Christmas came early in my household this year.  As we are headed back to England for the holidays my wife and I decided that we'd have our Christmas day early and give each other our gifts before we headed back.  Rather than waiting for our return in January when Christmas is all but done.

This was perfectly fine by me as I knew there was some new bike stuff headed my way and I'm sure we all still get a little excited by receiving presents no matter how old we are.

I must say that Santa listened well and I must have been pretty well behaved throughout the year as I've been extremely lucky.  Among the gifts, I received the following bike related items:
  • Crank brothers bars 720mm
  • Crank brothers seat post
  • Fox jersey
  • Mavic pulse MTB shoes
  • New bladder for my Hydropack

I look forward to putting everything through their paces in the new year and of course will report back here with reviews. 
Another cold morning, with the recent snow here in Northern Virginia still lingering having turned mainly to ice.  Today I again had limited time as my wife and I prepared to fly to England for the holiday season but I still wanted to take the time to squeeze in a quick ride.

I loaded the car as usual and headed off to the car park at Reston ice rink to begin my ride and enter the trail network around the park.  Until now I'd only ever ridden a small section of the park as part of my route when completing the circuit known locally as the Difficult Run.  So what better than a cold and icy morning to explore more of the park's single track.

As I was just about to set off, a dog walker remarked "your going to have fun it's extremely icy on those trails".  OK so I'll need to ride with caution I told myself.  This caution lasted all of a couple of minutes and before long over confidence led to a front wheel slide and me falling off in spectacular fashion.  Thankfully there was no major damage, a bruised knee and slight tear in the new Nike bottoms I'd picked up (I'm hoping the wife will take pity and sew it up for me).  A quick dust down and I was back on my way.
I was pleased to see that before long I passed another hardy rider having a go in the difficult conditions and actually came across 3 others doing the same throughout the ride.  "Much better than lazing in bed" one exclaimed as he passed in the opposite direction.

I'm pleased the snow and ice made me change plans and take the opportunity to explore Lake Fairfax further as there's some nice sections which i'm going to enjoy riding again in normal conditions.  Today's loop was a rather slow and steady 5 miles in approximately 50 minutes, I'm confident I'll be able to mix that up and turn it into several laps to extend the ride and make a nice change to the Difficult run from time to time.

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As I write this I'm well into my flight to England so that may well be my last ride of the year although who knows if I might be able to borrow a bike for a while and maybe get in some riding in the English mud.