NWA: Rivington Pike - Ride Report
It was a cold, if not slightly frikken freezing morning as everyone battled to find somewhere to park up in the popular and very busy Rivington Country Park.
With bikes unloaded and assembled we gathered outside the warmth of the cafe to shiver and chat for a while.
Eight riders had arrived including a few Retrobike first timers. The bikes drew a bit of attention from passing modern riders with a chance to reminisce on broken onZa pedals and that box of bits in the garage.
Everyone was either called Mark or Paul so I'll stick with forum user names for this little write up. Apologies to Lee, Martin and Pete...
NWA regular, and new Deputy AEC, HarryCrumb
had ridden all the way out from near Preston to clear a hang-over and avoid the parking congestion. A 1991 Dyna Tech was his weapon of choice.
had a slightly shorter but no less important ride on his 1993 Giant CADEX CFM2 all the way from his house to provide some very welcome local route knowledge.
Another first appearance from kaytronika
brought with him a very mint and original 1989 Saracen Tufftrax complete with colour matched reflector mounts and bottle cage.
After borrowing some shoes, paininthe
was also able to ride his lovely 1993 Dyna Tech MT5 in something more appropriate than his slippers.
Everyone else of course also avoided the pointless temptation of riding modern bikes on retro rides to provide a pair of Alpinestars Cro-Megas; 1991 and purple ano from mrlee
and a 1992 white rust bucket from Sinnett
provided yet another Dyna Tech with a delve into the parts bin bolted on, while I rode something modern by comparison. My trusty 1997 GT Bravado with V-brakes that work, suspension forks that also work and those new fangled but still period correct riser bars and crud guard.
And so to the riding.
It was certainly muddy in places, which made the opening dog and pram slalom a bit dicey at times, but after a long conversation with a very enthusiastic older gentleman on his slightly eccentric bike, the trails eventually got quieter and drier as we headed north up the reservoirs.
A gentle climb began to reveal some lovely views as we turned up towards Healey Nab and it's modest trail network.
After consulting the route map, we set off and promptly took a wrong turn taking us back to where we'd started two minutes earlier.
As the lead rider I was slightly embarrassed, but it was fun starting again nonetheless.
With a sense of lingering de ja vu we eventually hit the correct section of singletrack snaking through the firs, ferns and pine trees.
Roller coasters and fun fir trails at Healey Nab.
The ground was either pine needle orange or black with peaty mud holes. Traction was absent at times and the trails felt surprisingly natural, especially when they disappeared into a fun little mudslide.
In all it was a welcome addition to the route.
Continuing onwards, we poached some secret singletrack from under the nose of a local ranger and dropped back down to the ribbon of reservoirs.
Tarmac helped us gain some altitude on the other side of the valley and we soon passed through a gate and a huge crowd of walkers to cross the open moorland. Then more asphalt ascending turned into rough cobbles as we began to long climb up to Rivington Tower.
HarryCrumb closely scrutinises his own bike
Pausing at the flattened remains of Roynton Cottage high above the surrounding landscape, we had a proper look at everyone's bikes.
Eventually after a period of deliberation the popular vote went to the well deserved Saracen Tufftrax belonging to kaytronika.
It really is a great looking bike.
And the bike of the ride winner is...
With the bike appreciation
section of the ride out of the way, we continued up the tricky cobbled climb all the way up to the summit of Rivington Pike to admire the view and join the rest of the day-trippers up at the Tower.
The NWA reaches new heights
paininthe's Raliegh Dyna Tech MT5
The panaroma from the top of the hill was pretty impressive, with The Great Orme on the North Wales coast, Blackpool Tower and the South Lakeland Fells all visible in the distance. Other landmarks were pointed out including power stations, roller-coasters and HarryCrumb's house.
After a while though the biting cold wind became a little too much too bear considering that functioning fingers are required for effective braking.
From this point there were a series of great downhills, the first of which was a fantastic rock slab and rut fest. Later the trails got loose, wet and slippery which is always an enjoyable combination.
With a quick repair of elPedro's broken chain the descending just continued, past a the back of a council estate and a field containing a couple of indigenous Bolton Llamas. Watch out though, they would bite if they could be arsed.
Thanks again to everyone who came along today.
I had a great time but I really needed that bacon and egg bap at the end.
Hope to see you all again in the future.