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Ride the Peak is a group of mountain bikers, from a variety of riding types and backgrounds, who are interested in maintaining and enhancing mountain biking in the Peak District.
Irwin, Shane and myself (Jeff) are part of Ride the Peak’s track maintenance group, which has previously undertaken small maintenance jobs on bridleways, mainly involving improving drainage (eg Aston Bridleway, Derwent Edge & Hollins Cross to Greenlands). More recently the group took on a larger job, doing maintenance on the bridleway which runs from the lay-by on the north side of Mam Tor to a junction with the bridleway from Hollins Cross at Greenlands and the track from Greenlands to Edale. [Track Page | Map]
The main aims of the job were:
removed tight gullied and rutted sections
in places where the route had split up; get everyone back on one line
get the water off the track (water flowing down tracks causes a lot of erosion)
but at the same time, keep the character of the track and keep it fun to ride
Starting in late June the group spent about 8 evenings over 3 months working on the track through wind, rain, darkness and midges (what is it with Edale midges?!). We adopted the top-down management approach; starting below the second gate, near the top of the track, filing in narrow ruts and making drainage channels into the ditch at the side. We then moved onto the straight with the high wall, this was a case of bringing most of the higher line down to fill in the gullied bottom line. Where drainage rollers were put in, small sections of the high line were left to aid drainage, it was later noticed they look remarkably like mini ‘bus stops’. 😯
In the next section we added some flowing, slightly bermed, curves while filling in the gullies. Lower down is a sort of left dip down a small rock step followed by a right shwosh up, pump, avoid a few rocks and out …well it makes more sense when you ride it. Another interesting feature is where we put in a 45Â° sloped wooden boarding to help hold back the earth for a slope down into some flowing curves before the wide gulley by the hawthorn tree. We used the two parallel straight lines that had developed to make one line with curves and we widened the narrow exit of the gulley and cut back overhanging gorse bushes.
For this section we had some aggregate surface material to use, which is better draining and longer lasting than normal soil, the only problem was that the aggregate was up the top of the hill by the second gate. We had two wheel barrows and a motorised wheel barrow to move it with, you might think pushing empty barrows up hill and full ones down hill would easy – WRONG! It was a constant battle to stop the barrow running away from you down the hill or gaining too much speed and spilling the precious load. Shane loved driving the petrol driven motorised barrow, which was cross between a wheel barrow and a military tank (I’m sure I heard him whispering to it at one point).
It was decided that no work was needed lower down, so we didn’t do anything to the track below the wide gulley next to the hawthorn tree. The Peak Park also did work around the same time on the bridleway that runs from the top of track, around Mam Tor, towards Hollins Cross. Martyn Sharp, who is the Pennine Way ranger for the Peak Park and, as a MTBer, is a member of Ride the Peak, organised and oversaw the work of the Ride the Peak maintenance group, as well as making our digging legitimate (not just anyone can dig up bridleways).
At the end of January, Martyn, Irwin and I went back to see how the track had faired over the 4 months since we finished working on it. It was generally working well, with only a few area that might need looking at in the near future. The ground was frozen solid, so apart from axing out a few tyre ruts there wasn’t much work we could do, other than move a few stones to the side where part of the wall had come down. Fortunately we had brought out bikes and there was time for a short ride down the track, up to Hollins Cross then back up the ridge to the lay-by. Irwin had borrowed a nice HD helmet camera and there was still some snow and plenty of ice about, so there’s footage of Martyn coming off once and me twice.
Below is a video and pictures of Shane & Jeff riding the Mam Tor to Greenlands bridleway, in October 09, a few weeks after the work was completed (Shane only had a rear brake):
09-10-10 MamTor-Greenlands ST+JK, 8 Pictures by Jeff & Shane
Helmet Camera run during the snow, gives a good idea of the track lengh and features.
As some of you may be aware myself, Jeff and Shane are members of Ride the Peak. ‘What is Ride the Peak?’ I hear you say.
“Ride the Peak is a group open to all with like-minded interests in maintaining and enhancing mountain biking in the Peak District”
A couple of weeks ago now we went to carry out some basic maintenance to the Derwent Edge bridleway. There was only a small group of the four of us. With Martin Sharp, who works for the Peak Park, keeping us in line we were able to achieve what we set out to do. Which was to unblock the ‘bomb holes’ so that they could start to dry out.
