Having been a Mountain Biker in the past I do have an old MTB bike under the stairs; it hadn't seen much use up until recently but now both bikes are in the shop for repair it was time to drag the old beast out! It's an old mid 90s affair with V Brakes, very very wide downhill style bars and tyres not much thinner than a motorbike. Comnparing it to the road bike would be like comparing a Ferrari to a Skoda. This thing weighs around 35lbs and handles terribly yet I found myself up in the hills enjoying myself.
Glancing at the clock and feeling okay in my head I decided to drag it out. I put some SPDs on it, gave the thing a once over and set off. Hitting barrow Bridge the specks of rain started and then the heavens opened! I stopped, grumbled but being on the MTB I thought 'bugger it' and just waited under a tree. Eventually the rain dropped off and I slowly made my way along the road and up Longshaw Ford Road - this hill used to give me nightmares when I first started but even on a monster of a MTB it no longer causes me any problems; I just bound up it like a little gazelle.
Getting to the top I make a decision, I will carry on. So along Scout Road I go, sun peeks out, and I turn up onto Ford Road. At the top there's a bridalway so that was my aim. The road is quite slippery and the road bike would have struggled, but this monster of a machine just spat out the water like some overchewed gum. Hitting the bridleway (two spellings, not sure which is right...) I notice that whilst it's wet it's not muddy and I can pick up the pace. The brakes are working okay, albeit a little squidgy but the gears are perfect, shifting without complaint - I can still maintain a bike! The area's not changed much over the years the road to the mast is still the same death drag to the top and the lovely single track from Coalpit Lane is still wonderfully technical. This isn't my route though and I switch quickly off the wide track onto a small, yet nice and firm track which wasn't there last time I was up. It takes you around a nearby farm and I spot two horses, one is pushing the barbed wire out of the way whilst the other is eating some grass on the other side.
Eventually I realise where I am, it's the road that used to be 'access only' back in the 90s, seems the farmer's been nice and let us cyclists through, yay! I climb to the top and hit the road down which is Coalpit Road. This road's always been a bit of a place for couples. You could ride up on any day and find at least 1 car with a couple humping. We used to ride past shouting at them with encouraging remarks, however there were none today, bar a runner who was only shagged from the look of him.
Turned out to be a wonderful little ride, well worth waiting for the rain to stop!