Hey Jacob…

it’s been a long time!

I’ve decided that todays ride could have gone in a number of directions. I could have taken the cross bike out. I could have changed the tyres on the singlespeed and taken that, but the most appealling prospect was taking the Remedy out again and letting it rip. The time spent between getting up and setting off to ride was extended a little by having to change tyres from the downhill numbers it’s been wearing recently to some lighter weight treads. As I was ground uphill later I was glad I’d bothered.

From Glossop I had the intent of heading over Chunal and dropping into Hayfield, but a huge traffic tailback saw me take an alternate route via Charlesworth and the Monk’s Road. Thick pea soup fog on the tops meant that the early part of the ride out of Hayfield was a bit overcast. The white shooting cabins at the top of Middle Moor which are usually the point of reference for the turn down to White Brow were hidden in the gloom, so as I nailed it downhill I was hoping it was the right trail.

Snake Path

Turned out it was the right trail, and after hacking up and over Kinder and contouring around some cheeky bits, it was a hack uphill to reach Edale Cross from where it was time to hit Jacob’s Ladder. This is one of my favourite descents, now with a new added roll in and funnel chute at the top… I ran out of disc pads half way down, so just had to go even faster and try not to crash. After the down, there’s always an up, in this case Chapel Gate, which now has ruts 4 to 5 feet deep where the rain has washed away the trail.

The group of five trail bike riders who blitzed passed me on the lower flat sections were soon rediscovered pinned under their bikes, in the process of falling off them, revving the nuts off the engines (but going nowhere) or pushing, dragging and manhandling their bikes. It could be described as messy, but with all the heavy breathing, burning rubber and hot air, it could quite equally be called gay.

I’ve decided that the vast majority of trail bike riders are rubbish. When they come to anything remotely technical and they might as well be wearing pink ballarina slippers and a tutu for all the poncing about going nowhere fast that follows. So they can’t ride up technical climbs, can’t ride down technical descents, about the only time they’re quicker than a mountain bike is when the trails so wide and smooth that they might as well be on the road, which, it seems to me, means they’re missing the entire point of having something with big brakes, a powerful motor and masses of suspension travel…

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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