/ Best MTB rides in the Peak District?
I'm amazed those Vertebrate guides have two volumes for the place and only one for all of Wales... does the author live nearby by any chance?
Don't bother during daylight hours at weekends - far too busy to be any fun.
Best to stay in South Wales
it'd be a combined biking climbing trip so don't let the fact my home it's better put you off recommending routes. would be nice to ride some grit trails just for a change!
I've been unimpressed by several of the options in the Vertebrate guide but it depends what kind of riding you're into and hoping for. I found too much tarmac and boredom on a lot of the routes.
The various routes up to and down from Hollins Cross are good fun.
Oh, the biking is just great in the Peak. It just can be really busy at weekends
> Oh, the biking is just great in the Peak. It just can be really busy at weekends
Odd, I've never found it a problem, and I hate crowds !
To the OP - my problem with the VG guides is that I want to know about sections - whether they are rideable in both directions and all year round - rather than have a load of short loops which repeat a lot of sections. What they describe as a killer loop is my idea of a short ride !
However I would suggest doing the classic kinder loop - up chapel gate from Edale, along rushup edge, Roych clough, mount famine, coldwell clough and the great descent of Jacobs ladder. If you're fit you can extend it by starting from bamford and including win hill and jaggers clough at the start, then finishing up with the beast
Its quiet in the winter at the weekends
> Odd, I've never found it a problem, and I hate crowds !
Well I suppose I have got used to not seeing a soul on night rides or weekday riding ;-)
Was out for a family walk along Derwent Edge the other weekend and there was a constant stream of bikers along the bridleway that then drops down to the reservoir. And when I've been out with my boys on their bikes on easy trails its been busy.
When its very busy with walkers and bikers it would not be right to really let rip on the downs.
Winstone lee tor is one of the finest routes in the peak, but I do wish riders would avoid it when it's wet - I haven't ridden it at all this year
It's my favourite quick loop if I need a fix.
no No NO
The Jacob's Ladder route is indeed a classic, but not if you go up Chapel Gate. Apart from the fact it has been resurfaced and is dull, it gets you to the wrong end of Rushup edge and also means you miss out the great climb up to Hollin's Cross, and the even better mind blowingly brilliant climb from Hollins up to Mam Tor itself. That piece of track is mountain biking heaven. It starts off with flat paving slabs, then gets a bit steeper; then there's a slight step between each slab; then it gets even steeper; then just as you're starting to get knackered it really rises up and does a quick zigzag which is a real challenge to ride (it's also not strictly bridleway at this point as the proper route has sneaked off to the right, but it has to be done if you like climbing)
Not done the extensions that Chris mentions but I sometimes turn left after Rushup Edge and then go down CaveDale and back up the old Mam Tor road. That makes quite a good trip.
Having done the beast on Friday and not seen a sole, I was walking with the kids round Ladybower on Saturday and I can't believe how many MTBs I saw. However, I don't think it should stop you getting out - there's loads to do and it's never going to get that busy. Chris's suggestion sounds good - the beast is brilliant (one of these days I'll get it in one!)
I deliberately didn't specify the kind of riding as I'm open to most things - though with a preference for technical or flowing descents. Ideally both, with nice scenery as well :) Best not to waste height gain on something boring if possible.
The main problem with vertebrate and indeed most guides is that they can't very well publish the numerous excellent cheeky trails. (Right, I'll get me coat and go elsewhere to rant about offroad 4x4s now).
I quite like chapel gate in it's current state - far too challenging a climb to be called dull. Almost cleaned it last year, this year it seemed harder. However I agree that the route you described, going up to hollins cross from Edale and then round the back of mam tor, is even better. My only concern would be that the very top of rushup edge might be really boggy at the moment.
> Don't bother during daylight hours at weekends - far too busy to be any fun.
Good topo style maps here http://www.bikemaps.co.uk/bundles.htm
Oh so that's the beast. I just know it as that good downhill bit from the Guide Post!
