Thursday, 19 March 2009

Flying Chick rides the new trails at Healy Nab

Trail building has been ongoings for several months at my local forest, Healy Nab, nr Rivington, North West England. The red route is almost complete.
If you're a skilled or simi skilled mountain biker I found that the red route is suited for intermediate riders as there are a few rocky areas and you'll need some skills to clear them safely, followed by a series of sharp berms. The trails are not for beginners as it really can be challenging. There are consistent tight corners and rocky sections and you need speed to clear some of the rocky sections through the trees. It's not too steep but it is twisting with fantastic alternating berms. The trail has been purpose built and there is one tree on the red route that is very hard to miss if you're traveling at speed. I once witnessed a downhiller friend hitting a tree head on at a tremendous speed while we were on the trails in Morzine. We thought he was dead until he started gasping for breath, he was lucky only to have been winded. Without his body armour, that collision with the tree would probably have been his last.
The black route at Healy Nab is far more challenging than the red and a great place to practice jumps, it's nowhere near finished yet but thumbs up to the volunteers who have given up their weekends to work on the trail building. The trails are short but if you think of them as a great place to practice skills and it's close to where a lot of the Groovy Tribe Bike club members ride making it a great playground for us. It's also good for your fitness as you have to ride your bike back up to the top again to repeat a few laps of the trails. If you're a beginner it is worth spending a day with our local qualified mountain bike instructor Mike Stafford before attempting the red and black routes. Intermediate and advanced courses are also available. You can book a day skills training course on line at
Above picture is Flying Chick. Photo by Mark Foster