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.