As you may have read in an earlier blog entry I invited Singletrack magazine to come and taste what the NWAlps had to offer and you can find the article in the latest edition. Tonight’s ride had a special guest in the shape of one Nick, one of Dan’s buddies, so with the article in mind we did a “best of” tour for him. Setting off from the mid level of the Alp we took a road climb to the start of “From the door”, this was fast and dry but not without it’s hazards as the foliage is now growing apace and branches whip across your face at regular intervals. The ground is almost too dry as on the corners it’s quite loose in the dustiness. Taking a different route to normal we climbed up the short technical rise into the wood yard before peeling off left to do “the long short cut” this was a bit tacky in places and momentum was definitely your ally here. Out on to the main drive at the top and to the beginning of “back passage” again, a slightly new route, more direct and with a bit more speed we dropped down this short sweet descent to the old folks home and the grassy cut through. Up the now groomed (thank you council!) steps and climb back up to the beacon. This trail starts downward, flicks left over some pronounced roots then over a fallen tree, dan and I cleared it but Nick somehow managed to kick it hard with his left foot and not a glancing blow but a full impact “I didn’t know it was there” type way. We had to stop for him to recover and make sure he had the same number of toes that he left the house with. So I think this trail should be known from now on as “bent toe” once over the beacon with hit “Bono” with some speed, flicked right into “son of Bono” which has an initial straight part that then needs a smooth application of brakes to get around the kink…..who am I kidding, some panic and last minute braking and a rear wheel lock up scrubbed off enough speed for me to drop down over the roots and through the vicious holly bush relatively unscathed, then it was a desperate balancing act along the edge and taking the faster left had route down to the road cross over. Getting breath back and comparing grazes from the descent we pedalled along the bridlepath until “bus stop” today the grass was drier and I didn’t end up in the trees which is good! With limited time we by passed the waseley climb and headed back into the woods, pushed up the steps to the ridge, the “switchback” trail was done and I managed to clear both of the twisty corners without dabbing! At the top we had a discussion about which trail to take and Dan came up with the mad idea of pushing back to the top to do the other one, It was the hardest part of the ride, very steep climb on dusty slippery trails, I hate walking! But we made it back up and after a breather dropped into “broken leg” Now Nick is a good rider and fast too so I was trying to stay ahead of him which was fine until I missed a tight turn and went straight on into some bushes, I’m told this counts as an “off” something no mountain biker wants to admit, but I’d like to think I recover with dignity intact.
A fun roll through the park and then onto the canal brought us to the point where I parted company with Nick and dan, but not before a pint of Dizzy Blonde ale J
I hope Nick enjoyed a condensed version of what the NWAlps has to offer and hopefully he can guide us around his local trails at some point.