Trail Finding

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There it is, just past that gnarled tree, before the gatepost. A slim gap in the brambles and nettles. A snaking path of brown dirt. The brakes go on and I loop back. Dart off the fireroad and onto the swooping track. Gently dropping down in sweeping shallow bends. Eyes beady and peeled, looking for roots and hidden holes.

GPS me and my path would knit a messy cat’s cradle of knotted trails, all within a few square miles of wood. But I’ve lost an hour, discovering and rediscovering lost trails.

In the winter their character changes. They’re stodgy bogs. A hard slog and a full bike clean. But now in summer all that’s left is fine dust on the paintwork, sweat on my forehead and a tingling in my forearms.

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