I remember taking great pleasure over taking dirt bikes going down there. They weren't happy being beat down by a push bike ;-)
Be interesting to have a go against the Strava KOM....
i did the route at the bottom of this page last year , i started and finished from youlgreave as i was staying in the youth hostal there. there is a bit of raod in the route and a kracking cake stop at beeley !! it was a great route , not too hard but fast down hills and quiet . . .
Did that last night - great fun fast in the dark
Which direction? Towards Castleton?
I'll definitely be riding in the area again. Despite the gorgeous weather, hardly any walkers to collide with and you don't get quite as many rocks as that in south wales (nor are they that beautifully sculpted for dropping off of...)
Oh man... so much choice! At this time of year, I'd head, like others have said, for the Hope/Castleton area or Ladybower - it's generally more fun in the wet and mud than the White Peak. Around Ladybower, you can make up loops involving Cave Dale, Edale and so forth, or do the Jacob's Loop (although Rushup is soggy just now).
From Ladybower, the 'This is Ladybower' loop is good fun, although, as others have said, it's probably best to miss out the Whinstone Lee Tor bit at the moment. Another option at this time of year would just be to head up and over towards Hagg Farm, over into Edale and then Hollins Cross before vaguely retracing your steps.
As for the Peak/Wales numbers - the guides have different authors who both live in their respective regions.
If anyone is finding certain bits boring or has any general feedback, drop me an email. It's always great to hear what people think, like or don't like!
Chris the Tall: "What they describe as a killer loop is my idea of a short ride" - you're obviously a beast on a bike! (Have a go at cleaning Jacob's Ladder!)Most people do seem to prefer shorter rides, hence we try to give them options.
To be honest I have only bought the south west one, haven't bought wales as I know most of the routes already but it looks to me like you've nailed most of the main ones (with the exception of the Sarn Helen loop if I remember rightly?)
My only criticism is you don't/can't cover cheeky trails... not your fault eh! Oh and it's a bit daunting having two guides to a small area that I don't visit too often (i.e. the peak) hence why I'd ask here for routes rather than go out and buy.
As an alternative to the book there is this map:
My Perfect Dark Peak Map (well nearly) is the Extra-Wide Site-Centred laminated OS 1:25,000 from Aqua3:
Central coordinates: 417092:385126
National Grid Reference: SK1720585235
Gets Glossop across to Sheffield!
Tweak to taste.
Quite understand that most people want 25 mile routes, and those of us wierdos that like them longer will want to plan them ourselves, but what I am after is the building blocks.
Jacob's Ladder is a great example - yes I clean it on the descent and I'm sure most people can, but very few would manage a clean ascent. And this is what I look for in a guidebook - some sort of indication that I'm likely to be in for a very frustrating half hour that will involve more pushing than riding.
What I find so frustrating about your guides (and I have at least half a dozen of them) if the top tens - Climbs, Descents and Singletracks. Great idea, but it's often really difficult to find out where they are. Yes you include grid references, but your maps don't use them. Why not put in a page number - much simpler ? Why not refer to it in the route description ? Why not mark it on the map ? I did even suggest upping the number to 25 or 50 and devoting far more of the guide to them - possibly at the expense of some of the routes that are virtually duplicates of others.
As the author of the Wales guide, I can tell you that it was my intention with this one to only include my absolute favourite rides but with the proviso that the whole country was covered. This was eminently possible in one book.
Whilst I didn't write the Peak books, I know the area well due to my MBR work and would say they are more 'definitive' - plenty of classics but also some more esoteric stuff included for those that have already done the classics.
Hope that helps?
Cheers guys. Interesting stuff and thanks for all the nice words!
Yeah, we can't cover cheeky trails for obvious reasons. (We wouldn't even know which were the good ones. Cough Cough.)
There are two guidebooks for the Peak because it's a fairly obvious way to split the area and because it lets us get in all the rides in that we want without leaving anything out.
