Thursday, 23 December 2010

Freezing Ride

-9 C when I left home to meet Dean at the Jolly Crofters for a winter ride round Winter Hill.
It had snowed a couple of days before so we didn’t fancy a long push the hill.  Set off along Georges Lane, lots of four wheel drives had been up there so the riding was smooth and easy.  At the top of the Ice Cream Run decided to give it a go, even with 6 inches of snow we managed fine, again the path had been made by four wheel drives.  Down past the Barns, through Lever Park and then back along Middlebrook Valley Trail made about 22/23 miles, so not bad considering the conditions.  The weather was superb, well below zero, but no wind and sunny skies.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Icy Sunday

Very cold ride today.  Met Dean and Phil at Bob’s Smithy, rode up to Walker Fold and on to the farm to pick up the road to the gate at Coalpits.  Much better than last week when we were pushing through the snow.   The trail was in excellent condition, at least in terms of  mud and good grip, but very rough in places now after the last few days of snow and frost.
From the Mast Road down to Sportsman’s Cottage, via the gully, great descent.

Along Georges Lane past the Pike and down the Ice Cream Run, which has changed again, maybe a bit smoother, missed the big slabs, seemed to have disappeared somewhere.
Down the icy road to the Chapel Tea Rooms for a teacake and coffee, before heading up through Lever Park and back along Middlebrook Valley Trail. 
Quite a quick and short ride, but nice day and nice weather, only very cold.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Sunday 5th December 2010

We arranged to meet at 8.30 at Bob’s Smithy, this would be the first ride of the old firm since the summer, in the event we were three, myself, Dean and Phil.
When I left home it was still dark and -4C.  The roads were deadly, lost the front wheel a few times. The trail down to Middlebrook from the church was very icy.  Long slog up to the Smithy, Phil already waiting, I was so cold by then, riding slow cause of the ice.  Dean arrived and then there is only one way from there, up. 
Walker Fold was really bad, frozen footsteps in the snow made it hard going.  Short break at the gate then up to the mast road on the bridleway.   Up the road to Two Lads and down the left hand side to the Iron Lamp.  Brilliant downhill, conditions under tyre much better as much colder at this height.  Along Georges Lane to the Pike, again slow going, but fantastic views from there, complete cloud inversions.
Down to the old toilets back along Georges Lane to the Crofters and then home.  For me around 20 miles maybe, enough in the sub-zero temperatures.  Great ride and glad we are back together.  Not many others out today, must have put off by the temperatures and the snow.

Altura Trail, Sunday 30th November

Very cold but clear day saw myself and Dean drive up to Whinlatter Forest Park to ride the Altura Trail. Fresh snow, but reasonable grip. Excellent trail, very narrow in places with a long drop on the right hand side made it interesting. At 600 metres was bitingly cold in the forest, we had to stop for about 20 minutes for a mechanical. Got back to the Visitor Centre, was only 2.30 but looked like going dark, had a quick look at the South Loop, but decided the café was the best option.
Long way to drive for such a short ride but well worth it. The weather and scenery superb, we will be back there soon.