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Martin on the Whinlatter Forest Trail

Saturday April 23rd 2011

Whinlatter is a purpose built mtb course with plenty of switchbacks, drop offs, large rocks, berms, jumps, single track, climbing (well, it is on the side of a mountain), roots (well, it is routed through a forest) and great views (well, it is in the Lake District) of Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw. It even has some “Black” features dotted along the route. I had a go at a few of these but mainly left them well alone.

Whinlatter Drop Off One of the Black Route drop offs I did do (no it's not me in the picture)

My last ride report before this one was the Christmas MTB ride where I went flying: firstly over the handlebars and moments later through a gorse bush. The advice from my fellow riders was to “Go on Emmy’s skills course!”

Duly completed, I’ve learned a lot so Whinlatter’s Red Route wasn't a problem.
However, the flying continues.

After negotiating the high point of the Southern Loop and coming down from the summit there is a long, straight and open downhill track. It’s relatively smooth with a small jump on the left part way down. It looked fairly innocuous so I pointed the front wheel in that direction. A nice little skip and a hop.

Not really.

Travelling far faster than I realised the bike gained much more hight than I was expecting and landed well off to the left of the track in amongst the tree stumps. “Lean back and hold on!!” was all I could think of as the bike bucked and twisted below me, feet struggling to find their way back to the pedals. Sadly, my right ankle and left shin got their first as I fought to stay upright.

Probably about time to go on Emmy's more advanced course!

As for the rest of the ride I completed everything on both red routes (the South and North Loops) despite having to do a couple of sections twice to get a clear. If you are ever up in the Lakes these trails are well worth a trip. Map of Whinlatter and a short video.

Report by Martin Pigott