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The Peak to Peak: Article Page 1
Peak forest is a windswept one horse town in the middle of nowhere. I discovered it on the map looking for a shorter drive to this classic peaks mountain bike heartland. There is a pub but don't bother trying to park your car there, the landlord is none too friendly on this point. Anyway there's plenty of parking on side streets for free which makes a refreshing change.

Like a lot of Peaks rides this one has almost no warm up. It begins with a few hundred yards of steep tarmac then turns down a short farm drive before going through an iron gate and on to the climb proper. Straight up now on a characteristic rocky double track, there's a play area in the trees here but we usually only stop for the nature. Call of nature that is, facilities in Peak Forest are non-existent.

This route is passable even in deep snow, when farmers 4WD's cut parallel trenches through the frozen drifts. On up you go through two more gates, as you approach the top the solid rock trail bulges and dips then finally drops a short way to an old iron gate. Bearing left over the grass then right after another gate on to the quarry road.

A couple of bends then engage warp drive for the Kamikaze. As wide as a main road the surface of this 500 yard MTB motorway gets cut by water tossing up limestone boulders that hammer rims and shred inner tubes. One fateful day I blew front and rear, finding six holes in the front tube. Carry spares and up your tyre pressure, slowing down is for the week and sensible.

The Kamikaze leads straight on to 200 yards of tarmac, turn right at the line of trees then left on to the dentist's grade. This is the top of the Pindale valley, once an old quarry rocks are the name of the game. Moving fast I take the long view, swap sides a lot but make the wrong choice and we're talking Bronco Billy. Out from between the walls and in to the quarry proper head straight down over the single track drops avoiding the rhino sized boulder at the bottom of the second.

This is still not quite the end of this awesome descent as a storm cut tarmac road affords a couple of flying drop-offs then ride the left bank for the fast line towards the cottage at the bottom of Pindale. If you're not laughing now you were going way too slow! Straight ahead on the tarmac and a high speed road hill catapults you in to Hope village, turn left for the Woodbine cafe. A five star legend in it's own lunch time this ultra MTB friendly cafe has a roaring log fire in winter. Left out of here then left again continues the route on tarmac for half a mile or so and on to the bridle road to open country.

Through an iron gate this long rocky climb gets more difficult in stages. Stage one is just steep, followed by a flat and sandy section leading to stage two which is a jumble of rocks. The right hand line is a little easier and if you keep your butt off the saddle it's rideable all the way up. Through two more gates on a pretty waterlogged trail then turn right and you're at the top of the beast. This awesome forest road descent starts as it means to go on with boulders, logs and  flowstone (solid rock sections) > Page 2

 

This is a really top photo of the beast. As with nearly all pictures on MTB Britain, Click on it to see more.
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