Why did you get involved with Peak District MTB?
I’ve been living and riding around Macclesfield for over 8 years and there’s a lot of potential, but access is relatively limited. Over time, I became aware of grumblings and problems around Macclesfield Forest, and these were mounting to the point that the situation had to change – most likely for the worse – if someone didn’t put the case for MTB. I figured there wasn’t much point in waiting for someone else to do something, so I got in touch with Dan at Peak District MTB to see what I could do and here I am…
I love exploring new places, but it’s hard to pick just one ride. I guess the place that I keep coming back to time after time has to have something going for it, so I’m going to say that my local loop around Macc Forest is my favourite place to be – riding straight from my house to some really great trails anytime I like.
I’ve always ridden bikes, but I’m from a family of roadies, so most of my early bikes were road bikes. When I was about 12, I bought myself a second-hand BMX so I could ride off-road with my mates (who all had mountain bikes). It was great in the local woods, but not so good tagging along on XC rides – amazing fitness training though! I then got into climbing in a big way and only rode hired or borrowed bikes for a long time until I picked up a Kona hardtail at a great price about 10 years ago. I haven’t looked back since (and still love a hardtail).
Best moment on a bike
I’m going to take this literally – For me, it’s that moment of elation just after you’ve pulled something off, whether that’s an intimidating trail feature you weren’t sure you could do or simply pushing your limits on your regular trails. The fact that can happen anywhere, anytime is part of what keeps me coming back for more.
Worst moment on a bike
Realising I was the wrong side of a hill, quite far from home (or anywhere), on my own and on the verge of hypothermia… I’d set out on a ride in the rain and got soaked pretty quickly. As I climbed the rain turned to snow, the temperature plummeted and everything started to freeze. After a long descent where I could barely pull the brakes with my clawed hands, I realised that I was really, deeply cold. I just couldn’t get warm again, even working hard uphill. I managed to get myself home, but it took 3 or 4 hours before I was vaguely warm or could even feel my feet again.
Anything to confess?
I find it hard to get rid of my old bikes, so have a small collection of knackered bikes in my shed!