibly wet, it was really hard going cycling through wet sand for a very high proportion of the route. And yes, I did see a March hare as it dashed across a field in front of me, and it did look at me like it thought I was mad.

MTB route Wierden

 

*From a song by Oscar Wilde