What started off as a Birthday present to have a taster session at the Manchester Velodrome, quickly escalated into a full days cycling including a classic loop in the Peak District.

Starting Point

Driving from the Midlands to meet one of my best mates who lives in North Yorkshire, the perfect halfway point is Castleton.

It is a very popular place for tourist, walkers, roadies and of course Mountain Bikers! We met at 9:30am and had to be finished by lunch time in order to reach Manchester for our afternoon session, so the route needed to be something easy to navigate and have some familiarity.


Climbing out of Castleton up the broken road at Mam Tor, we quickly realised we had completely overdressed. Stripping off and ramming our bags with clothes we clearly wouldn’t wear for the rest of the day, we headed on.

The forecast was warm and dry which was perfect. What I had forgotten is that it has rained for 2 days solid before and the hills were draining all that excess water down the very trails we were riding. Somehow I managed to capture video footage!

Some of the best riding in The Peak District

You’ll see the route on the video. If you are looking for a 3 hour loop that takes in some A MAZE ING descents, look no further.

This kind of riding reminds me why I bought my Canyon Spectral; it is like the thing comes alive the harder it gets. People who don’t ride who have seen the video comment that I am likely to damage the bike or fall off. Well, I can’t guarantee either won’t happen, but I know the bike has been designed to do just this, you can feel it working for you. This is one of the best places in the country to try out a bike like this. Period.

Where next?

I want to keep the locations varied. Yes, most of my riding is in Cannock Chase or local bridleways but I have a vague ambition to document the best trails the UK has to offer. I think this will be useful for others, but also a reminder to myself when I am old and infirm what fun I had on my bike…not that I ever want to stop riding!!