I have always enjoyed being outdoors. One of my favourite things to do – mountain biking. It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing, you can always get out and ride through some mud or over some rocks. The faster, the better!
I don’t profess to be the greatest rider ever, I normally ride red trails at the centre, but can hold my own on some of the black trails too. Some fast, flowing single track cannot be beaten. The ultimate adrenaline rush with the added fun of some technical skills to see you through safely. However, my favourite style would have to be getting on some trails across open moorland or screaming along bridleways in the mountain foothills. It’s a great way of covering some serious miles in beautiful surroundings, even if occasionally you have to hike-a-bike a bit or make the odd river crossing.
Recently, I got a new mountain bike and after a trip up Snowdon and a few local rides around some woodland with lots of mud, I was itching to go and try some proper single track. Having not been to Grizedale for a few years, Liz and I decided to take a trip there and check out the trails. However, Liz’s bike is currently broke (We break bikes a lot!) so we managed to find a last minute replacement.
The bike we sourced wasn’t really up to the job so I swapped the wheels for some more robust mountain biking ones I had in the garage and I put some of my spare tyres on in attempt to make it a bit more appropriate.
It soon became apparent that the bike was even more dodgy than we first thought as the chain came off twice on the first climb into the forest. After a little bit of tinkering around I managed to sort the limiters out and the bike seemed okay. Off we went down some very attractive forest track bathed in lovely winter sunshine on a spectacular day.
It was all set up to be a fantastic day spent ripping around some nice single track and berms in a great forest park. However, quickly it became plain that the bike really was next to useless for this type of stuff, even on some downhill forest track the bike was all over the place. With gears and brakes not working properly, the bike appeared to have its own language making an amazing range of different noises which were mostly just really annoying. We decided to abandon our single track ambitions and just take it easy on some forest track for the day.
After riding stunning sections of forest trails up and down hills with sun light pouring in at every opportunity we really enjoyed just having a day with our foot off the gas and absorbing the sights and sounds of the forest as we biked through. After several laps round different weaving trails we found ourselves back en route to the trail centre after clocking up around 24 km of riding. Nice!
A lovely day spent biking around a wonderful forest can never be complete without a pub tea and pint. On our way home we stopped off in a proper English pub, sat by a roaring fire we enjoyed a superb Sunday roast and a pint of locally brewed larger. What a fantastic finish to a great day, that could have very nearly turned into a catastrophe!
Watch the video of our fun on the forest trails HERE!