Dan while out walking (who does that??!) had spotted a potentially great trail that we just had to go and ride. However the way i chose up to the trig point on Walton hill wasn't the easiest. It was as we commented remarkably dry considering the recent rain but even so this bridlepath had seen a lot of hoofed traffic and was pretty churned up with a water channel meandering down its length to contend with too. there was also the small matter of the gradient. the steepness made the Waltonberg feel like a walk along the promenade. It was a proper head down and bite the stem kind of slope. Dan managed to get ll of the way up, I got to 3/4 and had to push. It was a prelude to the rest of the ride.
the trail was excellent with proper regulation width singletrack, steep and twisty and very dry. we played on a few of the trails we found, back tracked up another to explore and the rode it in the downwards direction. great trails but the price of steep downs is paid in the effort of the corresponding ups and this is where i suffered. For some reason i just didn't have the legs and had to back off and ride at my own pace. the downs though were worth it, i even got a PR on the back of the vine route which was running sweetly.