We were riding up a steep hill on a narrow lane. It was windy and raining. The road was covered in a carpet of leaves, which made for lurching wheel-spins when standing on the pedals. Half way up the hill was a cattle grid, its metal bars as slippery as ice under the wet foliage. Crossing it without sliding off was like attempting some bizarre fairground attraction. On the other side of the grid, the hill got steeper. Riders strained on too-high gears, or gave up and walked. A handy sign on a road-side tree announced: ‘Now you know why it’s called the Exmoor Beast’. I should co-co.