Today the weather has been gorgeous, with blue skies and sunshine. I didn’t want a hard ride with ambitious targets so chose a trail ride to Healey Nab where I’d ride a full lap from the trailhead then ride another downhill section back home. I used the canal to stay off the roads and have been considering riding to Liverpool and back, using the canal for the whole journey. I passed a post today which says that the other end of the canal, at Leeds, is 83 miles distant whilst Liverpool is 44 miles. A 90 mile round trip would be quite ambitious, though there would be virtually no climbing. It must have been around 25 years ago when I rode 50 miles towards Leeds and returned in order to record a 100 mile off road ride. After leaving the canal I climbed to a golf course which is followed by a fast, downhill dirt road. It doesn’t require any skill to ride but is exciting due to the speed. I then crossed a small valley which has a ford over the river Yarrow at the bottom. The water was probably over a foot deep but fortunately there’s also a footbridge which I used. From the river crossing it’s all climbing to the top of Healey Nab. In order to make the ride more relaxing I chose not to time my lap on the stopwatch because I knew that this would make me work hard. I enjoyed my first lap so completed a second full lap using a black graded descent which is steeper but not really technically harder.
I’m absolutely convinced of the benefits of the larger 29″ wheel size. The downhills are smoothed and climbing over rocky or bumpy ground is much improved. I’ll have to try some really difficult, technical climbs like Crooked Edge, which I managed without a foot down on the 27.5″ Boardman this year, having failed to accomplish the task last year on my 26″ wheeled Whyte. I enjoyed my ride today but have been riding berms and single track on all my recent rides. Next time I think I need to seek out some of my favoured flat corners to slither around.