Went for a ride yesterday just to get some hills under my legs and found myself tackling some particularly difficult terrain, I think I may have found the point where a Mountain bike has the edge on a Gravel bike.
The climb up Winter hill isn’t particularly arduous even off road, sure it hits 500m at maximum altitude but the various interconnecting bridle paths leading to the summit are easily tackled on a Gravel bike by a rider with a modicum of fitness and skill, I managed a clear run from bottom to top only stopping to open gates or take photos.
The top is where the fun starts.
The point where the above photo was taken is about as high as you can get before the various paths start pointing back downwards and to be fair there are a lot of choices, I could easily have road down the same way as I arrived or taken the tarmac road back down, but where’s the fun in that!
The two tracks at the fork pictured above required further investigation on a map before I attempted them both looked rideable on a MTB but I wasn’t convinced my drop bars and skinnier tyres would be up to the job so elected to head part way down by road then attempt a further climb up to Rivington Pike, the next summit in the range.
The tarmac soon gives way to dirt and gravel which the Cannondale took in it’s stride, the problems began when the climb turned from gravel to a path of babies head sized rocks, bone jarring at the least and most definitely best tackled with at least front suspension, I’m not sure how I’d forgotten how rough it was.
I decided to cut my losses and head down the hillside along one of the many paths, every hundred yards or so the rocks got bigger and the pummelling my bike took became more acute.
Standing on the pedals using my arms and legs for suspension alleviated some of the bigger hits but it proved to be a long way down and a path I won’t voluntarily take again on what is to all intents and purposes a beefed up road bike.
Still, the scenery at the top was magnificent and I managed a few photo’s for my troubles.