Mini – The Ride. The Drive | Competition
The clocks have slipped an hour and soon the early mornings will match the dark evenings that seem to start soon after lunch. With a world of videos just a swipe or click away it’s easy to get lost in the dust of the southern hemisphere as they head towards summer and we sink deeper into winter.
So what on earth would make us want to get out and ride our bikes in the dark, cold and wet of the months of the year? Somehow we wangled our way into razzing a new one of their Countryman motors round the Surrey Hills and riding a bunch of different spots in between.
It was a glorious day with the autumnal sun beaming down on our backs as we cruised through some of the driest singletrack this side of Utah. Or maybe it was pissing it down? Whatever the weather it was a good couple of days out and the video here is the product of us hooning in the woodlands of Surrey.
Cars aside this did make me think how much fun riding in the shite weather is and here’s why.
It’s dark, cold and raining, so ride your bike!
Yep it’s dark but there are some pretty good advantages to going riding after the street lights have come on. For one the trails are nearly dead, a few brave souls (you are now one of them) will be out riding and that means you can go flat out, everywhere. Going flat out might not seem like a great idea but with tons of decent lights out there to suit everyone’s budget you can light your way easily. Even riding the trails you know well will speed up your reactions and heading to fresh dirt will give you even more of a boost when the spring comes.
It is but only until you get going. You might have a shiver getting out of the car and the drizzle may be falling but once you get cracking all that goes out of that steamed up car window. Riding in the cold and dark does mean pushing yourself to get going but once you do and your mates are sat at home twiddling their fingers through mindless forum posts you are gaining on them when it comes to that first wet day of spring when they have forgotten what rain looks like. Riding in the snow is amazing fun if it gets properly cold as well by the way.
If you are living anywhere on this fair isle then knowing how to ride in the rain has to be high on your list of priorities. You don’t learn how to corner like Danny Hart in Champery if you spent your life on dusty hard pack trail centres.
The woods are where it’s at for the most part and if you think the rain just creates ruts and danger roots then you are looking at it all wrong. The rain does carve ruts and seems to blow the bark off roots that will send your front wheel in the wrong direction with no warning but that’s the magic of it all. You will be surprised what a decent set of tyres at the right pressure will hold onto and if you ride loose and let things slide a bit then you will have a ton of fun.
Learn to drift, it’s something that racers do all the time and which ever way you slice it drifting looks cool. Finding the limits of grip will no doubt result in hitting the deck a bit but you didn’t start riding bikes to stay upright all the time and anyway most of the ground is soft if you deck it!
So there you have it, at least a few reasons why you should be out riding when the weather is bad, it’s going to make you faster, fitter and most importantly give you the tools to beat your mates at the weekend.
You might have guessed by now but Mini have a few new motors out and if you want to see how far you can slide one sideways then you can win a car for a weekend and get to drive a Cooper class Mini on a few hot laps at a track. They are also chucking in a race suit and bespoke helmet for you to wear on the day and will put two people up for couple of nights in a hotel, tidy!
All the info is over on Mpora so check it out and enter right here.