UKC

INTERVIEW: Danny MacAskill on Riding The Dubh Slabs

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Danny MacAskill does the Dubhs.

Street trials rider Danny MacAskill has released his new video of his ride down the 500m Dubh Slabs on the Isle of Skye, 'Danny MacAskill - The Slabs'. Natalie Berry previewed the video and spoke to MacAskill to find out more about how pro climbers such as Alex Honnold inspired this challenge...

Danny MacAskill has a track record of riding his bike down things that most people would hesitate to walk or climb up. He'll balance and hop on his bike from one obstacle to another, engaging his brakes and 'gapping' distances on wheels that few people would jump and land on foot. In 2014, MacAskill elevated his urban trials style to new heights, when he rode the Cuillin Ridge on his native Isle of Skye, creating a viral video - The Ridge - that has garnered nearly 75 million views. Locked-down in Scotland and in need of a challenge, MacAskill sketched plans for another natural feature close to home: The Dubh Ridge, a 900 metre grade III scramble with a 500 metre section of Moderate climbing up 60-degree gabbro slabs. Gravity would pull MacAskill downwards, testing his tyres, brakes and balance. As First Bike Descents go, it's certainly a feat of derring-Dubh.



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2
 Jim Lancs 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

"  . . . it's certainly a feat of derring-Dubh."

Despite the debate around the merits of the Like / Dislike buttons, you can have a thumbs up from me for that!

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Brilliant. He comes across so well. Level headed and minimal hype.

He should get to Wadi Rum for some smooth roller coaster lines down mountains. 

 webbo 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

He’s got some bottle.

 Jon Read 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Is he building ramps up there? (3min 41sec in).

4
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

To think that I could probably have done that in my youth ... NOT.

Absolutely amazing.

 GerM 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Dan Arkle:

Impressive as that might be, I'm not sure that quite strikes a chord with the approach exemplified through this feat:

'It's funny how with cars and planes you think you need to go a long way to find interesting adventures, but if you're on foot the world's a pretty big place,'

10
 peter.herd 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles: Awesome. Stylish drone shots combining both scale and depth. The videography really does justice to the riding and the place.  Really nicely written article too, Natalie. Wee bit of exposure for Skye crack climbing as well.. it really is the premier venue on our Islands. 

1
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

"When asked if he would team up with Alex Honnold for a synchronised ascent and descent on El Capitan, or something less ridiculous, he concludes: 'Alex is quite a keen mountain biker, so maybe we could do something!'"

Half Dome would be cool for a descent - always getting steeper!

 deepsoup 28 Jan 2021
In reply to peter.herd:

Incredible!

I'm going to stick my neck out and be slightly critical of the drone shots though, I found all that swoopy swoopy roundy roundy business somewhat distracting.  Yes it's absolutely amazing what you can do with your drone, no doubt about it, but just because you can do that doesn't necessarily mean you should keep doing it in every shot.

1
 Harry Jarvis 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

The boy's mad! But what an adventure! 

And, need it be said, doesn't Skye look wonderful. 

 Forcan Reg 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Now do it again on a wet day!

7
 Marmotman 28 Jan 2021

In the same style, how about the Devil’s Slide in Lundy?! Too fast and he gets wet...

 Sean Kelly 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

If this sort of prank catches on, routes are going to get trashed!

49
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Fantastic. But someone’s got to say it...

What’s he done on grit?

6
 Rob Parsons 28 Jan 2021
In reply to rsc:

> What’s he done on grit?

Downhill Racer.

 Andy Moles 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Very cool. I'm not sure the video does full justice to how sustained and steep that final slab is. The normal route climbs up the gully on the (climbers') right. I've never climbed the slab, but I would definitely want rock shoes. It's certainly much harder than Moderate. 

I remember years ago speculating about a bike descent of the Great Slab in Coire an Lochain, but it wouldn't make as good a video as the Dubhs.

Saw Danny climbing at Neist in the autumn. Starstruck.

Post edited at 15:26
 george sewell 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Ah because only climbers are allowed to do things on crags in the wild.... I hope you were being sarcastic.  

