The local trails have lost their appeal. The road bike is out of favour. The weather isn’t particularly wonderful, but it’s a bank holiday weekend and it’d reached the monday without a ride, so it was time for action. The weather this morning was far from wonderful, but when I was just getting ready to go out and ride, it started raining again. The plans were then put on hold until after lunch and a new route was planned out.
After lunch the heavens opened again. There was a brief amount of deliberation about whether it was worth going out or not, and after that it was time to head off. The weather on the eastern sie of the Peak District was much better and the trails were dryer than expected. I parked at Calver and then rode up to the Grouse Inn, which was a fairly good warm up. From there it was across White Edge Moor and through the mudfest of Totley Moor.
The track was clearly used by 4×4 and in places turned out to have some very deep puddles. Puddles deep enough to reach the bottle bosses on the seat tube. Riding through them also proved impossible due to the fact that at some point you would invariably clip a pedal on the side of the rut that lurked beneath the muddy waters. After a fairly good attempt to remove all the flesh from one of my ankles, I decided I’d had enough of playing in the mud and gave up trying to ride the trail.
The Blacka Plantation proved to be a real gem. The trail drops down to a ford crossing over a small stream where there’s a set of stepping stones. The drop down has a number of stepped drop offs as well as a mini section of wooden walk way. It was ace. The climb back up to the A625 was in use by a trio if downhillers who’d spent all day wearing out their disc pads. The singletrack section that contoured between the two exits onto the A625 coming out at Devil’s Elbow Gate was absolutely fantastic. It’s one of the best natural singletrack sections I’ve ridden and it flew by like a super smooth thing.
The Houndkirk Road was a great end to a good day’s riding. It was a definite blast and the downhill section at the end was a chance to pop jumps and lifts off all the little ramps and platforms that had been created by all the rocks and outcrops on the trail. It wasn’t a massive ride, but it was great riding. The singletrack that was lurking in the woods made the whole trip worth while. Photos are up here.