Chris - I meant Jacob's going up!
Unfortunately, most people prefer loops to building blocks (sorry). Personally, I often like to know where the 'blocks' are to build from, and try to refer to them in text when I'm writing. But yeah, I see your point.
As for top tens, we use grid refs rather than page numbers so that people can find them on OS maps. We did try giving route names/numbers, but feedback indicated that this wasn't popular. In our later guides, we've tried to make sure that GRs are included. They aren't marked on the maps as we want to keep them as simple and easy to use as possible.
It's good feedback though - the top tens are usually one of the first things to get dropped from guides when space is tight. We might have a rethink on that.
> - the top tens are usually one of the first things to get dropped from guides when space is tight. We might have a rethink on that.
Different strokes/different folks eh?!
Don't worry, routes never get dropped!
> It's good feedback though - the top tens are usually one of the first things to get dropped from guides when space is tight. We might have a rethink on that.
How about creating some Strava Segements for them? Name them to get some free advertising ;-)
> Jacob's Ladder is a great example - yes I clean it on the descent and I'm sure most people can, but very few would manage a clean ascent. And this is what I look for in a guidebook - some sort of indication that I'm likely to be in for a very frustrating half hour that will involve more pushing than riding.
try wild boar maps.
I've found them very useful, they show the routes but also contain an indication of surface and how steep things are. It's not fool proof but is a good start to working out if you should be going up or down a section. They do contain some suggested rides, but they also contain other routes in the areas covered by each map so is very easy to build your own ride.
> How about creating some Strava Segements for them? Name them to get some free advertising ;-)
The problem with Strava is that people are uploading segments for tracks where bikes are not allowed, (e.g. Burbage Valley) and creating a competitive need for others to go and do them.
I've tried but can't. It seems you can only flag your own segments. if you know better, please tell me how.
I think you can only flag a segment if you've done it.... (which could include walking it with GPS) you can however flag the user's ride that includes the segment.
You could also raise a support ticket with Strava and they will remove the segment (they are quite hot on this at the moment due to a few court cases in the states)
> I think you can only flag a segment if you've done it.... (which could include walking it with GPS) you can however flag the user's ride that includes the segment.
> You could also raise a support ticket with Strava and they will remove the segment (they are quite hot on this at the moment due to a few court cases in the states)
i did raise a ticket, but they wouldn't remove it, saying they couldn't do anything, and advised me to flag it. which i can't,
In relation to England & Wales: just to be clear, cycling on footpaths is not a criminal law offence (unless there are specific local bylaws). It's a common law trespass (civil law) matter between the landowner and the trespasser, where damages can be sought by the landowner through the civil courts etc.
Riding a bike on a 'footway' (i.e. next to a road) is an offence and you could get a fixed penalty notice.
Driving a motorised vehicle on a bridleway or a footpath is a criminal offence.
So I can see why Strava may not want to get involved on cycling segments put up by users.
That is not to say it is ethical, 'right' or socially acceptable to ride on footpaths (but that's a different issue).
As climbers, we often gain access to crags using rights of way (and sometimes not using RoWs), then climb routes that are not RoW (CroW land etc is different of course). So we do need to be a bit mindful of shouting foul at other user groups.
These links provide a nice summary from a RoW officer in relation to bicycles:
And a Policeman's View:
Also (as per my other thread) are there any near the Roaches?
Did something similar myself yesterday - superb conditions
Started at Yorkshire Bridge, round to Aston and up Win Hill to Edale Cross, but rather than going down the Beast I went straight on down Potato Alley to the A57 - the rough sections were great but the farm road at the very end of lethal. Then up Rowlee Farm and down Lockerbroke (forgotten just how good that descent is), up the Screaming Mile and down Hagg Farm. And finally along the shore for a bit, but then another steep climb and a high level route before spotting an off-piste descent that was way too gnarly for me, but nonetheless...
A mere 20 miles, but almost 1000m of ascent and some cracking descents
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