1
 Wee Davie 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Moles:

I've seen Ali Clarkson is a keen boulderer too (from his YouTube channel). Nice to see the crossover.

 Sean Kelly 28 Jan 2021
In reply to george sewell:

> Ah because only climbers are allowed to do things on crags in the wild.... I hope you were being sarcastic.  

The question really is...does Gabbro get polished?

3
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Gabbro gets a bit polished (smoothed rather than shiny) on the very popular routes e.g. on Sron na Ciche, that are climbed by zillions, but not at all by sticky boots, I think. It's just so hard. A mountain bike's tyres I think would have absolutely no adverse effect whatever. The remarkable thing is that when you walk across the huge horizontal slabs beside Loch Coruisk to the foot of the Dubh ridge there's absolutely no sign of any wear whatever, even though thousands of boots have been that way. It's as if the ice only melted yesterday. I don't remember any sign of any wear on the Dubhs Ridge either, though we took a line up the slabs just right of the ordinary route.

1
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Gabbro gets a bit polished (smoothed rather than shiny) on the very popular routes e.g. on Sron na Ciche, that are climbed by zillions.

Some of the popular routes on Cioch Buttress are hideously polished!

1

Anyone done Atlantic Slab on Carnedd y Filiast?

 GDes 28 Jan 2021
In reply to rsc:

> Fantastic. But someone’s got to say it...

> What’s he done on grit?

No, they really don't. 

1
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Ah yes, because climbers have sole claim to the rock of the UK.

One mountain biker (because let's face it, few other people are mental enough to point themselves down the Dubh Slabs on a bike) riding it once or twice, versus thousands of punters shining up the rock in their sticky shoes year after year? Really, on the argument of damage and damage alone, we should be leaving the rock for them...

4
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> If this sort of prank catches on, routes are going to get trashed!

Oh dear. I really can't believe that anyone took this as anything other than a joke!

1
 Eric9Points 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I've seen him doing stuff in Embra. Once I watched him cycle onto the the top of one of those green telephone junction boxes that are about four feet high. The other time he cycled onto the top of a bus shelter. I watched him carefully but still can't quite figure out how he did the bus shelter.

 coinneach 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

Harrummpphh ! 
 

I’ll be impressed when he does it in the other direction!

 Myfyr Tomos 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Weaving in and out of ropes and knocking punters off their stances on the Idwal Slabs might be frowned upon though...

 gethin_allen 28 Jan 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> Incredible!

> I'm going to stick my neck out and be slightly critical of the drone shots though, I found all that swoopy swoopy roundy roundy business somewhat distracting.  Yes it's absolutely amazing what you can do with your drone, no doubt about it, but just because you can do that doesn't necessarily mean you should keep doing it in every shot.


Totally agree, obviously brilliant riding but I just couldn't watch it with all the drone movements and gave up half way in. His normal videos are usually much better shot.

1
 bensilvestre 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

"MacAskill is calling on the climbing community to suggest possible rocky descents for future projects involving scrambling and biking"

Idwal?

Left edge?

Would love to see him ride one of the local slabs!

 Mike Lates 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Plenty of signs of wear on gabbro Gordon but generally invisible when damp. I think we were just too much in awe (and a hurry ) when we climbed it.

 Mike Lates 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

I disagree Robert. There are smoother worn holds but they work fine in the dry and just lethal in the wet. There's no comparison between polished gabbro and polished limestone, slate or rhyolite.

In reply to Jim Lancs:

Thanks, I'm here all evening.

 Sean Kelly 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Gabbro gets a bit polished (smoothed rather than shiny) on the very popular routes e.g. on Sron na Ciche, that are climbed by zillions, but not at all by sticky boots, I think. It's just so hard. A mountain bike's tyres I think would have absolutely no adverse effect whatever. The remarkable thing is that when you walk across the huge horizontal slabs beside Loch Coruisk to the foot of the Dubh ridge there's absolutely no sign of any wear whatever, even though thousands of boots have been that way. It's as if the ice only melted yesterday. I don't remember any sign of any wear on the Dubhs Ridge either, though we took a line up the slabs just right of the ordinary route.


