In my youth in the late 80's I spent lots of time riding around Whinlatter on my trusty Marin Pine Mountain. I'd not been back there since about '93 but took the opportunity to do a quick blast of the Altura north trail yesterday when I nipped up to see my dad with family in tow.
The weather was fantastic, nice and sunny but not too hot. I was amazed at what they'd done. It's a bit manicured in places but there's some nice flowing singletrack and some downhill sections that are great. 2.1 nobby nics at about 35 PSI and dry slate don't seem to be a good match. I had a few sketchy moments as a result, and mostly at low speed.
The initial climb is a bit of an eye opener. It's not exactly a wide track. It's been carved in to the fell side in places and there's a hell of a drop off to your right. At least if you do come off you'll enjoy the view of Bassenthwaite on the way down. Not one to take your kids on - or an adult that doesn't like heights for that matter
You have to work for your fun. There's quite a lot of climbing. A bit too much fire road (though in Whinlatter of old there wasn't much alternative), but the singletrack climbs are well thought out and good fun. That was oneof the things I liked best about riding there in the past. There was the opportunity to do a lot of climbing and descending in a fairly contained area. Nothing has changed!
I found I struggled with some of the uphill hairpins. Not sure if it's the new bike but it seems to have the turning circle of a barge, and gets overly light at the front. Need to sort that out or upgrade my skills!
I think it took me about 45 - 50 mins to do the lap, so nipped back to the car park at the end to find the Kid's goodwill had expired
That ruled out doing the South loop but I'm going to go back up and try the South; plus there's a new blue route opening in May that should be a bit more kid friendly.
No pics I'm afraid as I was more concerned about getting round as quick as possible, but it was good to see what they'd done. I'm not a massive trail centre fan, but I really enjoyed it. You could ride it all rigid with care, but it's best suited to a long travel front susser rather than a full susser I'd say. My midlife crisis on the BMX is starting to pay dividends on my downhilling. Pumping small jumps on a FS bike just seems to freak the bike and suspension out. I will be giving that a miss in the future and trying to slow down a bit instead
Anyway, if you're heading up to NW cumbria it's definately worth a visit. A great ride.
Sell me your GREEN 1 1/8 ahead stem
Sell me your GREEN Moby 27.2
- can swap 26.8
Feed my addiction - Click here