One of the biggest difficulties with Mountain Biking, in my opinion, is exploring further a field. It’s not quite as easy as plotting a 100 mile route from your door step to the dales and back. The setup of a Mountain Bike means low gears, more weight and a difficult riding position for any kind of distance. That said a 25 mile ride often feels like a 100 mile ride just because of those difficulties mentioned.
Lee & Cragg quarries was suggested by a friend last week and looking at the website it couldn’t have been a better suggestion!
At Lee and Cragg quarries there’s something for everyone, albeit the majority of routes were quite difficult and would test any ability. All the routes were well marked and there was plenty to do for riders of a novice level all the way to expert!
Having only been Mountain Biking for a few months one of the main things that struck me was simply being in the middle of a disused quarry.
The area was so vast and barren, it had an air of excitement and fear mixed together – I’ve never been to a place like it. At the highest points you could see the entire quarry, some of these points were narrow cliff sides, something I was quite surprised at given one wrong move and you’d be hanging off a 20ft drop!
I wasn’t alone at the quarry, although I turned up for about 9:30am there were many other riders, all of which were on full suspension bikes. Not that a hard tail was inferiour but I couldn’t help thinking, after having ridden some of the routes, how that extra bounce would have helped with control and comfort! Nonetheless that’s something that can be pursued further down the line!
It was a beautiful reminder of the fun that can be had on a bike. I often found myself pushing over the edge of the cliff side thinking ‘this drop isn’t that bad…Oh… OH S(*&’, causing me to hold on and hang off the back of the bike in the hope I don’t go over the bars! Lucky I had no accidents, my technical skills were tested and developed. I’ve still got to work on the jumps and the pump tracks as my technique is all over the place!