Precisely my point, and I have Chudleigh in my back yard!

 Sean Kelly 28 Jan 2021
In reply to bensilvestre:

> "MacAskill is calling on the climbing community to suggest possible rocky descents for future projects involving scrambling and biking"

> Idwal?

> Left edge?

> Would love to see him ride one of the local slabs!


Etive Slabs are ideal I should think if you can avoid the steep bit at the top, and miss the Coffin Stone as you exit?

 Mike Lates 28 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I'd heard he finished the whole way to the loch but didn't believe it was possible til I saw this! Typically modest, Danny describes the Dubhs as a Moderate climb which might deceive those who aren't familiar with the route. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has had a frustrating and scary start to the long day by underestimating the steepness of the attractive bib of clean rock adjacent to the 'proper' line.

The Mod climbs the deep recess on his left in the final descent. There are 2 routes recorded, by the well known guide Stuart Johnson, on that descent slab. Firkin is a 95m Hard Severe 4b about 40m left of the normal gully. Old Mortality is a lot closer to the line and gave a 100m HVS with a crux 25m, 5a pitch up thin cracks......

In reply to Mike Lates:

> I disagree Robert. There are smoother worn holds but they work fine in the dry and just lethal in the wet. There's no comparison between polished gabbro and polished limestone, slate or rhyolite.

Fair enough. I suppose its all relative, but I do remember some decidedly slippy footholds on the likes of Cioch West and Slab Corner.

 Mike Lates 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Careful now Robert; not like you to agree Glad to see you're getting out still

In reply to Mike Lates:

> Careful now Robert; not like you to agree Glad to see you're getting out still

The Ochils are nice, but it's not The Cuillin   Could be a lot worse though......

In reply to earlsdonwhu:

> Anyone done Atlantic Slab on Carnedd y Filiast?

Not on a bike!  It would be considerably slippier than gabbro though.

As an aside, can any Scots advise on how Dubh is supposed to be pronounced?  I know how it grates when people mangle the Welsh equivalent.

Some bike tech geekery that I omitted from the piece but which might be of interest to MTBers:

'I was riding my Santa Cruz 5010, which is normally their 130mm travel. I did toy with the idea of running a bigger suspension bike, but I am really comfortable on the 5010 and didn’t really feel that suspension travel was important. The only modifications I did do to the 5010 was to put on a 160mm travel fork on the front where you would normally run a 140mm travel.

In terms of brakes I was running the Magura MT7 with a Magura MDR-P rotor in 220mm on the front and 200mm on the back which on that small bike made the brakes super powerful. Furthermore, I had Magura performance pads on the front and used some prototype HC3 levers made for my trials bike which were slightly longer to get me even more power. I set these levers on the most powerful configuration – so all in all the most powerful brake setup that you can have on a bike. It made me feel so comfortable while riding down there.'

In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Not on a bike!  

So for clarity, are you claiming a skateboard or rollerblade descent?

 Kevin Woods 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> As an aside, can any Scots advise on how Dubh is supposed to be pronounced?  I know how it grates when people mangle the Welsh equivalent.

Pretty simple;

https://learngaelic.net/dictionary/index.jsp?abairt=dubh&slang=both&wholeword=false

How is the Welsh version commonly mis-pronounced? I'm unfamiliar with it.

 Speed Reed 29 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

WHOA!!! Utterly mesmeric!!! Incredibly beautiful footage and astonishingly brave.Can't wait for lockdown to end so I can not go and follow in Danny's tyre tracks!

In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Not on a bike!  It would be considerably slippier than gabbro though.

> As an aside, can any Scots advise on how Dubh is supposed to be pronounced?  I know how it grates when people mangle the Welsh equivalent.

It's as easy to say as it is to do (as a climb)

In reply to deepsoup:

> I'm going to stick my neck out and be slightly critical of the drone shots though, I found all that swoopy swoopy roundy roundy business somewhat distracting.  

