On the Saturday of most recent May bank holiday weekend James and I made a late start and drove down past Matlock-on-sea to Ambergate, near Derby, to check out some of the semi-unofficial tracks in Shining Cliff Woods.
It seems the tracks have been there a few years and are generally tolerated, with most tracks towards the far end of woods. The first track we directed to was quite good with lots embedded rocks and tight steep sections making it very technical with a flatter fun section towards the bottom. With the heat and humidity it was a sweaty push to the top and we only did a few runs of that track. I got the only pictures of the day there, which I think came out quite well considering they were from one run and I sometimes need to shoot loads of runs to get what I want.
Further across the hill, beyond the footpath, there are more tracks starting from a small hill. There were many lines coming off the start point taking you into a small maze of rocky turns that led to two tracks. One was flatter with jumps and fun corners to slide into due the water still lingering on the track. The other went left and more steeply down the hill with some reasonable sized drops and big technical rock garden. I spent many attempts on this giant pedal and bash ring sander, eventually completing a run on the line I was aiming for, well more or less. For some reason when it came to ride back to the car my front middle ring was bent, hmmm. 😕
You can find more info on Ambergate and directions on Gravity Slaves, here.
So as the weather was great me and Jeff headed out for a couple of yours ride in the evening, as it would have been too hot and really busy with walkers during the day. But even at this time it was still roasting, with some people using the great weather to top up their tan at the top of Hagg Tor. With it being almost bone dry I was really enjoying myself putting in many runs of the top section of Hagg Tor, even trying the inside line 😉 in the lower woods!
After we had got enough shoots we headed over towards Gores to get some more there. In stark contrast to Hagg Tor the upper sections of Gores were much muddier looked like a 4×4 had been up there. Stopping over half way down to unblock a drainage gully. We did a couple of shoots on Gores but I don’t personally think it has the same level of interest as Hagg Tor. A couple more turns would make it alot more interesting. Which starting us thinking how good It would be if we had a transporter, which meant you could do a full run down Gores and then get transported to the top of Hagg Tor 🙂 One for the future maybe. Other highlights of ride must have been Jeff using a branch to hold his chain rings and bash guard to cranks. After completely destroying them at Ambergate isn’t it amazing how the Caveman comes out when required.