The over-enthusiastic cyclist

If it involves pedalling then I'm probably into it…

Cyclocross bikes – thoughts after a couple of months

It’s a couple of months since I built the Planet X Uncle John and I’ve ridden it all over the place – on and off road, flat stuff, hills, all over the place really. South Manchester turns out to be a great place for such a bike, as there’s an abundance of tracks and trails that are great for a cross bike. Trails that are a bit too tame to justify taking a MTB and sometimes needing some milage on the tarmac to link them up – ideal for a cross bike!

There’s the River Mersey, Bridgewater canal, Trans Pennine Trail, Middlewood Way, Sett Valley Trail and once you head south you’ve got the Tissington Trail, High Peak Trail, Monsal Trail – and that’s just the obvious long routes. What I’m starting to do is plan decent length routes that link some of these up with those little bridleways and byways that aren’t exactly mega rocky but you’d never want to take your posh road bike down.

Here’s my conclusions:

  1. You get a flavour of road cycling and MTB’ing all in the same ride
  2. You can cover more distance than on a MTB but have more fun than road cycling
  3. A slightly technical trail becomes rather good fun when tackled at speed on what is essentially a beefed up racer
  4. It’s a right good work out – you know about it when you come home from a long cross ride
  5. You’ll try out all the little tracks that you’d never plan a MTB ride around
  6. If (for some tragic reason) I could ever own only one bike, it would be a crosser

It’s also created a new genre of riding for me that’s been christened ‘dicking about on the cross bike’ which involves leaving the house with no particular route in mind and just bombing about around riding anywhere that I fancy. (Is it just me or do we all relax our moral sense of rights of way when it’s within a certain radius of where we live?).The Uncle John seems to have a built in cheeky satnav installed that says “Turn left down that little path you’ve never been down”. I get home after an hour having been down new trails and with a big grin on my face.

Highly recommended!



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