Cycling, MTB, The Peak, XC

Cross Country – Derbyshire + the Peak

XC!

And about time too! My poor HT had only had a couple of tame outings along footpaths and bridleways so this weekend I took it out to experience something new.

Clara and I, as MTB virgins, were in safe hands. Lucy rides for GB in MTBO (Mountain bike orienteering) and Katie knows her downhilling stuff!

Ready to go!

Starting off simply, we rode out through Endcliffe and Bingham Park where there are nice foot paths and only a few tree roots. Gradually we got further into the Peak and it got more muddy, the climbs got steeper and it all got a bit more exciting. A sharp and painful climb up what is affectionately named ‘ B*****d Hill’ and we were back in terrain I knew – right near the alpaca farm.

Outseats

Next we adventured into a wooded area – Lady Cannings- where the recent rains had made the going very slippy and neither the n00bs nor the pros were having much success. I have never tried cycling in a rutted, boggy forest before but it was full of twigs, puddles and other exciting things.

Then we popped out onto Outseats which is a huge heathery expanse – rust coloured and pretty exposed at this time of year.

Windbreak on Outseats

Unfortunately I got a puncture. So we then spent a long time getting colder and fighting variously with pumps, gas, and frozen fingers.

Boys normally do this bit
Eventually we worked out how to use our pump and got ourselves rolling again.
Obviously by now it was high time for some nourishment so we called in at Fox House for a lovely open fire, hot chocolate and posh food.
Warming our gloves
After (several) hour(s) we started our return journey that took us over so boggy and gully riddled moor before the terrifying exciting descent down Blacka into Totley.
We even managed a few drop offs, avoided some random cows and crossed a couple of fords!

Then after a peaceful traverse of several woods we made it back to Hunter’s Bar and civilisation just before the light was completely gone.

I’ll definitely be back for more!

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