On Tuesday, the local club organised its traditional after-Christmas winter tour, which was as usual a resounding success. Many hundreds of happy participants, blue skies and enough mud on the ground to make it a proper mountain bike event combined together very nicely (see here for an account in Dutch). I was helping put out the arrows to mark the route. Setting them out is not so bad, but collecting them afterwards is like a rather intense interval training, with a couple of hundred meters sprint to the next arrow, stop, bend down, pull it out of the ground, start off again leapfrogging past your partner and on to the next one and repeat until our ten kilometre stretch was completed. So I arrived back home quite weary and hungrily ate everything with a high energy content that I could see.

Yesterday it was a different story.


The blue skies were replaced with a dense mysterious mist percolating through the Scots pines and the crowds of mountain bikers were replaced with just my neighbour and myself. And that was about it.  Not counting the bits within a hundred meters of a car park or view point, I think we saw one other mountain biker. And a squirrel. For a change we did not set off from home but first drove to Planken Wambuis and then rode off in the direction of Mossel. There is definitely a wilder feel to the woods there with a more developed understory and some wide open spaces across the moors - not that we could see the open spaces through the fog. But that just enhanced the feeling of remoteness and added to the atmosphere.