A recap video of our riding in the Peak District over the last 4 years. More info on the bridleways ridden in the video can found on the Tracks page.
Posts Tagged ‘XC’
Posts about cross country mountain biking.
Now Monkeyspoon.com is 11 years old and it’s main riders are around 30, the unthinkable has happened: we’ve started riding uphill, and what’s more on one of the most popular mountain biking descents in the Peak District!
With James running Bike Garage and Shane Peak ebikes, we had the chance to play with the latest full suspension electric mountain bikes from Trek and Haibike. And what better place to try them out than our old proving ground, Hope Cross (aka The Beast).
A couple of notes on the technology. It only puts in power when you peddle, so it’s not like a motorbike. The assistance reduces and stops as you go above 15mph and you realise you’re not superhuman after all. All that high technology adds a fair bit of weight to the bike (and that’s unlikely to change any time soon), so on the flat when you’re going faster than 15mph (or if your battery were to run out) you have a lot of bike to pedal.
James’ Thoughts – Riding the Trek Powerfly FS 8 LT
“So I like ebikes, but probably not for the reasons you might at first think. Often they are dismissed as a way of cheating, getting an advantage of your fellow rider. If that’s your game then yes you could quite easily use them to set the fastest KOM’s (King of the Mountain) on strava or equivalent. But for most people their real intended use is to allow you to ride further, take in more interesting routes, challenge yourself. Rather than being limited, because you know there is that hill. Effectively to give you the same freedom that as a cyclist we all enjoy.
With that said your probably wondering what that has to do with the challenge at hand. Climbing the beast, well our logic was if you can climb this route (spoiler alert: you can) then think of all the possibilities. I was riding the Powerfly FS 8 LT, which in case your wondering FS is Full Suspension and LT stands for Long Travel. 150mm front and rear so you can enjoy the downs as much as the climbs. This model and other LT models also feature plus size wheels. The tyre width of 2.8 inch provided a really big benefit on this rocky climb, with Bontrager staying away from fitting a super knobby tyre and have gone for the chupacabra. Which provides good grip without compromising the rolling resistance on less technical trails. Where this bike really excels for me is when you get it going downhill, it feels super planted and very confidence inspiring to ride.”
Jeff’s Thoughts – Riding the Trek Powerfly FS 7
“It was very impressive technology, the assistance of the motor was useful when tired (or lazy). Getting to the point where I’d normally give up and push (which is often), and being able to wack it up to full power and peddle with easy was great. But on technical climbing, like on Hope Cross, it was quite different for normal climbing. The assistance gives the feeling that gravity or the steepness has greatly reduced, until you lose rear wheel grip, can’t get power into the pedals, or your front wheel won’t go up a rock, then you quickly stop. The easy of pedalling and speed from the assistance gives a false sense of momentum. For those concerned that eBikes make mountain biking too easy or might take the skill out of technical climbs, they didn’t in our test. I performed about half as well on this climb as the other two (I gave up three quarters of the way the first straight), so about the same ratio to how well they do when we’re on normal bikes. Climbing Hope Cross remains a hard challenge.”
Shane riding the Haibike SDURO AllMtn Plus
As some may know, the founder and CEO of Monkeyspoon.com; James Irwin now runs Bike Garage, a small bike shop located in Bamford, in the Peak District. Since he started out over 5 years ago we’ve been working towards a video and here it is:
Returning by popular demand the 10th Hope Valley Mountain Bike Challenge takes place on Saturday 25th September 2010. For those brave enough to take up the challenge it offers a choice of two very demanding off-road routes of approx 20 and 38 miles around the Hope Valley.
For experienced riders the route is technical and takes you via Jaggers Clough, Edale and Jacobs Ladder to Hayfield returning via Rushup Edge and takes in Hollins Cross (Mam Tor) on the way back. For a shorter day you can return from Edale still taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in the Peak District. As in previous years great refreshments will be available at 3 main check-points along the route together with hot soup at the finish. It has been said that it’s the only event you can gain weight, despite the hugely strenuous challenge, due to the amount of free cake and refreshments available en-route.
“… the course is a peach – some of the ruts were hard work but in such a popular mountain bike location, it’s to be expected. The route was clearly marked and a great blend of up and down; it’s hard to imagine a more complete test of the rider in terms of overall fitness and technical acumen.” was one of the comments after the challenge last year.
The last event raised over Â£2,500 and donations were made to two local schools as well as Edale Mountain Rescue. In 2010 donations will be made to Hope Valley College (where the event takes place) Edale Mountain Rescue Team and proceeds will be given to maintaining the bridleways.
It is definitely not a race, we ask that riders come along, enjoy themselves (hopefully without falling off!) and take up the challenge to complete the route – of course there is also the challenge to consume more calories than you actually burn off by eating the delicious cake provided at checkpoints along the way! Hot soup and a roll awaits riders at the finish. Advance registration is necessary. Check-in and car parking takes place at Hope Valley College.
The route is the same as last year: OS Map Route
Returning by popular demand the 9th Hope Valley Mountain Bike Challenge takes place on Saturday 26th September 2009. For those brave enough to take up the challenge it offers a choice of two off-road routes of approx 20 and 38 miles around the Hope Valley.
For experienced riders the route is technical and takes you via Jaggers Clough, Edale and Jacobs Ladder to Hayfield returning via Rushup Edge and Chapel Gate, taking in Hollins Cross (Mam Tor) on the way back.
For a shorter day you can return from Edale still taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in the Peak District. As in previous years great refreshments will be available at 3 main check-points along the route together with hot soup at the finish. It has been said that due to the amount of free cake and refreshments available en-route you can actually gain weight – despite the hugely strenuous challenge!
“It was probably one of the most varied and technical courses I have completed” and “I enjoyed the challenge and the refreshments kept me going – thank you for organising such a fantastic day” were some of the comments after the challenge in 2008.
Registration and car parking will take place at Hope Valley College. The start will remain the same, from Shatton, and the finish will be back at Hope Valley College. Advance registration is advisable – it will ensure your participation as well as assisting with organisation and catering.
The event is organised voluntarily by Hope Valley College and Hathersage school parents with all proceeds going to improving facilities for the children – last year over Â£1,500 was raised!
Click here for a Detailed map of the route. Light Green is the shorter route and the red show the extra add on for more experienced riders.