Yes, truly horrible drone camera work which made it quite hard to watch without feeling slightly ill and almost impossible to get a proper perspective of the terrain.

A shame, because it is clearly a very remarkable feat and lacked the gimmickry of his other stuff (however technically difficult and possibly dangerous).

3
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> Pretty simple;

> How is the Welsh version commonly mis-pronounced? I'm unfamiliar with it.

ddu - pretty close to 'thee'

or du - as is 'dee'

Disclaimer, I'm not a welsh speaker but my mum was welsh... 

Post edited at 15:06
 Myfyr Tomos 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

That's correct Dave - if you live in South Wales (say, south of Machynlleth) 😀 In the North, the vowel is more "open"  with the "u" sounding like the "i" in "bit, twit, fit and sit", but dragged out a bit... Does that make any sense? 😂

 Fat Bumbly2 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

We have a similar word just over the border in England, Dhu, pronounced djoo.

Dhustone, a kind of dolerite does polish.

Post edited at 19:33
 acer2012 30 Jan 2021
In reply to acer2012:

> Atlantic Slab (Grade-3) and Balch's Slide (HS 4a) come to mind as bike-able routes. Balch's has actually been done before by Gee Atherton!

What the logbook describes as Atlantic Slab isn’t the rippled slab the photo shows though.  The Ogden guide calls it the Ridge or something I think.  Not something that I’d be tempted to bike down and a totally different proposition to Balch’s Slide!

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Said Maylard to Solly one day in Glen Brittle,

“All serious cycling, I vote, is a bore;

Just for once, I Dubh Beag you’ll agree to do little,

And, as less we can’t do, let go straight to Dubh Mor.”

So now when they seek, but a days relaxation,

With no thought in the world but of viewing the views,

And regarding the mountains in mute adoration,

They call it not ‘cycling’, but ‘doing the Dubhs’.

 eggburt1952 31 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

So when did open country become a  bridleway or cycle path, this this type of hero worshipping article will only serve to encourage idiots to ride their machines wherever they want , there are  problems in every wild  area of the country with mountain bikers breaking the law and riding their bikes on prohibited byways and open country,  resulting in the trashing of footpaths , destruction of fragile flora/eco systems ,  presenting a real physical danger to legitimate users etc etc. Just because he is obviously good and very talented does not justify this sort of mechanised activity in the wilderness.

34
 deepsoup 31 Jan 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

> So when did open country become a  bridleway or cycle path

In Scotland, 2003.

1
 AJM79 31 Jan 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

There's no footpaths up crags, so by that logic maybe you should give up climbing

1
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

Let me fix that for you:

"So when did rock faces become a footpath or right of way; this type of hero worshipping of climbing will only serve to encourage idiots to climb wherever they want; there are problems in every wild area of the country with climbers on crags resulting in the trashing of crags, destruction of fragile flora/eco systems, presenting a real physical danger to to themselves, mountain rescue and legitimate users etc etc.  Just because climbers can, this does not justify this sort of activity in the wilderness."

So when are you giving up climbing?

Post edited at 17:55
1
In reply to ChrisJD:

I'm sorry, that analogy just doesn't work. There's absolutely no comparison between the damage that mountain bikes do to often muddy paths, and that done by rock shoes to hard rock. I think if people climb well and carefully on dry rock (partic. volcanic, plutonic and metamorphic) there need be virtually no damage.

Post edited at 18:34
8
 deepsoup 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I think if people climb well and carefully on dry rock (partic. volcanic, plutonic and metamorphic) there need be virtually no damage.

And yet there is much more polish on rock routes caused by people climbing them than riding bicycles up and down them.

 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Yes of course, trails are not trashed by walkers, silly me.  They glide effortlessly across the landscape without leaving a trace.

The NT must be clueless when they say it costs £250,000 per mile to repair tracks trashed by walkers in the Lakes.

And its been debunked by that MTBs cause 'more' unit damage than walkers: it just 'looks' different.  

