Edale - Classic 30k Loop
The new Sonder bikes have been kicking around at Alpkit HQ for a few months and I've managed a couple of sessions at Sherwood Pines and some local singletrack, but I've been wanting to get out on some real hills and natural paths.
With a weekend planned in the Lake District in the future and hopefully a Scottish winter ride I only had one Saturday free. After perusing theMountain Bike Rideswebsite and asking around the office a classic loop from Edale seemed to be a good ride -The route I followed is online here; parking at Edale, going up to Hollins Cross, then across Mam Tor, down Rushup Edge then Roych clough down into Hayfield, out of Hayfield up Snake Path, passed Kinder Reservoir under Kinder low up Oaken Clough and down Jacobs ladder to Upper Booth and then back to Edale.
The weather started out Foggy, with a low mist. The forecast was for it to brighten up, unfortunately it didn't, but the cooler weather made the uphills a little easier. The ride up to Hollins cross was very rutted, but mostly rideable, the last 500m of bridleway ascent before the descent from Mam Tor was dry but very difficult to ride, so I walked that bit. Everything was rideable to Rushup Edge, I hadn't ridden the descent before and had heard rumours, rocks the size of small footballs filled the path and it was an exciting descent! All the way down to Hayfield over South Head and Roych Clough was great fun. Snake path and the tracks up to Oaken Clough were tiring but mostly rideable, but the steep sections of Oaken clough with fist sized rocks just had me spinning so that section I had to walk about 50%, but another rider did manage the majority (he must have been abit fresher than me!!) Then coming down from the Penine way to the Bridleway around Jacobs Ladder I played it a little cautious as I hadn't crashed all day and really wanted to ride Jacobs Ladder, next time I will ride it all... The bridleway around Jacobs Ladder was rocky and fun with tired arms from a long day, the clear bridleway fromt he bottom was very fast down to Lee's farm and the road spin at the end to Edale was over in no time. Check out the video of the Jacobs ladder section.
How did the bike do?
Well it took everything in it's stride, from big rocks to my not so great lines and the couple of carries/pushes were fine. I was worried I wouldn't have a low enough gear, but actually I didn't even use the bottom gear on the 1x11. Next ride will be on bigger mountains in the Lakes!!