Welcome fellow Mountain Biker to a Bristol and South West based blog containing local routes, rides and reviews. Brought to you by locals to the area with additional publishings from further afoot. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dartmoor

Myself and Mr Angell ,a.k.a DirtCrab, darted off to Cornwall at the weekend to visit a good friend Mr Bones a.k.a Boney, a.k.a Flapjack, a.k.a Pinks. Check out the Root Down link in the link section for more info on the funky blonde wizard. Maybe he will guide you through the step to enlightenment through sliced malt loaf and techniques such as warm milk in coffee.
Anyway the three of us rose early saturday morning and set off towards Tavistock and onto Princetown, where the prison was on lockdown. No really it wasn't. But there was a prison there. And some pretty ugly weather. We quickly got our quip together and got on the trail. Which started as a slight climb with lots of granite drain gully's, plonked every 50 yards or so. Quite good fun hucking and riding over them as they looked a bit slippery and hard and sharp. At some point Boney turned off to the right and I had some fun doing the rock infested lane before me. Big rocks, small rocks, medium sized rocks, some as big as your head. All wet, spread randomly as far as I could tell, or my bike could tell me. Because at this point my glasses were fogged up covered in rain. All I could see was through a small clearing on each lens of my shades. I had to stop and quickly wiped them. And I was off again passing those two monkey's and loving the rocks. After a while we ended up at a river and took 5.


We then set off uphill for a mile or so to join onto the old railway line which used to transport granite from the mines in the hills to somewhere below. It was about a 4 mile gradule climb? I use the question mark because I don't know for sure, I think Boney said it was and it sure felt like it. I managed to keep a pace for a while with the big ring at the front and middle at the back proving to be most efficient, until I had burnt off the breakfast and maltloaf. And started to struggle uphill. Purely because of my choice of bike you know. It's the sacrafice one makes. Smooth, safe comfortable downhill's and rocky sections, painful grueling uphills.
Mr Angell having a maltloaf moment.

















The summit was in sight but my fellow riding companions weren't, the buggars. I had to stop for a while to take the view in. The whole area looked like one huge rock garden. Either that or some grass ice-cream with granite sprinkles. From rolling hills to rock gardens and boulder mountains it was quite stunning.












Soaked to the bone and alone I flopped to the top and met the guys at the carpark from whence we came. After an Otter ale and a steak 'n' ale pie and chips from a remote pub some miles away we were all feeling dryer and more alive.

A nice circuit. Not enough down for my liking but enjoyable and pleasent on the eye, even in crud conditions. Although I'm told it doesn't get much better up there. Highlights of the day were the downhill, whiskey and maltloaf at the river and granite bridge. Watching Bones go over the bars on the last climb. Classic. Low points were getting a wet sock after ten minutes and realising at the end back at Bones abode that the helmet cam was pointing to high off the trail.

Cheers Boney for a fab weekend of filter coffee, maltloaf with butter, foggy night walking cave spotting (in his quaint village of Calstock), cullinary tips, cracking fire and fine music.


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