Growing old disgracefully

  • A glance at Gisburn

    With the promise of ‘fantastic new trails fully finished and open to the public’, Wayne and I battled against the wind and rain (in the car) on Sunday and made our way over to Gisburn forest to see what improvements and additions to the old “cycle trails” in the hope of finding a new Glentress in Lancashire.
    Obviously that was a little optimistic, what with Lancashire being a tad flatter than Scotland, but we did find a lot of very well built new trails that link together to make a decent sized ‘red’ grade route, with a few notable ‘black’ grade runs added for extra interest.


    Somehow – we couldn’t figure out how – the most notable thing about the trails is that they all seem to point uphill! There seemed to be very little in the way of descending (though some of the descents, as short as they were, were fantastic fun) and a lot of riding up stuff that looked like it would be brilliant in the oposite direction (why do we now ride up through the old quarry, for example). Oh and there were a LOT of berms. A LOT. Big ones pointing downhill, little ones pointing downhill, several in places were berms never used to be that seemed to add very little to the route…and loads on the climbs for some reason?! Not brilliantly helpful ones that meant you could clear an uphill corner that might otherwise have been tricky, just well built but somewhat pointless ones.


    That pic is of one of the nicer ones pointing downhill.
    The whole bermutopia (I’ve just copywrited that word, before you nick it) though, is nothing in comparison to the black run down a gully near the top of the old red route: If you’ve been to Lee Quarry and thought “gosh, these berms are big”, then the big ones at Gisburn will blow you away. They are MASSIVE. HUGE. ENORMOUS. and other such words for bigness. I didn’t get any pics of them as my camera ran out of juice before we got there, but they were big and fast enough to make me ride back up for a second go, giggling like a maniac, even though the pissing rain had made the surface disturbingly slippery. There’s not much else to that ‘black’ graded section, just little-berm, little-berm, slightly-bigger-berm, pedal, pedal, MASSIVE-BERM, MASSIVE-BERM (with 2 line choices – jumpy or fast), MASSIVE-BERM, off-camber-section, harsh-berm, grin…but bloody hell is it a rush!

    Oh, and there’s a catering van down at the main car park at the moment too, that does really nice coffee – the bloke runing it rides a bit as well and has maps (which you’ll need as the waymarkers aren’t up yet), so that’s good.

    If I had to give some sort of overall verdict to other peoples work, in this case I’d say: Pedally.
    Some of the sections seemed longer than they really needed to be, to the point where you’d get a bit fed up of following a (albeit singletrack) track slightly uphill through some trees for ages to have a few moments of berm-centred dropping back down. hopefully the trails will keep evolving though (it’s infinately better than what used to be there) and developing a bit more character – it’ll certainly make a great place to test out new equipment 😀


    1:57 pm on July 27, 2009 | 6 Comments | # |


  • Dave Haygarth 4:23 pm on July 27, 2009 | #

    Handy appraisal Dave – must get over there soon. I’m guessing I will but it’s so hard to find the time at the mo. First chance. I’ll take some pedalling legs too.

  • Tom 8:21 pm on July 27, 2009 | #

    I read that as if your driving that way and want some manmade action carry on to Winlatter.

  • dgpowell 9:04 pm on July 27, 2009 | #

    Erm, yeah, kind of, but not. 🙂

    It’s better than the north face trail at grizedale and is less treacherous in the wet than the altura trail, but has less descending (unsurprisingly) and less technical stuff dotted around it…and as yet there’s not loads of natural stuff to use to turn it into a big all day ride unlike the lakes based trails (though I am lead to believe people are trying to get more bridleways sorted, so that might change).

    It IS still a good ride (but for your own sake don’t use an old DH bike on it, that would just be daft…) and you will enjoy yourself on at least parts of it.

    Everyone should go and have a look, I’d be interested to know if anyone else thinks loads of it would be better the other way round like Wayne and I did!

  • terrahawk 12:05 pm on July 28, 2009 | #

    I should be riding with some lads from the Hope factory in a few weeks in my quest to plot a Lee Quarry-Gisburn (mostly) offroad route….

  • Wayne 2:05 pm on July 31, 2009 | #

    Climbing was a pain on the fsr, some tight corners which made it almost imposible to keep your flow!! two really good DH sections full sus not required, the remaing 90% of the trail would be excellent in reverse.

    Still a good crack, and big grin on chevy chase moments 🙂

    Rinse and repeat action required on big berm DH section.

  • Gisburn Forest Mountinbike Trails… now with added fun. » Minnellium 12:14 pm on August 7, 2009 | #

    […] I managed to finally get to ride most of the best bits (I think) of the new MTB trails at Gisburn Forest last night. I must say I was impressed. I’d be primed / appetite whetted by a combination of Matthew, some photos by Andy Rushforth, and a blog post by Dave Powell. […]