Other people’s trails

by Dave Anderson 5

Nearly in Austria, but still in Bavaria


I reckon 98.5%* of my riding is done on trails in a 20km radius of where I ride, because we’re lucky that locally there’s enough variation and quality of riding that justifying travelling out of the valley seems pointless. That same variation and quality also means I get to spend a fair amount of time acting as a guide for visiting friends or friends of friends and there’s a real pleasure to be had planning and plotting a route that shows off the best of what we’ve got to offer. Traditionally we’ve booked a local bunkhouse and made a weekend of it, making the most of the opportunity to catch up, share stories over beers but most importantly ride together; fitting as many good trails together as daylight allows.

And all my best memories of other rides, beyond the Calderdale horizon, aren’t those I’ve had to string together from a map but rather they’re the ones that involved other people’s “local”. Trails that take on a different quality when they’re shown to you by someone who knows them intimitely, whose enthusiasm infects the ride, who can thread together a perfect combination of climbs and descents that you know are the right way to ride them.

So to sum up: Local is good, and so is other peoples local.


*roughly speaking





Comments (5)

  1. I agree but getting lost every now and then trying to find your own way on new stuff can be fun too (long as its not too often!)

    Most of my decent local trails aren’t even local…….!

  2. You are so right. There is nothing better than showing off your local trails to a visitor. It seems to make them somehow fresh and exciting again. And then again visiting someone else’s local trails is always a great experience.

  3. Totally agree! I’ve begun to record my routes using MyTracks Android app, looking at variations of what essentially is 20 – 50K of minor roads, with one or two off roads. Anyone interested in Inverclyde, Scotland – http://invmtb.wordpress.com/

  4. I started doing this back in February in my part of the world and I’ve gps’d over 80% of the trails. I live on the lower Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. I’ve created a website so that I can share the trails with locals and visitors to my area. In case you’re interested my site is http://www.sunshine-coast-trails.com.

  5. Hi Dave,

    I wasn’t sure how else to contact you. I’ve just discovered Singletrack Magazine through a friend. He mentioned that you recently wrote an article on bivvying with the bike and staying in refuges etc. I was wondering whether you knew of any useful sites for more info on what to carry etc or whether it’s possible to obtain a copy of that particular back issue.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

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