Digger’s Diary… The Digging’s Done

Sean is out of here

The new trail loop at Cragg Quarry, near Rawtenstall, Lancashire is finished and ready to ride. It’s a 20 minute loop of the most most flowing trail that you will find anywhere in the UK. It doesn’t sound much when you think of how quick it is to ride, but the great thing is that when you’ve done one lap you just want to do another. The second time around you will know the line better and you might carry more speed through some of the amazing berms, have a go at the wall ride or brave the way steep ‘roll in’ option. Like Lee Quarry, everything can be ridden by all abilities. You can pootle round taking a gentle line through the turns or you can lay down the hammer and make the riding much more technical.

Look closely, there is a lot of flow going on there....

Designed by Rowan Sorrell and built by his company Back on Track, the new trail brings a flavour of downhilling to cross country. This cross pollination is helped by the fact that everyone who works in Rowan’s team is an experienced rider, mostly with downhill racing and dirt jumping backgrounds. They certainly know about flow in riding bikes and how to put that into what they build. This is definitely a cross country trail, but it rewards riders who can corner well and know how to pump the trail to generate speed without pedalling. You also need to be able to pedal at Cragg Quarry, as the rollercoaster trail winds it’s way around, with many turns and sharp ups and downs. The downhill influence comes in the shape of berms, rollers, steep slores and jumps all integrated in to the trail.

It's big and it's clever and there's two more after it.....

....like this. There's a cute hip jump in there for you if you have the speed

Not sure where Cragg Quarry is? Here’s a link to a map. Access is from Rooley Moor Road which is part of the Mary Towneley Loop. There will be a link trail connecting Cragg Quarry with Lee Quarry built sometime this year. At the moment the trails are not signed and can be a bit confusing at certain points. Signage will go in at the quarry soon. You want to be going round in an anti clockwise direction. Of course if you want someone to show you round, I’m leading a Singletrack Forum ride up to and around Cragg Quarry on Saturday 1st May. There’s a thread on the forum about it with more details here.

Lots of interesting huts and walls to lean your bike up against for photos

Rob perched on a bank during the build

It took more than 20 minutes to get round on the wacker plate

Up here you can go "BRAAAAAP" as loud as you like and no one will know

As they say in Welsh....."MINT"

The next Digger’s Diary will be about the new “skills lines” that are being planned for Gisburn Forest. I’m involved in a group with Tim from the Dog & Partridge / Whelpstone Bikes, SingleTraction volunteer trail builders, Hope, Forestry and Rowan Sorrell to develop a new area for skills progression for all levels of riders. Watch this space.

See you out there

Ed Oxley