The ‘permarain’ of the past few weeks eased for a bit on Sunday to leave some much needed spells of sunshine between blustery showers. Rather than just go riding as usual for a few hours on the fixed wheel trainer a friend and I decided to make an all day intimate exploration of the tiny backroads and dirt trails of mid-Cornwall. It was very much a day characterised by steep hills and lush valleys, ancient stone bridges, gnarled old growth forest and mud. Really a lot of mud. It was super. Only 100km but with the short winter days and time for messing around it was about right. I put my Surly Cross Check back in touring trim (it’s been wearing knobby tyres for the last 12 months) and off we went. It’s really a lovely bike for this sort of ‘just riding’. Not particularly quick but comfy and deeply satisfying. I stuffed a 6 year old Panasonic LX3 compact in my pocket – it’s dented from being dropped and doesn’t really work very well any more and so is ideal for days when you want some sort of camera “just in case” and where it’s likely to get wet or dropped (again).. here are a few snaps.