Took the maxlight out for it's second outing, I've replaced the phaons with vanillas and while I missed the wind down lower front end on the climbs the bike felt better the rest of the time. It was damn cold but I managed in shorts with knee warmers. My cheapo aldi jacket was great as ever and the matching gloves were fine for most of the ride. Usual winter hill climb followed by kennel and jons 200 downhills then over to rivi. Found a mental line in the china gardens where someone has been carving smooth turns down a really steep section like they were skiing. At first it looked like a water channel but on closer inspection it was tyre tracks, very impressive but I doubt united utilities will be happy. Since they cut back all the rhododendrons there loads of stuff to explore, could be a proper playground for bikes if they dont get banned. Up to the pike and back down to georges lane, down the first section of jons 200 again cos its so good, and then to the TV mast on winterhill, I saw a few bikers heading down the road which got me thinking, why? Whats the point of riding down a straight road? But when I got to the belmont road descent I was thinking they might be right, this is a very fast downhill and the top was full of ice so I was taking it very easy at first but then the ice cleared and I started to rip. This bike is hard work, it's fast, fun and confidence inspiring but it's still not full sus and your legs have to work hard to absorb all the bumps. Decision time at the bottom it's 2:45pm and I've got no lights can I fit in a quick run to Darwin tower? Course I can, when I hit ice on turton moor I wasn't so sure and nearly turned back twice but I persevered. I pushed it pretty hard on the climb up cartridge hill, the top section was frozen solid so I was flying across to the tower. Erosion has made the drop into darwin more fun but I started to bonk pretty bad (going DOWNhill told you this bike was hard work) Doubledecker turkish delight and a cherry coke at the bottom sorted that tho. But I was still 8 miles from home and it was getting dark and the temp was plummeting. Pity I didn't have my lights I could have ridden offroad at a reasonable pace instead I had to charge down the road as fast as I could before it went pitch black. Decent ride, a not bad 34miles with a respectable 4600ft climbing I've done 40miler lakes rides with less climbing, just remember your lights next time Dave.