Ben Newton led the way on today’s adventure from just outside of Castleton, involving Messrs Andy Poole, Michael Gradwell, and Andy Tromans. 24 miles, 3.4k feet climb and a number of falls from yours truly.
For someone who has not really been out on a mountain bike for four years since taking up fell running it was interesting. Well in fact it was tough beyond belief with other seasoned mountain bikers. Most of the route was off road, using bridleways, tracks, and paths that were new to a number of us. With the weather improving by the minute the sun came out in the afternoon as we sat beneath Win Hill taking in the views. This was different from the morning when we’d layered up from the start.
To say I fell off in spectacular fashion on a few occasions would be an understatement; one notable one led Mr Poole to describe my having used an ejector seat. It was wet and slippy underfoot, with the muddy sections offering no purchase, and the bike is old. It’s serviced and a lovely bike but old. On the mud it fish tailed all over the show and was hard to control. But being honest, I am older since last riding four years ago and the route had some quite technical sections like The Beast, so there was plenty of bottling it and putting feet down, but I am glad I did it (with support) as it has proverbially got me back in the saddle.
Having Ben in charge was a blessing as he’s a MTB instructor, coach, and guide and when en route gave some really useful advice on pedal position for balance and clearance, across to looking and scanning ahead properly so you know the best line to take. Things that came back to me and proved useful. I’d strongly advise using Ben if you want to improve your MTB style.