Trans Pennine Trail

Some people chose to ride the Mary Townley Loop this weekend and it was a memorable event, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. It was a muddy ride when I rode it last May and attempts to ride it after the recent rain we’ve had were likely to make it challenging.

I went out on Sunday with Steve Makin, Steve’s friend Bill, Jon Woodhouse and the absurdly fit Dave Clark and we rode from Sale Water Park up to Broadbottom and then back. It was mostly along the banks of the Mersey but it was a good distance. The ride down to Sale and back also adds to the distance, especially as I had to go and meet the Sexmidget on the way. It was a good ride and an idea for an Epic later in the year has been hatched.

It has also prompted me to try a carbon bar for the first time. I’ve tried suspension on the singlespeed, but it threw the gemoetry right out and I’ve started to get used to it being rigid. Yet even withe the ti spokes and steel frame and forks there’s a need for just a bit more comfort. I’ll have to see if this does the trick – I’ll post some photos of the latest singlespeed specification in a couple of days.

There’ll be some new kit on show at this years road races as both Mavic and Giro have new works in the pipeline and will be looking to make riders go faster than before. Meanwhile the Manzano debacle has been continuing, but it all seems a bit academic. The suspicion that doping was taking place was always there, it’s just that Manzano is the first rider to talk graphically and openly about what was happening.

For his sake I hope he gets a ride with Amore e Vita because if he was good enough for second in the Spanish Nationals without the aid of drugs, then he’s likely to be good enough to ride well a professional level without artifical assistance. He may not have the same form as before, but on the other hand maybe he will. At least he won’t have to worry about his blood thickening during the night.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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