Well a long standing friend of mine, Martin, had at last bought himself a 5” travel trail bike. A Cannondale Prophet. I have been mythering him to come out with me for ages but he never seemed to want to. Then to my great surprise he said “yes”. So with bike in the car and camelback recharged I was off to his place and from there to Macc Forest in Cheshire. I know Macc Forest of old when I first started MTBing some 20yrs ago and I thought I knew the routes round there. Martin assured me that there was a pretty gnarly downhill near Cumberland Cottage which I had never done before.
We parked up at Ridgegate Reservoir, which was really busy, with quite a few MTBers and walkers, and headed up the lane to the forest track. Martin must have been on crack or something ‘cos he was off like a rat up a drainpipe. I knew that I’d blow up at that pace so I settled into a more sensible spin which proved the right decision as the track became steeper and veered off to the right and into the forest itself. Martin had stopped on the bend pretending to have a natter with some stationary MTBers as I spun past him and headed for the top!!! We exited the forest and picked up Charity Lane which was great fun and became more technical towards the bottom. Mud was flying everywhere and I couldn’t see a thing so washed my glasses in a rather murky looking stream. With sight restored we headed down a steep section past the Chapel which lead to a metalled road. This was the beginning of a steep pull up the road to the Cat and Fiddle Pub, the second highest pub in Britain. I was surprise ‘cos it’s only at 1676ft. This place is very popular with joe public and the motorbiking fraternity.
(www.rigsville.org.uk/roads/catandfiddle.asp). Not too many people there today even though it was clear and cold. Looking out across the valley you could see smatterings of snow on the moor land. What a great view. We resisted a pint as past experience of beer and MTBing is not good!! It has a shocking affect on the legs!!!
We headed for the wide track opposite and headed down to Danebower Hollow and the A54. This was a good fairly fast track. Picking up the main road we climbed and did a right onto a track. This was the one Martin was going on about. It was brilliant. We shot down it and it became more and more rocky. It was outstanding. I had a huge smile on my face as I ploughed through the overflowing brook at the bottom. Martin followed. He wouldn’t have even looked at that trail a year ago but with the Prophet it just inspired confidence. Great to see! I just turned the bike round and headed back up. I wanted some more of this. I gave Martin instructions to snap some photos for Mbpost! I though a man of his technical prowess could manage it but he had forgotten his glasses!! Alas there is only one shot of me!!
The downhill continued across a ford and down to the road. We headed back toward Macc Forest up an incredibly steep “Quiet Lane” and into the forest. The views were great as we headed back to the car and the mirror like Ridgegate Reservoir. This ride was top and will be done again very soon! A great afternoon out.