Funny how a comfort zone ride left me grinning on Sunday. Well, actually it didn’t just leave me grinning post ride; I rather think I grinned the entire way. Back to the same old, same old, Rivington but as ever, with a difference. Ringing the changes with doing it in the direction I tend to think of as in reverse, but doing a bit of the loop I normally skip and skipping a bit I normally ride. It was one busy old place this weekend, with some long lost sunshine making an appearance and bringing out, well everyone really – walkers, road cyclists, mountain bikers, horse riders, Go Ape whoopers, cafe goers, 4x4 drivers. It was one busy place, truly.
The mountain bike felt curiously light and somehow playful despite simple maths and scales telling me that actually the new wheels were slightly heavier than the loan ones I just returned. The bike was skipping and so indeed was I.
Giggling as I made choices that perhaps in a long forgotten time I wouldn’t have made. Opted for the longest road climbs I knew, all for the joy of a piece of bridleway I love for no obvious reason. Well, to me there is an obvious reason. The Belmont Road is proper cobbled, and not in any slick pretty Coronation Street fashion, more in the way you imagine a drovers track created for horses to gain access across the hills, the kind of horses you imagine carrying goods or dragging carts. It’s a wide bridleway. It’s mostly on the level, perhaps a little upwards towards the Tower, and it skirts along what feels like a ridge line. All the way you can marvel at the industrial North West’s views. Particularly on a day like Sunday with clear blue skies and bright sunshine on the cold moors. Snow lay fairly thick on the ground, slushy in places, hard packed in others, fluffy and drifted in others. Some of it I could ride, others it was a bit like a kid on a balance bike, feet scooting along the ground, other bits I dug the bike into the groove of a 4x4 drive vehicle tyre track and made my way along. Insanely glorious. Pedal, pedal, pedal.