Saturday, 12 September 2015
the hills are criss crossed with bridleways but not many of them follow the spine of the ridge, in fact non of them do so it is a little bit "cheeky". for this reason i'd never do this route in peak times on a weekend of bank holiday. if heard various stories of conflict with walkers and conservators and certainly didn't want that or to inflame any anti biking people.
arriving at 1730 was perfect, a couple of hours of daylight left and i could count the number of people i met on the fingers of two hands and they were all friendly! the fat tyres seem to make people smile. The only person not smiling was me, mine was more of a grimace as i winched myself up some very steep inclines. At one point in the distance i saw a couple of guys riding some singletrack, so hoping they knew where they were going i followed and found a sweet trail, quite exposed at the start with a steep camber that kept catching my pedal that then turned into some lovely tracks in a wooded area, this then turned upwards and got steeper and steeper and more and more technical and increasingly rocky. the trail came out as the hill descended to the bottom of my goal for the ride which was Worcestershire Beacon, the highest point.
Now the winching got harder, 30:12x36 on a fatbike is not a very low gear when you consider the weight of the bike and the steepness of the route. I did not walk at any point but my progress was not exactly fast (in fact last time i did this was on a single speed and i think i was faster on that!) and i did stop a few times "to admire the view" Eventually i reached the top and took the pictoral proof of reaching the summit.
Thankfully from this point most of the return journey back to the car was downhill and i got to ride that great rail in the opposite direction. Made more exciting by having no pad left on my front brakes! careful feathering of the rear was required to slow down without locking up. as you'd expect going down was a lot quicker than going up and i was soon back at the car. Only 9 miles but more of an effort over 9 miles than I'm used to.