Black Runs are Ace

On Friday I took the road bike out and spun around the Cheshire lanes. It’s a familiar route, one that requires no planning or real thought and one that can be as long or as short as you want it to be. From Altrincham, you ride towards Alderley Edge and onwards to Macclesfield and up the Cat and Fiddle towards Buxton. I haven’t really enjoyed riding the road for a few years. I think part of it is to do with the traffic, but I think a big part of it is that there is no excitement. I know the roads. I know where they go. There isn’t much chance of getting lost or discovering something new. For some reason when you’re offroad even familiar trails give a buzz.

Saturday I caught up with the guys in Harry Halls. It’s been a long time since I spent much time in the shop and it was great to find out what everyone is up to these days. Of course since I stopped working there has been an increase in competition. Manchester now has an Evans and an Edinburgh Bicycle Co-Op, but despite the money behind both chains they seem to offer little threat to the depth of experience, field of knowledge and the genuinely ‘passionate about cycling’ attitude of the staff in Harrys.

This afternoon I headed back over to Llandegla. Since my last visit they’ve opened another 2km of black run. If it really is only an extra 2km then I’m surprised, it seems like a lot more. Either way the designers have done another great job of using the hillside to maximum effect to pack in as many swoops, berms, rollers and jumps as possible. The best thing about the forest is that it is so easy to double back and do the best bits again and again. I think it only fair to say that two or three runs on each of the best sections is now compulsory…

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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