Trail Finding

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There it is, just past that gnarled tree, before the gatepost. A slim gap in the brambles and nettles. A snaking path of brown dirt. The brakes go on and I loop back. Dart off the fireroad and onto the swooping track. Gently dropping down in sweeping shallow bends. Eyes beady and peeled, looking for roots and hidden holes.

GPS me and my path would knit a messy cat’s cradle of knotted trails, all within a few square miles of wood. But I’ve lost an hour, discovering and rediscovering lost trails.

In the winter their character changes. They’re stodgy bogs. A hard slog and a full bike clean. But now in summer all that’s left is fine dust on the paintwork, sweat on my forehead and a tingling in my forearms.

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On being Underbiked

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In cycling, there’s nothing like being on a trail on a bike that you’ve got no right to be riding there. Riding off road on skinny tyres and no suspension is a rite that’s probably lost many riders. ‘Cross riders know what I’m talking about. So too do those who grew up in the pre MTB era, when you rode one bike everywhere.

I’ve enjoyed being underbiked all my life. At age 9 I rode my 5 speed Falcon Eddy Merckx over ramps and did cycle speedway before I knew it existed.

When I was fully grown, I rode the Delyn Challenge, on the bridleways of the Clwyds, on lowly Trek hybrid amid hardtails and full bounce bikes. 

One of my favourite road rides on a 23mm tyred road bike took in a rocky unmade road in the Pennines. Another, a rooty singletrack shortcut.

Someone said that the thrill of riding off road was all about finding the edge. It’s a fact that you find the edge faster when you’re underbiked.

So get out there, find a trail and get sketchy.

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Resurrectio the Swiss Army Bicycle

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Demonstrating the sheer flexibility and adaptability of Resurrectio the Green, I give you Resurrectio the off road bike. Flat bars, stripped to the bone, Schwalbe Land Cruisers (tyres of choice for the 3 Peaks so I’m told) and gear changing handled by Sun Race’s cheap but ever so cheerful ratcheting friction shifters. Ready for some evening bridleway rides with colleagues and some woodland scorching with Tom. This is one versatile frame and fork, to be sure.

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