Macclesfield Forest, Kerridge and my Dad's house: A Ride Report
A hastily convened trip to Macclesfield Forest saw four of us ride out on a beautiful sunny autumn morning on a nice selection of old bikes.
MrLee confirmed he was on the right road as he passed me in his car while I cycled up to our pre-arranged meeting point.
Arriving after the gentle two mile climb I staked a claim to the nearest picnic bench to eat my bacon toastie and watch the world, his dog and his ridiculously large 4x4 pass by.
Everyone it seemed was in search of the last bit of space to park up their vehicles on the narrow road alongside the reservoir.
Tempers flared at times due to some fine examples of bad parking and clutch burning backwards driving. I just pushed my sunglasses up towards my eyes, chuckled and took another bite of my second breakfast.
Woody appeared soon after on his ride up from Macclesfield, and then a little later than planned, elPedro666 thrapped his Peugeot up into the last remnants of parking space somewhere in the distance.
So the scene was set for a tour around my local trails, along with Pete, Lee and Chris.
Retro Riders: drystonepaul, elPedro666, mrlee, Woody
In my opinion all good rides start with a good long climb, which was fortunate, as there was a bloody big one to get our teeth into. Upwards and onwards we climbed until our first short section of muddy singletrack leading us to the loose, rocky Hacked Way Lane descent.
With all of us riding fully rigid machines with cantis, this descent was a good test of skill, nerve and luck. My Marin was bounced around by the fist sized marbles and my brake pads struggled to grip my new rims. Great stuff.
With everyone safely down in the valley it was time for another tough test of climbing ability with a gradually steepening cobbled climb up to the Teggs Nose car park. Pete on his Dyna Tech was running a single 34 tooth chainring and I had no granny ring to drop onto which of course made things even more of a challenge.
Perfect blue skies and the Macclesfield Alps in the background
Arriving at the top we soaked in the view and considered an ice cream, but the increasing number of tourists drawn to our retro bling meant it was soon time to move on, and in this case downhill for a change.
Another fast and rocky track flowed down to the north and right turn continued our route on tarmac, all the time losing our hard earned altitude. Pete muttered something about descending on roads and how it brought him out in a rash.
Another dash along sun dappled singletrack eventually took us to the top of another lovely off-road drop down into Bollington.
Arriving on the outskirts of the town we were drawn to a brightly coloured commotion.
A troupe a traditional dancers with blacked up faces and flame costumes were performing outside a pub, in between pints of ale. We watched them for a while and appreciated the bizarre spectacle. Good on 'em!
No idea what was going on here but I'm joining them next week...
An impromptu visit to my Father's house for some tea and toast solved Lee's hunger pangs, and it seemed rude not to have a play with the massive train set that fills my Dad's cellar.
After a quick stroke of the infamous white rabbit we left to continue the ride.
More steep climbs were naturally the way forward, followed by a great section of natural singletrack which holds 20 years of memories for me.
Reaching a familiar point we'd seen earlier in the day, it was time for Chris to take a short cut back on his Stumpjumper to get some sleep for his night shift. He puts in the overtime to fill his flat with Yetis, DeKerfs and Litespeeds...
Seeing double: The long climb back out from the plain
Our remaining trio climbed all the way back up to the top of the forest and plunged into the descent of Charity Lane, a tricky rocky nightmare on an old rigid bike at times, but brilliant fun too.
Another pinball descent down Bottom of the Oven and a short rolling ascent, with a few steep bits along the way, brought us to the final forest finale.
We paused at the viewpoint on Nessit Hill and reflected on the days adventures, while pointing out distant landmarks and Lee's home turf.
The sun was now on it's way back towards the horizon and the temperature was dropping. It was also time for us to head down too.
Lee's Fire Mountain on top of another cold hill
With the pub firmly sighted as our target we trounced a couple of full suss modern newbies and rattled our way down a rocky trail. Peeling our battered hands off the handlebars, we ditched the bikes and found our place beside another bar.
Of course a pint always tastes better after a good ride with great company.
If you can still grip your pint glass that is...
Thanks to Lee, Pete and Chris for coming over for the ride. I had a great time and hope that you all did too.