Ridgeline singletrack heading out to Chop Gate

Ridgeline singletrack heading out to Chop Gate

The yin and the yang of the roadtrip; within the space of a couple of hours we had gone from aquaplaning along the A1 to standing astride a ridgeline, a foot wide strip of dirt scribing away through a dense shagpile of heather, and the whole of the North Yorkshire Moors lying at our feet.

A lumpy cadence was required along the ridge. Short stabbing strokes followed long static pauses. It had all the rhythm of Morse code, but it felt satisfying to thread tyres and pedals through the obstacles.

For a time the trail widened, becoming doubletrack, until we met a large cairn and our trail forked left; a deep scar across the hillside into which debris had been liberally discarded.

The short, smooth entry allowed us to wind up the gears, such that we hit the first bit of bother pretty fast; almost too fast. I caught glimpses of lolling baby heads, slender axle deep ruts and flattened slabs as I tried to steer a course.

It was like trying to do the Times crossword in a tumble dryer. Somehow we all made it through unscathed, although the nervous laughter at the bottom spoke volumes about how close we’d come.