Busy trails at Rivington.

A sunny Sunday at this time of year was bound to see a lot of people enjoying a bit of relaxation. I left home mid morning and rode the 4 miles to Rivington. After that I had a big area of off road riding to explore and today chose a loop of just over 4 miles to Rivington Pike and down through the terraced gardens. I then only rode about 100 yards of road before a route along the side of the Anglezarke reservoir to Healey Nab. That was another 5.2 miles almost all off road.

At the top of the Pike I met 2 brothers from Chorley who were riding a similar route to my own and I asked for my photo to be taken.


Me with my kingdom spread out behind me!

I was surprised when I looked at my record on Strava that I’d ridden many of the segments faster than in any of my previous attempts. I’ve mentioned before that I’d rather lost the knack of riding down the terraced gardens. The hairpin bends are so tight and modern, longer bikes are quite hard to get around the corners. Today I used the technique of locking the rear wheel as I turned into each corner. The locked wheel then slides around behind you and you’re pointing the right way to power down to the next turn. It seemed to work. Looking at Strava tells you little about how you compare to other riders. Where I was riding a long series of bends, many people just go straight down yet their times still count. Later on I rode a climb to the “Street Wood downhill” and was overtaken by a rider. I was hoping, when I heard him catching me up that he was on an E bike but he wasn’t. He was on a fully rigid bike. No suspension at all. What a martyr. I was happy that he carried on when I took the downhill and my time, in today’s damp conditions, was 112nd fastest of a massive 2451 different mountain bikers. Within the fastest 5% and 10 seconds slower than the quickest ever. Here it’s impossible to cheat, there are no short cuts so I think this better represents my riding. I didn’t have time to look at it as I sped past at speeds of up to 24.6mph but the overflow from one reservoir to another, is a spectacular sight. The terraced gardens particularly had been overrun with walkers. I am now very careful that I will NEVER hit another trail user, most especially not a child or a dog. It meant a lot of slowing basically to a halt but it’s a small price to pay. I used to have a much more cavalier attitude. It must be one of the scant benefits of growing older! I’ll maybe do this ride in the early morning next time to get a bit more fun out of it.

After the long trail at the side of the reservoir I climbed up the back of Healey Nab. I could hear 2 riders behind casually chatting and clearly catching me up. I hoped they were riding E bikes and fortunately they were! We chatted briefly and I followed them as they took the red graded descent. I was catching them, I was sure, despite them having an electric motor to help, then they turned off onto the black route where it crosses. I was feeling glorious later on the red route. A feeling of happiness which filled the soul. That’s why I do this.

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