4
 Lankyman 31 Jan 2021
In reply to ChrisJD:

> Yes of course, trails are not trashed by walkers, silly me.  They glide effortlessly across the landscape without leaving a trace.

So adding bikes into the mix just improves things does it?

> The NT must be clueless when they say it costs £250,000 per mile to repair tracks trashed by walkers in the Lakes.

'Trashed' by walkers and not bikes?

> And its been debunked by that MTBs cause 'more' unit damage than walkers: it just 'looks' different.  

'Debunked' by who? Wouldn't happen to be MTB'ers would it?

4
In reply to ChrisJD:

I wasn't talking about walkers, I was talking about rock climbers, specifically on very hard igneous and metamorphic rocks! I wasn't talking about cross-country runners, or golfers, or cricketers either. It would help if you just bothered to read a post before you reply. I've thought of another one: I wasn't talking about fell-runners either. Or paragliders.

Post edited at 19:17
1
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You brought in the damage to 'muddy paths' and MTBers, not me.

 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

> 'Trashed' by walkers and not bikes?

Definitely walkers - you been to the Lakes?

1
In reply to ChrisJD:

Yes, as examples of things i disapprove of. As you surely must.

1
In reply to ChrisJD:

I'm starting to wonder when you were last in the Lakes. The work on the mountain paths has been absolutely amazing, particularly around Langdale. Almost all the damage has now disappeared and it's working brilliantly. As you must know. But, I repeat, I wasn't talking about walking but about rock climbing.

 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Fine, so you were just having an irrelevant off-topic moan then.

I disapprove of hypocritical walkers and climbers. Deuce.

1
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> The work on the mountain paths has been absolutely amazing, particularly around Langdale.

Yes, and it cost a fortune.

In reply to ChrisJD:

> Fine, so you were just having an irrelevant off-topic moan then.

How can it be 'off-topic' when the topic was someone biking down a very classic rock climb of immaculate hard gabbro?

1
In reply to ChrisJD:

So what? We spend a fortune trying to conserve most of our 'treasures of Britain', and I'm delighted we take our National Parks as seriously as we do. (PS. Have you been drinking? Because you're not making much sense.)

1
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

It's off topic as you added a moan about MTB damage to muddy paths when talking about damage to hard rock.

 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Yes, it was (and is) a fantastic much needed effort to rectify all that past damage caused by walkers and put in surfaces/paths to prevent further ongoing damage by walkers.

In reply to ChrisJD:

> It's off topic as you added a moan about MTB damage to muddy paths when talking about damage to hard rock.

That's simply not true. The sequence of events was that Eggburt1952 said:

'So when did open country become a  bridleway or cycle path, this this type of hero worshipping article will only serve to encourage idiots to ride their machines wherever they want , there are  problems in every wild  area of the country with mountain bikers breaking the law and riding their bikes on prohibited byways and open country,  resulting in the trashing of footpaths , destruction of fragile flora/eco systems ,  presenting a real physical danger to legitimate users etc etc. Just because he is obviously good and very talented does not justify this sort of mechanised activity in the wilderness.'

And you immediately said:

'Let me fix that for you:
"So when did rock faces become a footpath or right of way; this type of hero worshipping of climbing will only serve to encourage idiots to climb wherever they want; there are problems in every wild area of the country with climbers on crags resulting in the trashing of crags, destruction of fragile flora/eco systems, presenting a real physical danger to to themselves, mountain rescue and legitimate users etc etc.  Just because climbers can, this does not justify this sort of activity in the wilderness."
So when are you giving up climbing?'

Quite a long time before I joined the discussion.

1
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> How can it be 'off-topic' when the topic was someone biking down a very classic rock climb of immaculate hard gabbro?

So are you now saying that rock is there for the sole enjoyment of climbers?

 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I was talking about rock climbers, specifically on very hard igneous and metamorphic rocks

So why bring in muddy paths?

 Fat Bumbly2 31 Jan 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

Welcome to Scotland

In reply to ChrisJD:

>So are you now saying that rock is there for the sole enjoyment of climbers?

