Sunday morning was spent riding round Pen-y-Ghent, partly because it was supposed to be a nice little ride and partly because i wanted to get an idea of where i’d be going on the 3 peaks (further exploration of ingleborough and whernside to follow in the coming weeks). The weather made an appearance, looking quite nice and summery, which added to the enjoyment nd the general consensus was that the route was a great example of everything the dales are good at.
We trawled for ages through terrible overdeveloped urban sprawl, fighting our way through the crowds in search of any sort of greenery before eventually finding several big holes – complete with dead sheep at the bottom. Pen-y-Ghent itself, that had been peeping over the tops of the hills near to where we started, failed to look any less impressive as we got up close to it (though any pics of it had to be shot into the sun so look a bit crap) and i was left thinking that it was going to be bloomin hard clamberng over it after 30something miles…
Further round, the track took on a more technical, multi-line, flavour – the kind of riding i could do all day with a big grin on my face. The kind of trail that cheers me up almost infinately more than any trail centre could (though, thanks to some half finished rebuilding of the main path, i got to sample some gravel whoops/jumps too, just like ain a real bike park!).
Eventually the twisty, turny, avoid the rock, miss the deep puddle, get stuck in a rut, bounce out over a lip, splash through a stream, thrutch over a rock, pedal through a lumpy bit, twist some more, turn some more, lean back down the steep bit, type trail brought us to a road – after some sitting around double checking everything on the route guide…which wasn’t exactly unpleasant in itself:
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we followed the road for a while, noticing that the hills on either side seemed to be getting bigger and eventually (as is so often the case) a climb arrived.
(Click for big)
It wasn’t an awful climb, one to sit back on and get into a rhythm (of swatting away annoying flies, wiping the sweat away then panic steering as you veered off the track) and once over the hump the track took on a speedy double track character back to another road, which turned into a great pasty stop
A short pootle along the road brought us back round to the “front” of PYG and to a great descent (fairly fast, with tricky ruts, rocks, slippy bits etc) pretty much all the way back to the start.