This week I managed to get out and have a ride in the Peak District. This was partly in preparation for the British Heart Foundation Peak District MTB Challenge. I wanted to have a bit of a practise on the terrain as it’s far more technical than anything I can ride locally. I also wanted to test my ability to climb the hills with my new single chainring setup (more on that another day). Continue reading “Feeling Invincible – Awesome ride in the Peaks”
First off, I’d like to just write a disclaimer – I never regret a ride and I enjoy them all in at least part. And even the less enjoyable parts are at least ‘character building’. It’s just that, sometimes there are better rides and sometimes there are ‘don’t think I’ll do that one again’ rides.
Well last week I had one of those ‘won’t go there again’ rides. I had arranged to be home late from work and to go riding ‘somewhere’ between work and home. The area around work is more fun as home doesn’t have any hills, so I have ridden a lot near work. On this occasion I decided to park in a familiar location but head off in a different direction to check out the bridleways north-west of Luton. Continue reading “A tale of two rides”
As opportunity should have it I got the chance to ride out into the southern side of the North York Moors on Tuesday afternoon last week. So I picked Lastingham as my start and finish location and headed north.
Lastingham is a small village so you shouldn’t really have any issues picking up my route. The bridleway out north into the moors is an extension of High Street, you simply ride up High Street and keep going, through the gate and onward up onto Spaunton Moor. Continue reading “More Moors… Riding in the North York Moors from Lastingham”
A while back I decided to take off a day in July to match a mate’s days off in his shift pattern. The purpose of course was to hit the hills somewhere and ride for the entire day. Having had a similar very enjoyable day at the Forest of Dean trail centre riding around the Verderer’s Trail back in March we considered another trail centre but as I’ve ridden most of the ones that are within easy reach we eventually decided to ride some bridleways, roads, tracks etc that could be mapped out on the OS maps. Somewhere close(ish), with hills but not too big, that I hadn’t already ridden.
So I got onto getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk and came up with a ~50 mile route through the Chiltern Hills to the north of Luton. Taking in South Bedfordshire and parts of Hertfordshire around Hitchin. The parts closest to Luton I had ridden before during my lunchbreaks and as part of my multi-mode commute so I was quite familiar with them and which way to ride them for the best descents and most challenging climbs. I was also familiar with the Rowney Warren woods near Shefford and that we could happily park the car there, so all I did was be adventurous about plotting a route to join the two together, trying to avoid roads wherever possible and creating a loop so we never had to double back on ourselves. Continue reading “The big ride through the Chilterns, north of Luton.”
It’s always a good feeling when you discover a trail that links things together. That missing piece that connects your favourite two singletrack sections or a techy climb to take back to the top of a downhill run. Or in this case a bridleway that connects the woods to a nearby pub!
On my way to Fineshade Woods I’ve passed the Royal Oak at Duddington on the A43 many times and often thought that it’d make a nice post-ride stop off. And indeed it does. In fact the last time I stopped there with some mates the pub’s clientele was made up entirely of mountain bikers! Continue reading “From Fineshade Wood to the Royal Oak”
During this week my work has taken me down to Southampton and as always I take my bike with me and try to find the time to fit in a ride. This time it was a pre-planned route from the Holiday Inn Express where I was staying, on the West side of Southampton, into the New Forest just beyond Lyndhurst and then back again via Ashurst and Totten to complete the loop.
I planned my route using both the Ordinate Survey’s getamap web site and also Bing maps which has an OS mapping option. I then printed off a handful of A4 maps and followed these from time to time under the glow of my lights. Of course I had my phone with me tracking my ride but that stayed in my riding pack unless really needed.
On a Thursday evening there’s not always the time to take the bike out to the trails, especially at this time of year as the light starts to dim. So it’s out onto the local roads and bridleways and as a Yaxley resident that means the bridleways around Yaxley, Hampton and Farcet.
The picture is actually from last year but it nicely shows the bridleway from Haddon through to Hampton and the A15 crossing and there was a good sunset tonight too. It’s on these bridleways and on the roads that you have to ride to connect them that you feel glad to be riding on fast rolling tyres like the Kenda Small Block 8s.