Eh? Have you gone completely mad? How can I be suggesting that? I've already argued very strongly in another post that I can't see that cycling down the Dubhs ridge can do ANY damage whatever!

Post edited at 19:52
1
In reply to ChrisJD:

> So why bring in muddy paths?

That was first brought in by another poster, as I've shown. But it remains a serious worry. Though I emphasised how, in the Lakes particularly, the huge amount of footpath work there has gone a long way towards solving the walking problem. I can't see that the mtb problem has been solved yet. Probably the most serious problem we still face. But I don't think there's much point in trying to discuss this with you any longer because you simply don't listen to the points I make.

1
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

My reply to Eggbuburt1952 was tongue in cheek to someone who obviously has an axe to grind over MTBs but clearly knows nothing about access rights in Scotland. 

1
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I can't see that the mtb problem has been solved yet. Probably the most serious problem we still face. 

Sounds like you are sharing the same axe with eggburt1952 ! 

And I'm glad we got to a point where you could actually say the things you've been wanting to say all along.

Post edited at 20:15
1
 Doghouse 31 Jan 2021
In reply to ChrisJD and Gordon

FFS!!

In reply to ChrisJD:

Well, there's a huge worry about mt bikes, is there not? I can't think of any erosion threat that comes near to it. But I don't want to argue about it now, and don't think I have ever done so before. I just want to get on with my work, assuming that others who love the mountains will treat them with the care and respect that they deserve. But it incenses me when I go walking and I see the extent of damage caused by mountain bikes, mostly these days around where I live south of the Peak. Many of them actually breaking the by-laws. Really disgraceful by any standards.

3
 ChrisJD 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Doghouse:

Apologies, it was too much of a hanging thread to leave unteased.

We got there in the end.

2
 deepsoup 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> But I don't want to argue about it now

So why are you then?  Why pile in to a thread about one specific mountain biker's staggeringly impressive and audacious achievement with an irrelevant moan about mountain bikes in general?

> Many of them actually breaking the by-laws

Eggburt assumed something like that was the case in this film, but he was just plain wrong about that as a simple matter of fact.

Post edited at 22:03
3
 eggburt1952 01 Feb 2021
In reply to ChrisJD:

I have an axe to grind about mechanised access to wilderness and the damage it causes , you don't seem to  have addressed those issues in your disingenuous grinding.

1
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Well, there's a huge worry about mt bikes, is there not? 

I think there would be a considerable worry about over-stretching the MRT teams if people take biking down Atlantic Slab as a serious suggestion!

 Jim Lancs 01 Feb 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

What's so unique about mechanical damage as opposed to pedestrian damage? Apart from you being in one 'camp' and not the other of course.

It's undeniable that there will be less damage if you limit access by 'banning' one group of users - less people equals less wear. But why cyclists? Why not people who walk in large groups, or wear big boots in summer, or those who only want to do tick list summits by the trade routes, or Bob Graham aspirants who practice the same route over and over again with all their 'support runners' in tow, or Charity walkers, or participants in Ultra Marathons traipsing along not caring where they are as long as it adds up to 100miles of trashed paths . . .

The truth is we need to accommodate an ever increasing number of people in our hills. It's going to need time, effort, money and perhaps some radical options if we are to ensure the hills are resilient enough to cope. But factional banning is simply lazy.

1
 Fat Bumbly2 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Jim Lancs:

Two biggest eroders I come across in my wanderings are: Mechanised vehicles and deer. Presumably I get the bronze

 owensum 01 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Danny needs to go to Tuolumne Meadow next...

 eggburt1952 02 Feb 2021
In reply to Jim Lancs:

simples.....damage per user ... think you will find that one mountain biker trip down a footpath will cause as much damage as 50 pedestrians 

9
 ChrisJD 02 Feb 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

Lol.  Is this claim like your understanding of Scottish access law? 

