Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Local Roubaix
November 29th, 2020

The Liverpool Roubaix is a tough Paris-Roubaix-style sportive featuring fourteen unpaved/cobbled sectors and a finish on the spectacular new velodrome at Knowsley. There’s both the original 100km route plus an epic new 100-mile option (160km) version.

Local Roubaix

I did a 100km joining up local riding and a few bits of cobbled sections that don’t form part of the published routes. Man, it was muddy. Probably a better ride for bit summer, not end of November, but then it wouldn’t have been a grim and gritty Flanders-esque outing…

Local riding

Bike needed a proper clean after that!

Roubaix Bike

San Marino
November 22nd, 2020

An infamous descent that people talk about and that has been illusive to date. Time to fix it, so local riding stretches a bit further to head back over towards Chorley and some of the trails from a few weeks ago, but this time in reverse…

Local riding

The weather was pretty reasonable for the time of the year although after 3.30pm as the temp dropped down my fingers were freezing!

Above Anglezarke Reservoir

Back up and through Rivington, but this time right up to the masts on Winter Hill. Little known fact that at 778m above sea level, Winter Hill has the highest television transmitting antenna in the United Kingdom.

Yarrow Reservoir outlet

It was a bit of a schlep getting up to the top due to a horrible headwind, but it was good to get over the crest and make it to the top of the San Marino descent. The plaque on the stone post commemorates those who died in the Winter Hill Air Crash in February 1958.

Above San Marino

The descent gets its name from the restaurant at the bottom of the hill. Probably a fast descent in summer. Less so today!

Above Darwen

From there, it was back up and across the moors to above Darwen and some peaty Singletrack runs over to the iconic tower.

Local riding

It was announced in October 2020 that the Jubilee Tower above Darwen was going to benefit from a government grant is part of the Darwen Town Deal and will see £250,000 go towards the tower’s refurbishment. In addition to the community fund-raising for the Grade II-listed structure led by the Rotary club it should be repaired and still standing in another 100 years…

Jubilee Tower, Darwen

A decent run back to the start of the loop from the Tower, but in fading light and dropping temperatures (and a puncture that required some faffing to get the tyre to seal) it was a fast finish to the ride. Absolutely tipped it down on the drive home, so the timing was spot on!

Halls, Walls and Tracks
November 15th, 2020

Lockdown again and a chance to look at the Ordnance Survey Maps and suss out some new trails for exploring. Didn’t have much luck!

Local riding

 I was out looking for new bits today but they all turned out to be ‘no go’ options. It was really muddy and soft, but managed to dodge the rain. Have a few more trails to check out for more gravel biking adventures…

Chorley FM
November 8th, 2020

It’s lock down (again). Let’s keep the riding local and explore those bits of Lancashire that are close but untapped.

Local riding

Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Local riding

River Run

Local riding

Skirting around Darwen Moor

Local riding

Over the top of Rivington Moor


Local riding

The iconic Pigeon Tower, aka the Lookout Tower, then the Dovecote Tower was built at Rivington between 1905 and 1909.

Local riding

Leafy Woods on the way back

Making a better Lizard
November 7th, 2020

So after fettling the brakes, next up was trying to sort out the Chameleon a bit more. First up some more grip up front for winter.

Local riding Local riding

Decided that whilst the Crossmark has been fine for local trails it’s been a bit out of it’s depth on the hills so trying the High Roller to see if it copes better.

Local riding Local riding

Secondly was trying to improve the shifting. Even with the new shifter, it still wasn’t great. There was a fair bit of play in the basic pressed steel derailleur and the all alloy construction of the X01 setup is definitely better.

SRAM NX Derailleur

It is still not perfect. About the only thing left to change is the cassette. Can it be that? New chain, chainring and cassette in the New Year will prove it…

SRAM X01 Derailleur

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