I’ve been moving house and trying to build a bike, more on that patience sapping money pit later, and therefore not blogging but not much has changed except that I now live on the right side of Sheffield for easy access to the Peaks by bike, I am out of my door and on wooded single track in 3 mins. I’m still lugging around the Dawes, it’s keeping my eye in, but I’m yearning to ride something a little better equipped.
After many failed attempts over the winter due to poor visibility and snow, we’ve been riding a trail I shall call Cabbage Bench, for no other reason that it is technically a footpath and therefore off-limits to cyclists. As individuals we’re usually unnecessarily deferential to this stupid piece of legislation dreamt up by some moron in Whitehall, but as the council has made a concerted and comprehensive effort to ruin the old Houndkirk Road by making it smoother that most of the roads in Sheffield city centre, we feel entitled and obliged to seek technical riding elsewhere. If you don’t like you can take down my number plate call the police.
Rivlin Valley has also felt our rubber with Lambo leading us on new adventures in the dark to the un-ridden and potentially un-rideable. It has been a while since I rode a new descent, it’s been even longer since I rode a mountain bike off-road in daylight. A new descent in the dark is a mind focussing event that never fails to leave the adrenal gland empty and flapping.
The steps on our Rivlin trail still fill me with dread before they’re attempted and relief once they’re cleaned. On descending the big flight of steps on our route for its first time the Dawes ran out of travel towards the bottom and let out a PING as we hit the footpath. This is the sort of noise I would associate with attracting the attention of the concierge in a hotel lobby, not the suspension system of a mountain bike.
I have a ride around Edale with Beachy tomorrow and I was hoping to take my newly built Inbred 29er out for its first ride but I’ve been let down by Chain Reaction Cycles and have no front brake and no front shifter. So it’s going to have to be the Dawes which will probably give up half way round and result in a long walk back to the car in a dirty red cloud of anger.