In reply to eggburt1952:

> simples.....damage per user ... think you will find that one mountain biker trip down a footpath will cause as much damage as 50 pedestrians 

Utter tosh, where's your science to back this up? 

 artif 02 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Cool film, I had my eye on Portishead quarry for years, but age and the need to build some sort of transition at the bottom means I'll leave it for someone else (maybe).

 deepsoup 02 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

If people are looking for candidates for more of this sort of thing, I feel a warning to non-climbing mountain bikers is in order:

Bikers - don't assume you'll be able to ride down it just because you've seen a video of a middle aged man in a tweedy jacket walking up it without using his hands!

 eggburt1952 03 Feb 2021
In reply to thepodge:

where's yours to to dispute it, mine is  via visual  real time observance ( an accepted  scientific technique of assessment)and probably on the conservative side.

4
 deepsoup 03 Feb 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

> an accepted scientific technique of assessment

Accepted by some.  Unless there's more to your methodology than you're letting on this is the same 'scientific technique of assessment' used to determine that witches weigh the same as a duck.

This is a good read if you can bring an open mind to it.
https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default/files/document/migrated/article/trail-erosionpdf.pdf

 AJM79 03 Feb 2021
In reply to eggburt1952:

Why not ban walkers, there's easily more than 50 times as many walkers as mtb'ers (from my real time observations), so therefore they do the most damage.

1
In reply to eggburt1952:

There are loads of scientific papers out there that look into this matter.

https://lmgtfy.app/?q=bike+erosion+paper

Take your pick.

Post edited at 09:50
 Kevin Woods 03 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I don't have a huge opinion on this whole thing. I know it's very polarised. I'm pretty open to the idea of biking on the hills, especially rough paths and stone - why not? Looks amazing, I've jogged alongside friends mountain biking on the hill.

To the opposite, I have seen the deep, permanent scoring of a single mountain bike tread across peatbog that encompasses the central portion of a mountain: the bit between man-made tracks low down, and below the summit stones & alpine gravels. I just fail to see how that can't be viewed as severe erosion. One set of footprints through the grasses; even tens of them, or more - would not come anywhere close.

Interesting to read the article above, it seems to focus on trail riding and Lake District paths (I really know nothing about the accepted literatures/studies from the mbt community). And it seems to imply that riding on soft ground is frowned upon? For clarity my above example was in the Hebrides on terrain similar to most pathless Scottish hills, so nothing mainstream, or on a track.

Lastly, although my sole contribution to a UKC thread that's descended to debate is more debate - to the original thread, nothing but awe, disbelief and respect.

Post edited at 09:57
In reply to Kevin Woods:

I think the issue is that bike tracks are more obvious to the eye BUT that doesn't equate to more erosion. 

 ChrisJD 03 Feb 2021
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> One set of footprints through the grasses; even tens of them, or more - would not come anywhere close.

The impact to upland peat moors by walkers in the Peak is significant, severe and extensive and takes a lot to rectify.

MTBers are helping to rectify and manage their impact through advocacy groups such as Ride Sheffield and Peak MTB and supporting initiatives like the BMC Mend Our Mountains (e.g. for Cut Gate) and the work done on Roych Clough.

Sustainable maintenance efforts have not been helped by Derbyshire CC who have form for just coming in without consultation and gravelling stuff over (the infamous work on Rushop!) and even worse tarmacing (Hurstclough!).

In reply to ChrisJD:

All the mountain bikers in the world couldn't do as much damage as Derbyshire council's rights of way maintenance team.

Also shout out to Keeper of the Peak who worked really hard with BMC on the mend our mountains project. 

 ChrisJD 03 Feb 2021
In reply to thepodge:

Yes, KotP !

Big shout out.

 deepsoup 03 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Back on topic, for those who didn't see the Lemming's Pub post..

The 'making of' is out, and it's a great little film in its own right.
youtube.com/watch?v=8IdwtKlXZB8&

In reply to deepsoup:

> Back on topic, for those who didn't see the Lemming's Pub post..

> The 'making of' is out, and it's a great little film in its own right. youtube.com/watch?v=8IdwtKlXZB8&

Better than the actual film in showing what it involved!

In reply to deepsoup:

Just utterly amazing.


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