Friston was a carpet of yellow leaves, the colour of over ripe Bartlett pears.
Where a few weeks ago they'd kept the light out now they lay bright on the forest floor, transforming the dreary autumn afternoon.
It was as if, to spite the clouds, the sun had decided to come from the other direction.
This fallen flora both dazzled and destabilized us as we free wheeled along what was possibly a cycle track - reliable mud path completely covered with greasy day-glow camouflage.
It was treacherous and we Wuuwd often as we wobbled.
Worse, some hungry reptilian ridge-back tree roots were hiding amongst it all, joined by stumps, rocks and other gang members, all anticipating a rare winter biker supper.
Further on the heavens opened in annoyance with the upside down sun and we sought shelter from the fire roads in parts of the forest yet to lose their canopy.
I think I'll have a little sit down, said Neil, who was on his bike for the first time since the birth of two children (his).
That last climb has taken it out of me. I might puke.
We repeated the loop, skipping the worst of the leafy luge form first time round.
Instead a great piece of downhill footpath I'd yet ridden. We picked up so much speed the milky tea-coloured water fairly drenched our undercarriages, some grimy cha flicking into our eyes too.
I was not prepared for this and got stung once or twice.
Neil lacked not just glasses and lungs, but shoes, trousers, lid, gloves and, if there is anything else, that as well.
He slowed to see why I'd halted and as I found a tiny piece of unmuddy cloth to wipe the corner of my eye, he put a foot down, slid on his inappropriate footwear, and heaped on the floor, laughing his happy arse off.
We wanted more, more, more but our wrinkled skin said it was time to return to adulthood.