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”
Another work visit up to Scotland took me to Dundee this time rather than Glasgow. So having heard about the Pentland Hills and finding an old pull out route from MBR I decided to base myself on the edge of Edinburgh for my trip, rather than going all the way up to Dundee.
I had to visit another customer in Redcar first so I got a good chance to ride in Guisborough Forest and the North York Moors again earlier in the week on my way up the British Isles. Then I drove up to Edinburgh and had my first ride in the Pentland Hills that evening. My second ride was on the following evening after completing my Dundee visit. Continue reading “Exploring the Pentland Hills”
A lot of riders head off to their favourite trails at the weekend. Not me, weekend riding is pretty much limited to family rides around the park or short late evening blasts around the village, so I try to fit in whatever trails I can at other times. Fortunately my job takes me all around the country and I can piggyback some riding around my work quite easily.
So this week I’ve been up in Scotland. Tuesday and Wednesday in Glasgow to be more precise. With this already planned I decided to add a day off on Thursday to my itinerary. So with MuddyGoose packed into the car, I set off to Glasgow. Continue reading “Little work trip to Scotland – 101.33 km of riding fitted in.”
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”
Yes, this is the 50th post on the MuddyGoose blog. I’ve enjoyed writing it, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it too. So considering it’s a bit of a landmark post I thought it’d be a good opportunity to have a bit of a look back and see where I’ve been. Something mountain bikers tend not to do while riding, ‘forwards and onwards!’ and all that.
I got my Mongoose Tyax back in October 2010, so as well as reaching 50 posts we’ve also just passed 2 years of riding together. This blog didn’t begin with the bike though, so there almost a year’s worth of riding that’s not been covered and my first post was published in August 2011. So to mark 50 posts lets have a short reminisce about where we’ve been, the mods I’ve made and other stuff too. Continue reading “MuddyGoose blog reaches 50.”
It doesn’t happen very often but every now and then I get the opportunity to spend all day on my bike in a choice location and have myself an epic ride. Friday this week should have been just one of those chances. I had work planned up in Glasgow for Wednesday and Thursday and was due to travel back down on the Friday (yesterday), so rather than coming directly back I would stop off at Kielder Forest and see how many miles I could get in and how quickly I could eat up those miles. The plan was to ride the red trails, the blue trail and even possibly some of the cross border trail.
So on Thursday evening as a bit of a warm-up I went down to Dalbeattie and rode the red trail there. It was good fun and as I was on my own and it was evening I kept within my limits avoiding ‘the slab’ and other such Dalbeattie features. I did however have a small low speed over the bars moment toward the end of the ride when my front tyre just wouldn’t pop up over that nasty root. Continue reading “Big Epic All Day Ride – cancelled due to injury :(“
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.”
As much as I enjoy a blast around one of the UK’s great trail centres, I wouldn’t want to solely ride way-marked, man-made trails all the time. And so when the opportunity arises to get out on some natural trails in the peak district like it did yesterday I just can’t refuse.
I’d been working up in Liverpool during the day and with the longer, lighter evenings that we get now that we’ve reached May, the opportunity was there to go home via the Peaks and stop for a ride around the Buxton area. So the day before I took the time to search the internet and find a good route to follow and this is what I came up with. Continue reading “Wye, Wye, Wye go riding in the Peaks”
Even though the title may suggest it I’m not reporting news of an upcoming concert at Wakerley Wood with a once popular 80s band. And hopefully you won’t ‘feel it in your fingers or feels it in your toes’!
So I’d better own up straight off the bat. The photo is not mine, it’s borrowed from Rutland Cycling from their Facebook page. But I thought it ought to be on here as a good indicator of current conditions at Wakerley Wood.
On Thursday evening I went up to Wakerley Woods with a friend and we had a ride around the red route (Scar Tree Trail). So having not been there since my muddy visit back in December, I decided I’d update any of my blog readers who also haven’t been there for a while. Unfortunately for us it had just rained the day before and although it was the first rain for a long time and the hosepipe ban in place for the area goes to show how dry it’s been, it was still pretty wet & muddy on the surface in the usual places.
