Misty Malvern

Misty Malvern by rOcKeTdOgUk
Misty Malvern, a photo by rOcKeTdOgUk on Flickr.

back in the 1990’s I bought a copy of a mountain bike magazine called MBUK (mountainbike UK) i think it was about the 5th issue or something, it was pioneering and THE mag to read at the time. Technology was moving fast and this mag fuelled my lust for a mountain bike, the fact that instead of some wonderfully advanced (for the time) bicycle exotica I purchased a heavy 2 sizes too big poor excuse for an off road capable machine is a story for another time but suffice to say everything that i read in the magazine was taken as gospel and emulated at every oportunity. Years passed and I got older but the magazine didn’t, it still catered for the teen, the twenty something fearless “youth” and i graduated to more mature out-looking publications that were more about the riding I was doing. Fast forward (GULP!) 20 odd years and i found myself sitting waiting for a train feeling very bored, wandered into a station newsagent and on a whim (ok it had a free keyring!) i bought MBUK again. well i can understand if you are thinking what the heck has this got to do with riding Malvern?, well once again the Mag inspired me and this route over The malvern hills was part of one of the route guides within it.One of the things that made me suggest it to Dan was the fact that it said in the article how well drained the hills are, well i guess when you stand 1395ft high in a prominent ridge above the vale of Evesham you will drain well. This does however mean that there is quite a bit of climbing to get done and following the tear out map from the mag Dan and i started upwards….and upwards…and upwards, the higher we got the mistier it became, never really technical apart from a few rocky bits with a added spice of a big drop to one side if you messed it up. eventually we hit the summit of Worcestershire Beacon and also hit the almost gale force freezing wind and fog that we had been sheltered fom all the way up. We took photos to prove we were there and didn’t linger. Downhilling with limited visibility on unfamiliar ground with the knowledge that there is a big drop somewhere ahead certainly concentrates the mind, but apart from one rear wheel skipping out and uncontrollable braking incident we made it through the gloom to British Camp where we celebrated with coffee and home made rock cake from the cafe! We got chatting to a couple of locals, who despite the female rider saying she thought my grips looked “sweaty” gave us loose directions to the wooded side of the hills for the return journey. It was always going to be a hit and miss affair as we really didn’t know if we were in the right place but we did find some more climbs and some quite sketchy fast downhills before popping out in the town centre at the foot of the hill, a short tarmac stretch got us back to the start
we got drizzled on, blown by Arctic winds and at times couldn’t see a hand in front of your face but it was great, probably the toughest 12 miles I’ve done in a while due to the gradient but well worth it. I think we’ll definitely back when it’s mist free to take in the views that were lost to us today
maybe i shouldn’t leave it another 20 years before buying MBUK again!?
ride 20
12 miles
total 372

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