Finding a break in the U.K. summer weather has been though this year, especially when we’ve been out on photo and video shoots. Thankfully the mountains seem to have been kinder to us than the roads and cities and we took the opportunity to visit both Whinlatter in the English Lake District and Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire.
Both venues have some of the very best mountain bike trails anywhere in Europe. In fact Dalby was voted the favourite global venue by UCI MTB XC riders a few years ago and has over 60 km of awesome trails to choose from. Whinlatter sits high in the hills of Cumbria and is a real mountain location, so both venues were awesome choices for us to shoot some video and images. Leaving our base in North Yorkshire the rain was still falling, but as we crossed the Pennines a blue sky suddenly appeared. Whilst the Whinlatter trails themselves still had enough pools of water to cover our band of riders in a mud splattered fest, the slate and rocky base made sure that the riding was still on point, twisting and turning and swooping down through the steep forest tracks.
Trying to keep up with Larisa as I filmed wasn’t easy, as this Transylvanian trail queen revelled in the conditions and the quality of the riding - including the mudfest pools that lay in wait, meaning that at lunch time we all needed to change gear before heading off for more riding around the fantastic forest trails.
Larisa loved the woodland tracks so much so that we headed back along one section several times before calling it a day and finding coffee and cake. For Larisa it was a great experience, usually riding in the mountains of Transylvania that surround historic Sibiu. In fact, here's what she thought...
For me, Whinlatter was like a playground. I had so much fun on the muddy and rocky trails and riding straight into puddles. The Orange Four bike made it easier for me to enjoy the trails. It has very good forks suspension which work very well and adapts on the bumpy terrain. The cycology cycling kit fited like a glove on my body and felt very comfy in it. The bibs have high quality pad and good compression finished with good grip on the legs which keeps them from moving. I like to play with colors when it comes to the kit and I’ve matched the kit with the accessories (gloves, buff etc). As Robert writes, I liked the trail so much that after riding it that we decided to ride it again and I gave him very little rest ;-). We had brought a spare kit in case we get muddy and wet and it was definitely needed X-D
It was a great experience with lots of fun and adrenaline! I will go back for sure. I'd also love to explore the mountains here hiking, as it looks such a beautiful and special place.
Wearing bibs and lycra for trail and XC is common around the world, but not so much so here in the U.K.. However, the Cycology bibs, base layers and race fit jerseys proved ideal for a fast paced and technical trail session in the steep hills of the Lake District. Dalby Forest, whilst not having the length of climbing of Whinlatter is still a tough climbing challenge, with lots of steep, technical and punchy trails to test the best. It’s a place where you really need to stay focused and germs sweep into berms and tight trails twist constantly. Once again, wearing the new performance range from Cycology proved to be a great choice as we enjoyed the warm summer sun in the well deserved break from the recent rain.
And true to form, our Transylvanian trail queen headed back along the trails for round two after a short break, twisting and turning and tackling one section several times as she loved it so much, before once again it was as always - time for coffee and cake, this time at the magnificent 1100 years old Rievaulx Abbey.
Cycology is a great family brand and we all have amazing times working together. We’d managed to find a few dry days for some lighter filming sessions and had fun along the way. While we still as some road gear shoots to complete, the mountains had provided sun, fun and terrific trails - and the North Yorkshire coffee, cake and history had been unbeatable too.
Robert Thorpe & Larisa Chinces, Cycology Europe Team