Diversion Diary – Know Your Place

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Hannah’s partner, BK, lives in the USA, and lockdown has kept them apart. Each week, she brings us some lonesome ramblings, plus a selection of internet finds. This week she’s looking at the land beyond the trails. As much as I enjoy the adrenaline rush of a purpose built mountain bike track, for me mountain biking is more about exploring and the places it takes you. I like to meet new people and take the whole sensory spectrum of new sounds, smells and sights. For me, it’s hard to get the full local experience if all you ride is a trail centre or bike park. I want to see what the local soil is like, how the weather has shaped the landscape, how the plants differ from the ones back home. My preference then is for more natural trails, ones that have evolved over time, with different purposes throughout their history. That might make for routes that are less rideable, less high in stoke, less flow and more effort, but for me that’s worth it. But what of that history? What, or who, brought these paths into being? How much time do we spend learning about the people that came before us, or live there around the trails that we drop in to visit? What made anyone go to the effort of building this, here?All of this goes to set the scene: places have history and culture, and sometimes knowing them can make us a better and more considerate visitor....

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