Nowt to do with Calderdale riding but makes me itch to get out there and ride…
Less Chat, More Pics
Unfortunately that’ll have to wait til next time as I’ve got no pictures to show you but do have a lot of words to share. Going back to last weekend, Ed, Martin and I had a play around Hebden for a few hours which was great - its been too long since I’ve dragged myself across there and out of my little South Halifax bubble. Did Kebab St, Birthday X (which was knackered from the ‘summer’ we’ve had) and then up Jack Bridge and some of the funky stuff along there like the Zig Zags, bottom of Slack Tracks and Beechnuts followed by cake and banana milkshake. Ace.
Then yesterday saw me in York with a few hours free so up to Dalby I went with the aim of putting in a quick lap. Mid 20’s heat and packed trails didn’t bode well for my attempt at a 2 hour lap of the red but I still rolled into the visitor centre 2h 20m after I’d set off despite traffic, heat and taking a few of the fun World Cup options. Ace ride - Dalby is getting a real nice feel about it now. Smooth, rough, bordering on overgrown and some funky little tech sections to catch you out if you stop concentrating. Its not for everyone but for a proper stretch of the legs its reet good.
So yesterday, in an effort to tame the foul mood I was in I jumped on the singlespeed and headed through town with the intention on going up to Beacon Hill, across to Elland Woods etc. And ended up going out past the ski slope! Hadn’t ridden the ‘secret’ valley for ages, possibly not since 2010 so headed up towards Queensbury and then back down the valley, taking in some excellent cheeky stuff in the woods and then an equally good bridleway back towards Stump Cross. This is where things got even better though as I took a likely looking trail which turned into a belter. Definitely giving that a go again and looking on OL21, it looks like its easy to approach from elsewhere and extend it further. Pics coming soon!
Classic Weekender Twenty Twelve
With the 2012 ‘summer’ weather playing havoc with events like Mountain Mayhem this year, I must admit I was a bit reluctant with a day to go before the Weekender when I was standing in a field near Skipton being drenched whilst holding a dead chick waiting for an Eagle Owl to land on my arm and rip the chick to bits.
But, Saturday dawned a bright one and so Ed and I loaded up the car and headed to Lee Quarry for a weekend of racing. I say racing, the best thing (for me) about the Weekender is the atmosphere and more a feeling of having a day playing with your mates. Serious doesn’t really seem to feature at any point, from the catching rubber ducks with a fishing net whilst riding one handed over a skinny to being heckled by the marshalls at every opportunity!
After a bit (too little in hindsight!) of practise on the downhill and the trials, we lined up for the trials stuff. 5 mandatory obstacles (4 passed) and 2 optional ones (stupidly attempted and failed) for me put me in a pretty foul mood. Perfect for the downhill which was next where my mood didn’t improve when I ‘forgot’ to pedal much and didn’t check the course properly so took pretty much every slow line there was. Anyway…
(Excellent) photo by Adam
Night time meant huddling around a BBQ before conceeding it was bloody freezing and retiring to my sleeping back to get a good nights sleep ready for the cross-country on Sunday.
Another bright day and I lined up on the start line of the cross-country, 2 minutes behind Craig and 1 minute behind Ed, fully prepared to be brutally ripped apart by everyone. But after the first biblically horrific climb/push I settled down and started reeling in people, eventually winning the ‘mates race’ and finishing 57th out of 139 riders which, considering my hugely shit starting position I was pretty pleased with.
A superb event, well run, great people and great facilities. See you next year…
Can’t Wait For The Winter…
…at least when the ground freezes it makes for pretty good riding. This 3 months of rain is starting to get on my tits though. But, trying to keep up with my Wednesday night rides I nipped out last night on the singlespeed and did a quick 13 miles. A mix of lethal we cobbles and deep mud on Norland gave way to a great washed out descent down to Triangle and then a very pleasant pootle back home toying with some roadies… Week to go til the Singletrack Classic Weekender. Can’t wait!
Calderdale sunsets. Possibly the best sunsets in the world. Great ride tonight and was mainly dry apart from the actual torrent flowing down fireworks!