Embracing the Filth

The trails are wet and I’m loving it. It’s a chance to develop and use a whole range of different skills to those we use for drier summer riding. Get some decent tyres on your bike, stay loose, easy on the brakes (especially the front) and let the bike move around – it’s what it was designed to do! Wrap yourself up in good quality clothing and get out there. There’s nothing like the feeling as you come in after a great filth ride with a big grin on your face.

I’m running skills days through the autumn and winter in Hebden Bridge, Gisburn Forest and Lee Quarry. Keep checking on the site or on my Twitter for details.

Lunch is an important part of the riding day…

Here’s a photo that ‘Evil’ Gordon took a couple of months ago while we were having lunch in Mooch in Hebden Bridge. Gordon was up for a skills day and as well as riding some of Calderdale’s finest trails we had time for this lovely lunch and a post ride beer down at the Blue Pig Working Men’s Club. It’s not all hard work on a skills day you know.

Great Blog write up of a skills day…..

Check out www.mudandgears.com for a write up of a one to one skills day from last week that combined riding at Lee Quarry and in Calderdale. Col enjoyed the day and even reviews the beer we drank at the end of it all.

Pass Storming in the Lakes

I got properly high on a night ride earlier this week in the Lakes. Here’s the Cotic BFe with HammerSchmidt gearbox cranks and Fox 36 Talas forks, that I was riding, sat up on the top of Red Screes. After carrying the bikes for 35 minutes from the Kirkstone Pass we were rewarded with amazing views of the Lakeland fells, over to the Yorkshire Dales and out to sea and all at 7.40pm. We could even see Blackpool Tower.

Here’s Nicola looking for our way down. And it was a good one. 45 minutes of descent with some very tech slabs, switchbacks and rock garden sections as well as some great fast singletrack and rocky track.

Pints in the Golden Rule in Ambleside made it into one of those unforgettable rides, especially as we didn’t ride uphill at all. Instead we used two vehicles in an uplift shuffle. This ride was all about the down. After five weeks work guiding in the Lakes it was great to have a sweet ride with Nicola and Craig my guiding collegues and friends which was a ride just for us.

Back to reality now and planning lots of skills days and group days in Hebden Bridge and up at Lee Quarry.

Guiding in the Lakes

I’ve been guiding groups around the Hawkshead area over the last week on the great trails of Grizedale Forest, Claife Heights and the edge of Windermere. Here’s a view up Windermere from the Hawkshead ferry landing. This is also the site of Julie’s ice cream caravan of delights. Julie likes when we bring groups in and shows her appreciation by sending out a free cone 🙂

I’ve mostly been riding the Spooky Horror Taxi, which as you may be able to see has 650b wheels. This bike will be reviewed in the next issue of Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine. It’s a great riding bike but the lack of available tyres to fit limits it appeal for me. The Pacenti Neo-Moto tyres fitted were not up to Lake District riding, especially in the rain on wet slate!

I tried the 650b wheels on my Ragley Ti and they fit just fine with plenty of clearance around the stays and seat tube. I’ll be sticking with 26″ wheels though, thank you very much, and my current build with Maxxis tyres – 2.4 Ardent on the front and 2.25 Advantage on the rear.

Singular Cycles Road Trip in Calderdale

I took Steve and Sam from Singular Cylcles (along with Dom the Singletrack work experience lad) for a tour of some Calderdale trails earlier in the week. They had been racing at the Singletrack Classic Weekender and wanted to try some of the renowned Hebden Bridge riding while they were in the area. Good company, good riding and as you can see good Timothy Taylors Landlord & Golden Best ale was enjoyed.

Four UK designed bikes outside The Cross Inn in Heptonstall, where we had a fine pub stop  –  Two Ragley Ti’s, Sam’s Singular Swift and Steve’s prototype titanium Singular Pegasus. Check out http://www.singularcycles.com for more details of the big wheeled bikes.