Issue 148 Classic Ride: Children Of The Dammed

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Barney takes in some venerable Peak District trails that are anything but old and past it. Words & Photography Barney Marsh In many ways this ride might be seen as…

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Barney Marsh takes the word ‘career’ literally, veering wildly across the road of his life, as thoroughly in control as a goldfish on the dashboard of a motorhome. He’s been, with varying degrees of success, a scientist, teacher, shop assistant, binman and, for one memorable day, a hospital laundry worker. These days, he’s a dad, husband, guitarist, and writer, also with varying degrees of success. He sometimes takes photographs. Some of them are acceptable. Occasionally he rides bikes to cast the rest of his life into sharp relief. Or just to ride through puddles. Sometimes he writes about them. Bikes, not puddles. He is a writer of rongs, a stealer of souls and a polisher of turds. He isn’t nearly as clever or as funny as he thinks he is.

More posts from Barney

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Issue 148 Classic Ride: Children Of The Dammed
  • BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    A really good read, thanks. I haven’t ridden The Beast – aka Fluffy Kittens – for ages despite being local, but I feel inspired to go and pin-ball down it again some time soon.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Thanks for this… i’m off there in a few weekends for my 2nd Peaks visit, well techincally my 3rd but the 2nd only lasted 45 mins as a mate broke his collar bone 😀

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Really enjoyed reading this.
    Thanks Barney for raking up many happy memories of riding these trails.
    Sadly I’ve never managed to ‘clean’ the ‘Beast’ only sections of it.

    barney
    Free Member

    Thanks folks – really means a lot 🙂

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    Nice writeup Barney, thank you.

    Our alternative, then, runs along the high point of the hill to the southeast, past Hagg Side, and descends a perfectly functional, but unexciting, slice of track to Ladybower Reservoir.

    Should anyone be so inclined to follow the route that’s the much better climb back to the top than the great grassy hill.
    Neither is exactly exciting on the way down so assuming the closure is still in place I’d (personally obviously) suggest either use that track in both directions or descending on the grassy bridleway and climbing the track up from the small car park.

    Also:
    Weren’t the classic rides switching to cycling UK and OS mapping?

    Mark
    Full Member

    The OS map is there to download. Hit the download button on mobile or if on desktop the map will display in its own box in the article. The inclusion of the Komoot map is because it’s convenient for us to maintain our classic ride collection in one place.

    nickc
    Full Member

    They’ve finished the felling work that closed the road around the reservoir. There’s been ‘quite a lot’ of felling.  It looks like a bomb site 😬

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    Ta for that Mark

    Oh, and I know I said it in the previous thread about the mapping but it’s worth another mention. “Yay” for the GPX making a return.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    Great read 🙂

    FOG
    Full Member

    That’s inspired me to get out! I am actually a local but never seem to ride these trails because I rode them so much back in the day. I need to relive scenarios like my then eleven year old son leaving me completely for dead on the Beast wearing trakky bottoms ,Velcro trainers and on his mother’s Kona. Unfortunately he has now lost interest despite being by far the best cyclist in the family!

    Mark
    Full Member

    GPX file from the High Street/Skiddaw adventure in 148 is now in the downloads area for full members.

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    I think it should be @Mark but it seems File not found, go to shop

    That link may not work in any case as it appears to have my email and a key in plain text, or rather, it did

    centripedal
    Free Member

    Headed out yesterday with a friend and did this loop. Good fun, somewhat wet & pretty rocky as described. Exciting on the XC bikes. Left the Beast loop to last but did not take it on in the end. Tired and the everpresent backache, a little late for dinner, and alas slightly bash up after a prattfall earlier. Good day out all in all tho

    barney
    Free Member

    @centrilpetal – Very chuffed you liked it – it’s a super-fun loop! You say you didn’t get to the Beast – but what did you think of Potato Alley?

    centripedal
    Free Member

    Potato Alley was chunky for sure : ) I felt slightly under-biked (well perhaps just under tyred) as me and my mate Bobby skimmed down over the loose stones; taking the smooth line up to the right edge occasionally. Then another rider on a trail bike roared past us down the inside line! awesome. I lost my mate at a rocky drop-off half way down, I slowed a little to have a look at it rather than just charging over on first sight. I am slightly more cautious these days since my heavy fall last summer (as told in Singletrack 146).

    Yeah the Beast loop we had saved to last but were done for by then, been a particularly snotty and exhausting winter this one. Most people I know seem to be a bit less than top form. Here’s to Summer, clean air, and strong legs.

    richb1
    Full Member

    Great read Barney, I love riding around there.

    I’ve got to leap to the defence of Potato Alley. One of my favourite trails anywhere. Get it right and it’s like you’re surfing down the hill on a wave of babyhead rocks, feeling godlike. Get it wrong and you’re smashing through, gritting your teeth, and hanging on for dear life. Either way, I’ve never made it to the bottom without howling with laughter, and because it’s always shifting and changing you never have quite the same experience twice.

    Have you done Cut Gate yet? Tough but spectacular, especially if you’re doing an out & back loop.

    barney
    Free Member

    Thanks Rich! We’ll have to agree to disagree about Potato! Yeah, I’ve ridden Cut Gate a few times – a fabulous trail. I think a story about it (written by me) appeared once in Singletrack during lockdown – rode over it to Ladybower with some pals to see a Lancaster Bomber, which didn’t appear – so I packed my camera up just as a consolation Eurofighter screamed through. Didn’t get photos of that either 😀

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