Dust & Summer: Reality Check

 By Chris Jones


At the start of Dust and Summer, Mark is stirred from his slumber by his iPhone alarm (other smart phones are available). No doubt he was dreaming of riding as he’s in his kit already. And from there in Dust and Summer takes a different path to the one that most readers will be familiar with …

Do you sleep in your riding kit?

Do you wake up on a sunny, dry day, stumble from a Spanish villa into a pristine workshop, faff with a new disk rotor, load up a van and go for a ride, all the while being filmed?

Didn’t think so.

I think if any of us slept in our riding kit we’d soon be single, or sleeping on the sofa. Or more likely in the garage. Once settled in there we’d probably fix that rotor after giving the bike a clean and maybe checking brake pads before getting some sleep and dreaming of dust, and summer.

No doubt when we awoke, cold and sore from a night in our bike storage, we’d find a phantom flat. A tyre that was inflated the night before that somehow has lost the willingness to hold air overnight. So we’d grab the other bike, the one that wasn’t cleaned the night before where the gears are a bit out and we’re really not sure how old the pads are, and go ride. Or, if the x = n + 1 theory hasn’t been applied we’d curse and find a tube, or worse still work out why the tubeless setup we’re so happy with suddenly let us down.

Then ride.

Dust? You’ll be lucky. Mud, grit, sludge and probably some tarmac or trail center hardcore.

Summer? Maybe, usually in spring or autumn. Brief moments when the rain forgets to fall and trails are dry, our selective memory shielding us from wet summer days when sealskinz and waterproof shorts are pulled from drawers so we can enjoy ‘summer’.

But the result is the same. Smiles. Who needs dusty Spanish singletrack when you’ve got a slippery muddy bridleway. Two wheel dusty drift Vs two wheeled slippery slide. The smiles are the same. As is the post ride beer.

Happy trails.

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