I didn’t get any chance to stop and take any pictures so this is a blog entry without the usual visuals. I can however tell you that the trail is now fully mapped out on singletrack and the fire roads don’t come in to play anymore at all. The surface is however in the process of being armoured with hardcore and if you go round right now you will pass many piles of the stuff just waiting to be put down. So until that gets completed it’s still pretty much going to remain a muddy mess. Once it’s all finished though it should be a decent ride.
It’s been a quiet month, this March on my blogging front, it’s also been a slow month with regard to getting out there and getting muddy. It seems that one thing after another has stood in my way, whether it be the dreaded lurgy or important commitments.
Anyway, as an antidote to all of ‘it’, I had a ‘booked well in advance’ visit with 2 friends to the Forest of Dean planned for this Saturday just gone. My only concern organising so far in advance was that we had no idea in January what the weather would be when March 24th finally came round. Needless to say once the early morning mist had cleared this Saturday turned out to be a glorious dream of a day.
If anyone’s been following my blog for a while, they might remember a post from my visit to Leigh Woods in Bristol, where I found that a new trail was in progress of being built. If you don’t remember that post then you can follow this link to read it – Trail Building in progress at Leigh Woods, Bristol. Well, I found myself back down in the area last week and so I decided that I just had to go back and ride the finished result.
It has turned out to be a 2 mile long blue graded trail with a couple of red graded ‘options’ along the way. At just 2 miles you’ll probably want to ride it a good few times to get a decent workout, but you also have Ashton Court on the other side of the road to ride too.
I’ve not been down to Wakerley Woods for many months, since the evenings became darker to be honest. And so I was eager to have a ride yesterday when the opportunity reared it’s muddy head! I wanted to see if the trail updates to replace some of the forest road with singletrack had been completed yet and I also wanted to see how the trail was holding up against the weather.
Well as you can see from the photo, the conditions are definititely what you’d define as muddy. Still riding on my original Kenda tyres which are ideally suited to much drier conditions and have seen 1000+ miles of use and therefore wear, I found the going extremely difficult to say the least.
I knew that my work trip down to Bristol yesterday would allow me an hour or so to go riding afterwards. So I had a good search on the internet the night before to see what was available in the immediate Bristol area in terms of trails. One thing I came up with was that Leigh Woods had received some money for trail building in early 2011, so I looked the place up on Google maps and decided to pay it a visit.
Well it seems that I arrived maybe a couple of months too early. They are well and truly underway with the trail building and large sections of the woods have been driven through with the heavy machinery, it really looks quite beaten up and bare in places but it’ll be more aesthetic once they’ve finished. It looks like it’s going to be quite a nice local trail for those in the Bristol area when it’s finished, but for now there’s not much in the woods available to ride. I had a ride around the purple hard surfaced trail anyway being as I was there.
One of the perks of my job is that I get to travel to various parts of the UK. And well, if you’re travelling home from Norwich with your bike in the boot, then it would be just plain rude to not stop off at Thetford Forest for a quick (well about an hour) ride of the red route.
So that’s just what I did on Monday afternoon/evening. I stopped off at Brandon Country Park on Bury Road (Brandon) which is where I prefer to park my car, which might just have something to do with the parking charges compared to High Lodge; 70p for the whole day during the week is great value.
I managed to get out to Wakerley for a ride this evening. As planned I had a ride around looking for new routes, hidden trails and the like. There’s a section out there in the woods that I’m sure many others have also found where there are some unofficial trails and jumps. Here’s a new sign that I came across.
It seems that whoever is organising the jumps has just put in a lot of time and effort recently rebuilding the jumps and clearing some area around them. And to be honest they’ve done a great job, so although I found a degree of amusement in the signs I’ll be glad to see people taking notice of the notice!
Another Friday drive home, another stop off for a ride in the woods. Well, why not, afterall it’s be dark on the way bofore long. May as well enjoy it while it’s still light.
This time I managed to keep out of the thicker clumps of ferns, but the overgrown gorse certainly stings at speed and for some reason the number of fallen trees requiring a quick hop over has gone up!
After a bank holiday with no riding at all it was nice to get back on the muddygoose and ride some trail. A trip up to Wakerley Woods provided the trail and the goose and I lapped it up.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with Wakerley Woods, it’s a part of Rockingham Forest north of Corby and west of Peterborough. It’s just off the A43 near to where it meets the A47.
Continue reading “Out and about in Wakerley Woods”