Today Penny, Mark, Bob and I headed out to Whinlatter forest. Penny and I had not been before and we hoped that the blue trail would give Penny’s new bike a good test. The route started with a gentle winding descent, firstly through a wood and then through more open fell. This was a good warm up. I was impressed by the quality of the track, it made it possible to ride with commitment. Penny started off a little tentative but picked up speed as her confidence grew.
The second section was a gentle ascent up to the road, this was at a gradient that allowed you to keep a steady rhythm. Here I noticed my pedal was getting loose, we tightened it up using an adjustable spanner but it was not 100% tight so Mark went to get a pedal spanner. Whilst Mark went back to the car Penny and I headed up a series of zig zags which also has more interesting and technical alternatives, I tried a few of these but struggled to gain any grip and had one impressive leap off.
From the top of this there was a fast and bumpy descent to another forest section with some big berms. This was exhilarating and again the quality of the track allowed commitment. From here an uphill section of track brought us to the five hairpin climb. Mark told us that Harry could do 2, Jacob 3, and Lauren 5. Not that we are at all competitive but it was not much later that we were at the top having completed all five (without much drama). After a breather we continued the climb, I got caught out by a short steep section that I was not ready for. Next time I plan to do it without having to get off.
From here another steady singletrack climb led to the top and a fast descent back to the car park. This had a few optional jumps (for another day) and an interesting boardwalk section where I took a couple of photos of Penny.
It was good fun and allowed Penny to get more comfortable on her new bike. We’ll be back soon I’m sure. I’m a bit curious about the red trail…