Anyone who has ever ridden there before will know that in the winter it get extremely muddy. Which leads to users (not just cyclists) trying to find alternative routes around the worst bits. But even in the summer some of the deeper bomb holes just don’t dry out. So we were trying to drain some of the largest puddles/pools of water. Although we did leave a couple as there were full of tadpoles. 🙂
09-04-21 Derwent Edge Maintenance, 5 Pictures by Jeff
Right me(Shane) and James are getting together to get some maintenance and new ideas put in down the pump track
So if you want to lend a hand and get together bring a Spade, Mattock, Shovel, any thing to dig with. We’ll be there from round 12ish [On Monday 22nd] till dark just leave a comment and let us know who’s coming
Not had any updates on the site recently so to make up for it here are two at once!
Pump track 18th November
The pump track has been looking a little neglected recently so me and Shane headed down on Tuesday afternoon and cleared the leafs of the track and sorted the drainage. But we also decided to give the jumps a make over. And have started to alter the jump line, the plan being to move the first take off a couple of feet further up the hill and generally make the whole set bigger and safer. We removed the old Bowling green roller from the first table and whole load of other rubbish (half a bed). We got the first take off rebuilt in the new position although it still needs a little bit of work to shape it just right. I will get some pictures soon. Hopefully we can organise some more digging down there, leave a comment if you can lend and hand with the aim being to re-dig the lot bigger and better than before as the ground is nice and soft at the moment (think of the positives).
Anyway back to the riding, after we had cleared the layer of leaves that was covering over half the pump track it improved things, even making it possible to put some of the more technical lines together into full laps.We only left about 40mins of light at the end of the day to do some riding and take pictures but i am pleased with the results. Shane brought his mini pump track bike down for its first test run 🙂 see if you can spot it.
08’11’18 Pump Track JI+ST, 12 Pictures by James
Pump track 15th November
I hadn’t been riding with Jeff in quite some time so i suggested that we meet up one night at the pump track, having not been down there for quite some time it was interesting to say the least. Even trying to complete full laps was a difficult enough task, all good practice for the summer though. We did our normal mixture of riding and sitting on the bikes and talking.
But after a couple of failed laps the technique started to come back to us, even with the leaves and damp ground trying to do the best to stop it. The main problem was leaves sticking to the tyres and frames creating loads of rub. The bmx was suffering a lot with this so after i while i ditched the bmx and we took it in turns riding Jeff’s bike.
We got some good pictures of us riding the bank berms which was covered in a layer of leaves making for both interesting riding and pictures, i suppose those two are linked. Anyway get out and ride! 🙂
Exams are but a few weeks away, which means revision is looming and encroaching on riding time. However mother nature is being kind at the moment and giving us ridable light until late in the evenings. So I have been riding quite regually mainly with Jeff. We sessioned the brinks road DH track on Sunday & Monday (yes we pulled our fingers out of our arses and got out riding).
On Tuesday I headed up Pindale with Jeff, Shane & Ben. We had a pretty good time playing on rollers and a tricky rock section some where halfway up the quarry face, only Shane made it through and he did so by endowing on slippy jagged rocks, nice. We sessioned a small drop and scouted a maybe doable gap jump which would look awesome on film. With all the playing we only had time for a couple of runs. On the last run Jeff took some photos. It was about 8.30 and pretty much dark. Jeff kindly got his flash out and blinded us leaving us to blindly hold on for dear life down the rock track.
Yesterday (Wednesday) me and johnny headed up to the quarry above the millstone. We didn’t ride but did some digging. The old hip is rebuilt some roller drops have been rebuilt and we built a gap drop which is quite big. Should be good for a session some time soon (maybe after exams or one evening).
On other news, there are rumors of some spangly monkeyspoon.com jerseys! (talk to Irwin if you are interested in one, the current idea is to base them around sombrio jerseys).
Monkeyspoon.com is a website & blog about mountain biking in the Peak District, UK.
It offers information on local tracks & trails, maps & routes, pictures and videos.
Established in 2005, it is run by a group of downhill mountain bikers based in the Hope Valley, North Derbyshire.
For more information about the site see the About page or Contact us.