Monday, 12 November 2012


Brilliant weekend of riding with slightly fried legs. Like fried eggs only longer. Snuck out over the Snake Pass on the cross bike on Saturday, which normally would be an unpleasant repetitive horror show of being buzzed by brain-dead, impatient drivers. Except that the A57 was closed to traffic bar the odd farmer or construction vehicle.

Just blissful cruising solitude in bright sunshine in the midst of beautiful scenery. One day all roads will be like this.

Then swung onto the Roman Road at the Potato Alley end of things and pottered percussively along the Roman Road, up onto Hope Brink then down via Aston into Hope.

Cross bikes are good things. Not as good on the road as a road bike, bu a lot better than a mountain bike. And not as good off road as a mountain bike, but a lot better than a road bike. Which is better than looking at it the other way round.

Then back road to Castleton, broken road, towards Dirtlow Rake, tracks to Sparrowpit, down through the Wash then back via Peep of Day, Hayfield and the farm with the angry dog who was in particularly fine, chain-rattling form. Who rattled his cage.

And somewhere above Hayfield, I got all panoramic before limping home with properly trashed legs.

Then Sunday a proper Jacob's / Roych loop with ├╝ber muddy finish over Rushup and down the back bridleway from Hollins Cross into Castleton.

A certain irony that the Roych was over-run with 4x4s, convoys of them, exercising their rights to cause disproportionate levels damage to a beautiful historical track. Including two going in the wrong direction despite the one-way agreement thing. Bet they had fun when they met the others.

It always amazes me when mountain bikers stick up for fat blokes in camo 'enjoying the outdoors' in their elevated tin wank-boxes belching fumes and noise and indifference to others as they go. Here's a thought, they may be there legally, but the law is arse in this case. These are ancient pack horse tracks that, by historical accident, happen to classified as 'roads'.

They were never designed to be suitable for use by motorised vehicles and whatever the legality of it, it makes no sense. And guess what, these are the same daft access laws that prevent mountain bikes from legally riding on perfectly suitable footpaths, you know, the ones the same pro-4x4ing mountain bikers oppose.

I have nothing against 4x4 drivers as individuals, but for me, the line gets drawn at the recreational use of the internal combustion engine, because of the impact it has on other people. And maybe that does sound bleeding heart, but in a world we've tried our damndest to exhaust of natural resources and concrete over, do we really need people driving all over the bits that are left relatively unscrewed?

Anyway, that's just my personal opinion. It looks like 4x4s are going be banned from the Roych shortly regardless of what I think and I can't honestly say I'll be sorry to see them go.

And to those who say mountain bikers will be next, one question - where's your evidence for that? It's a ridiculous, simplistic attitude founded on nothing but paranoia. There are no statements I've ever seen from the Ramblers Association or the BMC or any National Park Authority to that purpose and it they exist, I'd love to see them. Not solitary forum rants by the odd intolerant idiot, real policy statements.

Anyway... there's another option; tarmac the Roych and then see how they like them roads. Not so much I'm guessing.

But a brilliant day with great riding on a magic bike in good company. Blah...


  1. Hi...I have just discovered your blog...a lot here that I find of interest with a good mix of opinion...I have now joined you as a follower and would like to invite you to do the same over at my own blog
    I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future...

  2. Hi, As above really! reading your blog brings back a lot of memories for me. I used to fly hang gliders around the mam Tor, Rushup edge area around 20 years before Kids! It's a stunning playground - which i tend to ride over to during summer months.
    I'm now into cycling as it's less time consuming, but (almost) as exhilarating!. Thanks for the posts, I'm looking forward to reading more. If you have the inclination, maybe you'd take a look at my blog: