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A lovely day to take the bike for a walk

ZingaiyaZingaiya Posts: 52
edited October 2013 in MTB beginners
Seeing as the weather was so nice yesterday, I thought I'd scout out the course for the Tameside XL Triathlon that I've entered. It's a 15k ride from the Tame valley over to Longdendale and back.
No problems doing the first half of the course (apart from the bits where it was faster and easier for me to get off and push), but on the second half I got a bit lost and couldn't work out how to get to the next section. I had a chat with a hiker, who suggested that rather than retrace my steps, I abandon my plan and take a different route up to Chew Valley reservoir. it'll be longer and more strenuous, but what the hell, I'm a fat n00b in my 40's, what could possibly go wrong?

Turns out he neglected to mention that the track was effectively a sheep trail through thick heather, so before long I was back to pushing. Unfortunately, the track meant that either my feet were in the track, or the bike was, so either way my legs got lacerated by the heather or the pedals. The pedals, spokes, chain, gears etc, also were continuously caught by the heather, so it was a bit of a gruelling experience.
Fortunately, I only had to push through this for 4 miles or so. The next mile was a bit more forgiving, with less heather, but more large boulders, and also steeper. A lot steeper. Finally I made it onto the top. For those of you who don't know, Saddleworth Moor is essentially a peat bog. A big, featureless, trackless peat bog. Fortunately I know the area a bit, so managed to work my way to the edge at Wimberry Rocks, only occasionally losing my shoes to the bog. After that, it was a simple matter of negotiating the rocky, precipitous, occasionally non existent path to Chew Reservoir. So another mile or so of pushing...

On the plus side, the road down from the reservoir is steep and exhilarating. Pity I forgot about the gate halfway down. That came as a fun surprise...
Still - all good training for this triathlon.

So the moral of this story is to take any advice from a hiker with a pinch of salt about bike routes. Lovely day though.


  • hahaha. Good story. The downside to riding 'natural' is that you can spend an awful lot of time and energy having a crappy ride.
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    There's riding up there.

    If you turned left just after that gate there is a lovely cheeky nicely techy bit of trail that you can bail right into a superb downhill. There's also some stuff from Chew Reservoir but I've not quite made it up that climb yet.
  • paulcpaulc Posts: 161
    Sounds like a right nightmare, how long did you take... Hope you had some nice views.

    Only nightmare I've had was when I went for a quick ride round block (down canal and country lane back home)
    No money or repair kit... Got carried away and ended up miles from home and got a puncture had too walk home for 2 hours and of course it rain too.
  • 3 hours. Most of that pushing uphill. By the time I got to Chew reservoir, nothing was going to stop me going home and having a bath.
  • paulcpaulc Posts: 161
    Oooh 3 hours feel bad for you... Least it wasn't a mountain, bet it felt like it though.
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