Another in our series about the committee members of Peak District MTB, this time the spotlight is on Mr Chris Maloney. Over to you Chris...
WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH PDMTB?
I was invited! I'd got to know Paul and Dan through regular beginner's rides I'd run through Singletrack World, plus I'd been making a mischief of myself in asking people like Derbyshire County Council what they were up to so they asked me to join. I think it's important to put something back. We get a very bad rap quite unfairly so it's up to us to push back against that (or it was), it's now up to us to promote the community as a good thing. You see the work that's going on on Whinstone Lee Tor, all the work that's being done by groups like PDMTB and Ride Sheffield; there's only mountain bikers doing that kind of thing!!
Difficult to pin down a single favourite. How about a fantasy Peaks ride? Climb up Brinks Road from Hope then descend Greenlands farm. Climb back up to the top of Charity Lane and descend that, Bottom o the Oven and Cavedale. Climb back up the permissive bridleway on Burbage and descend Plantation before the quarry descent to Stoney Middleton. Finish on the grassy single track into Hope then get a pint in the Barrel at Bretton before heading home. All dry of course. I've taken a bit of creative licence there.
Raleigh Bluebird - just like Dan. Then a Raleigh Burner, a Raleigh Kraken, a Saracen Raw (oops), a Carrera Fury, a Kona King Kikapu, a Specialised Rockhopper, a Commencal Meta 55 and finally a Lapierre Zesty 214. Getting an itchy trigger finger on a new one now though....
BEST MOMENT ON A BIKE
There are many, many snippets. Most come from being out with my mates mainly. Those sunsets with dusty trails. It may have been a recent one actually. I had a 'birthday' ride. Heading down the trail off Derwent Edge/Whinstone Lee Tor I had coincidentally timed it right so that someone was on every gate on the way down. A full, uninterrupted, dry, sunny descent from top to bottom. Grinning from ear to ear. Ask me next week, I'll probably have another best moment.
Worst moment on a bike
11 hours in the saddle in the Lakes. High Street. Drizzle, bogs, autumn so dark very soon. A broken thumb, broken bike, two broken riders desperate to get back to the car. "It's just over this next hill". It wasn't. Nor the next. Or the next. Eventually found it about an hour later, exhausted, cold and knackered. Great ride though. Or it could be Gunnerside. Just soaking wet through all the way round. Like walking on a wet sponge.
Anything to confess?
My bike maintenance regime is shambolic. It still just about works though.
Earlier this year Peak District MTB contacted landowners Severn Trent Water to talk about opening up more bike access around Ladybower Reservoir.
STW were open to discussions and so in spring Chris Maloney and James Irwin from the PDMTB committee were invited along to the STW Ranger's Office at Fairholmes to discuss where we thought things could be opened up.
And it went rather well.
Of course, STW wouldn't simply accept and support every proposal, but they have been open to the suggestion that more trails could be opened up on the south back of Ladybower, underneath Wooler Knoll. We've already put forward a few suggestions which we think will make for some good loop options in the area both going up the hill towards the Roman Road and coming down to the side of Ladybower.
"It was a good meeting," says Chris. "Severn Trent and the Peak Park rangers asked us some robust questions, but it was great to be able to show that we are being a responsible group and answer their concerns in the meeting.
"It's going to be good to work with them on the next phase of this proposal and see what can be done for mountain bikers in the area."
Next steps are to head up there with the rangers and have a look at what's possible and how much work might be needed to bring things up to a decent, maintainable and robust standard for bikes. Keep your eye out for future maintenance days when we have something concrete* planned.
All in all, it's a good step forward in increasing the options for riders in the area.
It's also great to be able to talk openly with Severn Trent Water as an influential user group - and that's thanks to your support.
If you want to find out more about our work with Severn Trent or just find out more about what we're doing in the area, get in touch. We're always happy to talk!
*we are not proposing concrete paths!
Thanks to Adam Rowlinson for allowing us to reproduce his image "Looking over Ladybower". http://www.adamrowlinson.co.uk/what-i-do/
We thought it'd be a good idea for you to know more about the committee members at Peak District MTB. In no particular order we'll start with Dan Noble...
Dan is the outcast of the Peak District MTB committee, residing as he does in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Once resident in Buxton, Dan moved to Leek for the cheaper house prices and soon realised he'd given up some cracking doorstep mountain biking to do so.
Why did you get involved with PDMTB?
"One of my favourite quick loops takes in the steep climb from Black Harry Gate near Great Longstone. I remember being bitterly disappointed by the poor "trail maintenance" that appeared to involve little more than chucking a load of aggregate on the floor; after a bit of heavy rain deep ruts soon re-appeared. This "maintenance" seemed to be getting more and more common and I wondered what the mountain bike community could do about it. That's when I heard of Peak District MTB and decided to learn more and offer my help."
"Hmm, that's a tricky one. I could pick one of many in the Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Huetor in Spain, which are both awesome, but if I limit it to the Peak District I'd say Macclesfield Forest and the surrounding area. You can do anything from a bit of playing in the woods to big all-day epics with fast and rocky downhills on pretty weather-proof terrain."
"My first 2-wheeler was a Bluebird but my first MTB was a Specialized Hard Rock from about 1989. I still have it and it lives at my mother-in-laws in Spain where it still gets ridden. I can confirm that the canti-brakes are still as appallingly bad at stopping me as they were over 25 years ago."
"Transition Bandit 26er which is a fab all-rounder, and a Kona Unit 29er which isn't."
Best moment on a bike
"Realising - and proving - that a 20 foot table top is achievable for a 40-something Dad with precious little time to ride."
worst moment on a bike
"Realising - and proving - that losing fitness is all too easy for a 40-something Dad with precious little time to ride. I remember a local showing me around the Cannock Chase off-piste and absolutely beasting me into submission. I have never felt so slow and unfit before or after. It was embarrassing."
Anything to confess?
"I love riding my road bike, sometimes more than my mountain bike! I challenge anyone who doesn't get road biking to come on a ride with me in the stunning Staffordshire Moorlands. If you still don't get it after that, you probably never will."