A friend was having a party for the Chinese New Year out at her house in St. Pierre de Mesage, which is about 15km by road from Grenoble. I decided I would leave my back with my party gear with someone going in the car and take my bike…. Probably a bad idea in terms of arriving to a party, but was probably worth it, I still cant decide.
What I expected to be about 15-20km ended up being nearer 30km and well into the darkness, luckily I was well prepared with my map (not! Photos of my computer screen taken on my phone) and knew where I was going (not, I had no idea and the darkness didn’t help). Anyway, I didn’t get lost but I did get ridiculously muddy! I thought about half way there it would be a better idea to ride on the road the rest of the way, however it had gotten to the point where it was too dark and I didn’t have a rear light so I was too scared to ride on the fast A road and decided to stick to the offroad.
MAN it got muddy, so muddy that my rear wheel got so clogged up that it hardly turned! At the moment you really notice the difference between the North side of a hill and the South side, with the North being far wetter from receiving practically no sun. I ended up walking/slipping/sliding my way to the top of the track and had a moment of ‘what the heck am I doing’ standing on top of a hill, not really much clue where I was, cooovered in mud and going to a party?!
At least the descent was good! Just a gradual buy fast descent which was ideal for night riding with a few technical sections thrown in to keep you on your toes. Something rather odd happened on the way down however… I saw something running away far ahead of me in the distance about half way down, I thought it was a rabbit, but it was black and a bit bigger than a rabbit, a hare? nope never seen a black hare, a wild cat? nope was also too big for that… This thing decided to run in front of me for a good half a mile I would say (it was pretty fast) something like this video of a rabbit on a road in Scotland, which if you have not seen is hilarious! When I finally caught up, it was a dog, something along the lines of a Scotty dog but who knows what it was doing up there, there was no houses for miles!
A few miles later through Vizille and a little cycle up the road I arrived pretty sodden wet and muddy and of course the car which had my things had not arrived yet. So I was left to stand and wait in the kitchen covered in mud in front of a bunch of people I did not know and there was no hot water left for a shower!
Party was good mind.