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We offer free, tracked UK delivery on orders over £10, with delivery starting from £1.99 for orders below this value. We also have a selection of premium shipping options available including timed slots, Saturday delivery and DPD Pick-up

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When you buy a new bike at full RRP from rutlandcycling.com, you can now benefit from the added reassurance of our Rutland 30-day test ride. Once your new bike arrives, you can ride it as your own for 30 days, and we're confident you'll love it! However, if it's not right for you, we'll exchange it for another model. (There's a nominal charge of £10 for us to collect your bike - just make sure you keep the box your bike arrived in.)

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  • Back to Blog  

    #TeamRutland | First Peak District MTB ride

       Words by Tom Worsfold

       on 23/08/2019 09:46:10

    Marsden-Hero

    Words by #TeamRutland member Josh Wallis

    Thrown in at the deep end. Sink or swim? We have all heard of these sayings over and over but never was it more appropriate than when my dad and I were precariously picking our way along the Alphin Ridge, just off the Chew Reservoir at the tip of the stunningly beautiful Peak District.

    I had promised my dad a chilled weekend away in Marsden, with a country pub for us to enjoy and his first proper experience on a MTB. Little did I know the route I had created on the ever impossible Strava route creator was the most raw, natural and high consequence ride I had ever done. Tricky for a first time newbie borrowing a bike of his son.

    Marsden-2

    The bike he was riding was my Specialized Enduro Elite 29. The wagon wheeled burly machine happened to be the best tool for the job as we discovered later, but as we set of from Marsden on the fast flowing cross country bridle ways I feared I had set him up to fail. I on the other hand was loving my first experience on my carbon Bianchi Methanol. It effortlessly floated up the climbs and held speed like no other XC bike I have ridden. I mean this in the best possible way when I say this, across the flat and up the climbs it was every bit as nimble and responsive as my road race bike. Meanwhile my dad was feeling a little over biked for the trail and fighting with the 160mm of travel and longing for a proper lockout on the Rockshox Lyrik that was sucking away power every time he got out of the saddle on the steep climbs.

    As we arrived at the Dove Stone Reservoir spirts were high for what lay ahead. A big climb up to the Chew Reservoir, I’ve since discovered is in the top 100 UK climbs, followed by what I had been promising would be the best part of the ride which would take us along the ridge and descend back down towards the town of Greenfield for a well earned lunch. I nearly forgot to mention.

    My dads attire couldn’t have been more “roadie”, a true virgin mountain biker. Dressed in his Kask road helmet, Rapha bibs, jersey and the least appropriate Nike air max imaginable. I have no doubt this had been noted by the locals and a few sniggers must have been had as we tentatively went off piste to start the ride along the ridge. Up until this point I had been riding my Bianchi on exactly the trails it had been designed for and it excelled. Holding speed and inspiring confidence like a good race machine should. However about 30meters into our expedition along the ridge I quickly realized a light weight carbon hardtail was perhaps not the ideal bike for what lay ahead.

    Marsden-3

    We began picking our way along the trail. Littered with huge rocks and a sheer drop of to our right and impassable marsh land to our left. It was this point my Dad declared this is in his words “madness” and “cant be the right way” as “nobody in their right mind would ride this.” I did my best to assure him it was going to be okay and was just a tough part of the trail and it would relent

    I wasn’t convincing him and it wasn’t until the locals caught us up that he realized this was indeed the trail, but after a quick chat about what lay ahead we were informed this was one of the toughest trails in the area and the decent I had planned down to Greenfield was the steepest, most technical way off the ridge.

    Sink or Swim?

    Our nerves began to settle as we made more progress. I was seriously impressed with my dads debut. He was really picking it up and was throwing the bike into rock gardens many seasoned mountain bikers may have shied away from. The whoops, giggles and little screams coming from him was a mixture of sheer enjoyment and terror. This was a first for me as well.

    It was definitely the most raw natural terrain I had ridden with sharp rocky climbs and some seriously rocky, narrow one line gully’s to pick our way through. I was a little tentative initially taking a carbon hardtail onto such a gnarly trail but I had no choice. I couldn’t bottle it in-front of my dad.

    Marsden-1

    My initial reservations soon disappeared. I couldn’t believe how capable this Bianchi was. I’ll come clean and admit I had got the boys a Rutland Cycles Peterborough to fit me a dropper post to aide me on descents and it was invaluable. This new breed of 29er Xc bike really is a huge step on from a traditional xc race bike. I strongly encourage anyone to give one a go as they are so versatile. Everything I threw at it including was handled with very little fuss and I enjoyed every second of it. I especially smiled to myself as we came ripping down to the finish past a group of lads with full-blown downhill bikes. Not bad for a pair of lycra clad xc, roadie types. One on a beautiful Celeste blue featherweight race bike, the other a 49 year old MTB virgin loving his debut MTB ride.

    Sink or swim? Thrown in at the deep end. This is exactly what I did to my poor old dad. He convinced it was on purpose to try and kill him. He certainly swam though and is ready for more. Our next adventure is onto the Hope Pre-Peaks coming up on August 18th. Pub is booked, hotel is booked and I can’t wait to point the Bianchi down some more beautiful trails, this time the Yorkshire Dales!


    Huge thanks as ever to the fantastic support provided by Rutland Cycling, allowing us to have a great time on the bikes.

    See Josh's bike of choice here! View all MTB

    Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

    You can browse the entire Whyte range online, or you can get your hands on it in your nearest Rutland Cycling store.

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