Irwin and I (Jeff) went out for a medium length ride up onto the ridge from Aston and down to Hope Cross, then turning right down HopeX DH. We sessioned this rocky descent for quite a while and took some pictures on different sections to normal. Unfortunately my flash refused to work when we got down to the corner in the woods, which was frustrating. We looked at and tried quite few lines on the bottom two corners before the Ladybower turn off, but the standard ones were generally the fastest, if a little unadventurous.
I found more parts to add to my collection for ‘Project Trail Bike 2009′, which is a challenge involving building a bike from parts I find on the trails in 2009. So far I have two orange pedal reflectors (so I’ll be able to legally ride it on the road at night ), half a (genuine) Shimano large front ring guard and the end part of a large metal brake lever (obviously another victim of a tumble on HopeX DH). Inner tubes should be easy to find, although unpunctured maybe a little harder. If anyone finds a frame on a local trail (preferably green and with air rear shock) let me know.
After that we went up the fire-road to Wooler Knoll on the ridge and then rode Brinks Road, which was quite dry and dusty and more smoothed out than previously. It was a very quite day, despite good weather, we saw more motor bikers than mountain bikers and unusually few walkers were out.