Riding Great Hill.

I like my rides to have a training value since I’ll only ever ride 2 or 3 times per week so today I rode to the top of Great Hill. Not only does the route involve a decent amount of climbing but it has a superb downhill from the summit. Returning over a smaller Hill, Healey Nab, offers a different type of descent with it’s purpose built trails.

I’ve decided that trail conditions are now good enough and dry enough to rest the Trek Fuel EX8, which I’ve used as my winter bike, and use my Boardman FS Pro. The biggest difference is the change from 29 to 27.5″ wheels but the Boardman also has more suspension travel to compensate for the slightly smaller wheels.

I used my usual mainly off road route to Brinscal Woods to begin the big climb to the top. I’ve twice found deliberate trail vandalism in the woods recently so climbed via the same way that I would later descend and was pleased to find no further foolishness. I felt fresh on the climb which also pleased me because on the ride before last I’d felt rather tired. The view at the top was hazy so I took a picture of the downhill which begins on stone slabs for a short distance before a fabulous natural roller coaster.

The descent remains my absolute favourite and my fastest time of 13 minutes and 20 seconds is long by UK standards. There are so many features from moorland single track to rocky drop offs and loamy woodland tracks. I had a great time riding the full drop without pause and I’m sure I’ll be back many times in the summer and autumn. Today I didn’t use the final part because I feel sure it would still have been too muddy. I used a dry path alongside the river instead then returned home over the Nab. The descent is nicely dried up but a lot of gravel on the corners adds a bit of excitement. I had some slides which happen so quickly they’re over before you can react. It’s a case of adopting the right body position on the approach to the corners and controlling the speed. I covered 15.77 miles with 1,425 feet of ascent.

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