Monday, 29 November 2010

That's better...

I love the way snow glitters like tiny stars in your lights when you're hooning down Cut Gate in the blackness, picking your way along a Scalextric-clean ribbon of grit-dusted snow through the jumble of rocks. The sound of ice cracking under your wheels and that funny round, hollow noise that big, tubeless tyres make on frozen ground. The funny looks when everyone else is heading home and you're off and up onto the moors. The quiet nods of recognition from other people who 'get it' - fell runners, bikers, walkers. And I love the views of distant towns burning bright in the dark. And ears burned by the cold. And the funny people who won't go out because it's 'too cold'. I guess I kind of like winter.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Out oF Time

November. Dark, brooding, not quite winter, not quite autumn. The sound of water evicted by the tyre treads of passing cars and spat into the night. Cold enough for longs. Drowsy. Lazy. Pilot light glowing in a far buried corner waiting for full gas.

A Rat.


A semblance of will.

Shuffling exit delayed by sartorial dithering. Baggies? Over longs? And what's that in the pocket? Gel, ace.  Flavour? A small, orange sachet of sun-block - 'Sun Shots - Five Star UVA Protection'. Blinking and cringing, out of season, out of time.

A small, sweet reminder of summer.

Deposited in the sundries pot. Replaced with matching orange Go Gel.

And out the door.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Trails Hello! style

This week BadlyWiredDog and his glamorous Pace RC405 invited Hello! to sample the delights of their sumptuous local trails. Or something like that...

Anyway, took a London-based colleague and mate and a couple of his Sheffield-dwelling mates for a work-day rumble around some local trails for local people. After a bit of a kitchen kerfuffle over tyres - no, Aspens are not a good idea in the Peak at this time of year. And oops, tubeless Wolverines and DT Swish rims really don't get on unless you have a crowbar handy. And why don't you just borrow these Minion DHF,s eh? - we headed out on a blissfully sunny, chilly and crisp early winter's day.

Tsssk.... you really shouldn't be here.
Just the process of deciding where to go makes you rethink your local trails. Trying to decide which ones are worth the time and the effort and which doors need to be kept firmly closed.So we headed over to Charlesworth on suicide lane - 'I'll just overtake on this blind bend shall I then?' - and up from there along Coombes Edge, or whatever it's called, then down and across the Shooting Cabin in reverse.

Gotta love that climb and you have to love the views of Kinder at the end of it, looking across at the edge sprawled out across the skyline with the fold of the Downfall creasing the edge of the world. And hey, it's a quiet weekday and, well, you've got to show guests the best bits, so it was off round the corner along traversey singletrack to 'that' clough.

Perfect, nicely damped singletrack with the odd rock-step thrown in. Cruising along looking at the views while the other scream off into the picture perfect future. Smiles and laughter. Priceless.

More of the same follows - Hayfield sarnines and Eccles Cakes, then Chinley Churn in frosty sunlight and a final whooped hurrah down Coldwell Clough and a finish behind the campsite into Hayfield before a final, tired drag back over the hill to home with a sinking sun for company.

Brilliant day and nice to be reminded by others' grins and enthusiasm, just how good my local riding is. There's something quite lovely about sharing your trails and seeing them again through fresh eyes and memories, so thanks for that guys. Must do it again some time soon.