My first impressions, given I haven’t ridden a mountain bike for maybe 5/6 years , were that of pure giggly fun!
With huge chunky tyres and 140mm front suspension it was like riding a tank! The change in riding style was completely alien and my first problem was that of the riding position, once off the saddle I was comfortable and felt in control but on the saddle I’m yet to figure out the best riding position.
We got the train from Leeds to Settle, Nathan (Restrap) had figured out a bridle path route from Settle to Skipton. There was quite an amount of climbing to do but that didn’t bother me too much given that means a good amount of descending which I was really looking forward too!
I thought being on a mountain bike was alien enough… No, being in the middle of fields looking 360 degrees to find no roads and better yet, no vehicles.
I’ve done a bit of CX riding recently, in woodlands and canal paths etc but not to this extent, we were literally in the middle of no where and I was absolutely thrilled by that.
About 5-6km of hill climbing before the descent into Malham, my first taste of descending on a mountain bike.
Typically I decided to boost as fast as I could without even considering what might lie ahead, the corners were sharp, I was in-experienced and was 100% confident on managing the bike down tricky technical descents but none the less I managed to get to the bottom without falling off! I did have some close calls none the less, over stretching corners was my greatest mistake, not turning hard enough or going at a corner too fast! It was all good fun and only added to the adrenaline to want more!
Confidence is key – I didn’t really have any problems with the technical aspect of guiding the bike through rocky terrain or technical dips/bumps. My main issues were trust when descending at speed around corners as the bike often gave the impression the rear wheel was simply ‘sliding’ around the corner! Once I get my riding position sorted and become a bit more familiar with the bike i’m sure these things will come.
This bike is a world of fun and probably the most fun i’ve had on a bike since I went out with Tom on my first CX ride! Another part of the fun is getting caked in mud and not caring, usually I’m the first to avoid big puddles or boggy patches in the road to avoid mechanical problems but not with this bike, this bike loves mud!
Here’s a short snippet of GoPro footage I took from the day out!