So, this week, in our quest to find the UKs best place to ride (and do some coaching!) we headed to the Peak District.
Not so much of a trail centre scene as the last two weeks (see Cannock Chase and Coed Y Brenin reports) but more of a wild ride type of place. Coming from the Mendips this is much more what we’re used to, following tracks and bridleways and trying to find decent links between.
I’ll admit, I was really looking forward to the Peak District, but I don’t think I cracked it completely. I followed the Tissington Trail for a way and did some exploring round Ashbourne, and I did a bit of exploring round Leek before staying the night to recharge. The next day I went across to the Derbyshire side of the peaks and started in Matlock, but again I never really felt like I was getting to the heart of what is such a beautiful part of the world.
I did see a lot of people on road bikes even in the freezing conditions, but I didn’t see any other mountain bikers out. Again, I’ll concede that this was probably because they were all riding in the mountain bike paradise just the other side of the hill…
So, this trip showed me two things, firstly that having some local knowledge is helpful if you’re not planning a trail centre ride, and secondly that riding your bike is almost always more fun with a friend or two, that way if you don’t find the best trails, at least you’ve got somebody to chat to until you do.
If anyone wants more details of my ride then get in touch, or if you would like an experienced guide to show you the best that the Mendips has to offer, just drop us a line.