Our dog, Freddie, is totally unsuited to being a trail dog. I couldn’t possibly take him with me on a mountain bike ride for several reasons. He’s rather too small and could easily get run over but more than that he would be bound to find far too many interesting things to sniff at and otherwise investigate. I’d spend most of my time waiting with his nose glued to some seemingly random piece of ground, as he does whilst we’re walking. On 2 recent walks with Freddie, though, I’ve discovered trail options which I was previously unaware of. I would strongly recommend walking, especially with a dog, in your favourite mountain biking places. At the slower pace you may well discover routes which you’ve never noticed before. The second discovery came the day after my last ride when we walked up Crooked Edge Hill to the 3 cairns which are confusingly known as the Two Lads. It was a walk of around 5 miles with a stiff climb so unlike many of my dog walks it counted as exercise for both of us. On the return leg from the summit I spotted a trail which I have never noticed in the last 30 years of riding, running and walking the area. We followed it down and it looked excellent so today I thought I should ride the segment then climb back up to use another superb downhill which is at it’s best in the type of dry conditions we are currently enjoying.
It took an hour of mixed road and off road to reach the beginning of the trail in question and I stopped to take the picture at the top of the page. I again chose to ride my classic, 18 year old Whyte PRST4 full suspension bike. When I turned around I found a trail climbing at the other side of the rough stony road which I’d arrived by. I changed my plan to one where I’d climb up the steep climb to make a longer downhill than I’d been expecting. I wouldn’t then climb back the whole way to use the other more familiar downhill which I’d originally planned. According to the app. Strava the full downhill segment is called Graveyard which seems a strange name since there are no graveyards or churches in the area. It was twisty loamy single track with some trees alongside the trail in the second half. It was very entertaining with some rocky features but nothing dangerous. My time was acceptable for a first attempt and I’ll definitely be back soon, probably to ride it 2 or 3 times in succession to learn it in detail.
I’d covered 11.09 miles with 1,235 feet of ascent. I’ve already worked out a couple of extensions to the section using other trails I know. It always amazes me when I find something new in places where I’ve explored for so long, though much of the credit should go to Freddie, currently resting from this morning’s walk.