Trail bike

Lake District National Park

Brundholme Wood, Lake District National Park

Making friends with my new Rockhopper Expert 29 mountain bike. I’ve now used all the gears (12-speed) and washed the first mud from it. It’s good, it’ll get me to places I wouldn’t otherwise get to.. Just the old road out from Keswick to Wescoe and Threlkeld that goes on to Scales and Mungrisdale. I rode alongside a red squirrel jumping from tree to tree in Brundholme Wood. Lots of gates and it’s not flat. My main ride was just under 20 miles so nothing epic but it’s the new bike’s first “official” ride.
Biggest problem was taking only one breakfast bar as a trail snack so I indulged in a guilty pleasure (see photo) on my return route along the rather more level railway path through the gorge of the River Greta.

More photos: First mud on my Rockhopper hardtail - Lake District National Park

Grizedale Forest, Cumbria

Grizedale Forest, Cumbria

Enjoying some rides at Grizedale on a Rockhopper Elite, just the simple bike: front suspension, hardtail with big fat tyres. Much more stable on a muddy track than my classic Marin due to the Rockhopper’s bigger wheels and still quite a bit lighter than the Marin. The Elite is 10-speed on one gear cassette whereas my Marin Palisades Trail Lite has the original 3x5 chain wheel and dérailleur, more fiddly but useful in riding a variety of terrains, town and country.

More: Rockhopper at Grizedale Forest - Lake District National Park

Marseille Plage Borély

Marseille Plage Borély

Ride over to the beach at Marseille Plage Borély. The beach is kept clear and pretty in the summer season but the autumn storms have landed rocks and mud on the beach paths, also seaweed on the sand. And puddles. So play time on my Marin trail bike. Very squeaky centre-pull brakes for the ride back too.

Parc national des Calanques

Parc national des Calanques
Callelongue

A challenging ride but magnificent views of the Marseilleveyre rocks, the Mediterranean and the Bay of Marseille, all in gorgeous January sunshine. This route is not long but was more arduous than I expected especially because of the loose and sharp calcaire rocks which form the path. Blue flowers of rosemary and thyme and a yellow, possibly a Mediterranean variety of broom, a particular favourite with the bees. The route is named in honour of Antoine Pellicé, a President of the Marseille hiking club.

More photos: Calanque de Callelongue - Sentier du Président

Parc national des Calanques

Parc national des Calanques

Ride around the land side of the Marseilleveyre massif which overlooks Marseille and its beaches. The calanques are where the rocky limestone valleys are submerged by the Mediterranean, the valleys on the landward side are wooded with pines and shrubs.
Not many routes are open to trail bikes in the Parc National des Calanques so the choice is limited. Starting from the pines of the Roy d’Espagne estate, my route took me and my classic Marin up the Vallon de la Jarré, over the col at about 265 m. and down the Vallon des Trois Gancets to the beaches at Pointe Rouge and Borély.

More photos: Marseilleveyre - Parc National des Calanques