There is no disguising the fact that one of the reasons I moved to Manchester was for the fact that there was excellent mountain biking all around the city. Some of it (especially that to the west) takes longer to get to than other bits, but in general within 45 minutes in every other direction by car or train you can be somewhere great to go riding.
My first adventures were along the Manchester to Sheffield train line. It’s a great service because it passes through so many places that you can get off and go riding, Marple, New Mills, Strines, Edale, Hope and the list goes on. For the first three years or so of being in Manchester nearly all my local riding was along this route. Buy a day return pick somewhere to get off, pick somewhere to get back on and plan a route in between.
After hammering the trail is quite relentlessly weekend on weekend for three years i’d decided that it was time to explore further afield and this weekend was the first time in a long time that I’ve revisited some of those old routes. I hooked up with Neil again from Ride the Alps and we split the day into two halves taking in some stuff I did know and a lot of stuff I didn’t. Local knowledge definitely helps find some great stuff. The end result was pretty much all day riding between 9am and 4.30pm when it became dark.
The weather was a bit grim and it was very blowy in the wind, especially on the tops near Lyme Park, but it was well worth getting out doors for.
Thanks to everyone who has sponsored the rothar.com racing efforts so far. I’m not sure how achievable our fundraising target is, but we’re going to stick at achieving it. Off over to Calderdale this week to catch up with people, get some great singlespeeding in and discuss some things with the boys from Singletrack.