So last Saturday (16th Feb) we headed out for an afternoon ride at Hagg Tor, with the bright afternoon sun beaming down on us it felt like spring might have at last arrived. There were five of us in all; Pete, Tim (Pete’s mate, not his brother), Matt, Jeff and myself (James). It was nice to see we were not the only ones out riding a group of about 20 XC riders came down, which is always funny to watch. Although the sun was great for pictures some parts of the bridleway were still frozen from the night before which made things a bit more interesting! This was the first time that Matt and Tim had been down Hagg Tor so me and Pete showed them the lines. Nevertheless, in no time they were both riding it as if they had ridden it many times before. However, they quickly discovered that Hagg Tor is one of those things tracks that you get 100% either right or have a horrible run down. The key to getting down quickly is to get the top section smooth and carry your speed onto the lower sections. This isn’t as easy as you might first think, especially when the ground is frozen 🙂 . In terms of a short downhill Hagg Tor has a lot to offer, natural berms, slow and fast corners, loads of rocks and one of my favourite things being a nice wide track. With space to overtake! This gives you loads of different lines to pick between with every rider taking a slightly different one.
As the afternoon progressed on Jeff got the video camera out and did some filming, expect to see that some time in the future. It was nice to ride with a different group of people and watching how everyone rode the same section. Tim uses his height and strength to man handle the bike around corners, and considering he has not been riding much on his new full suss he was going quickly. Compared to Matt with his BMX background providing the basis of his mtb skills again he does not hang around, it is hard to tell that he has only recently started riding mountain bikes. As the cars were parked down on the A57 Snake Pass we finished the ride off with a blast down Hagg Tor from top to bottom, this is not something that I have done many times before as we normally ride a loop that goes up Hagg Tor and session it as we push up. From top to bottom, it isn’t a bad run, although the gate half way down does spoil it slightly. Well at least it isn’t my turn to stop and hold the gate open next time!
After we got back to Bamford some of us headed down to the pump track to try riding it during the day. I got my new (second hand) BMX off Matt and fitted a bit of metal though the bottom bracket so that I had something to stand on. As I not yet have any cranks, brakes or pedals for it. The pump track is really coming along well and will soon be ready for summer. Thanks to everyone who had been down there and dug some more rollers and jumps it will be worth all the effort once the ground gets a little harder. ShaFF will soon be upon us (Feb 29th to 2nd of March) so make sure every gets down there to see Monkeyspoon on the big screen along with many other great mountain biking and extreme sports videos.