Coxley Snow Ride (Mountain Biking) Route Details

Route Description

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Introduction

A short but hard ride in the snow. Some of the ride is on bridleways, but a lot is on canalside paths, and other areas which may not be a right-of-way but are commonly used by bikes.

Conditions

Snow covered tracks, with hidden mud and logs

Hazards and warnings

Riding in the dark and snow is a silly idea. You can't see mud or logs below the snow, so falling off is all too easy.

Detailed description

Please note: the owners of the wood, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, would like to point out that cycling is not permited on the permissive footpaths which run through Coxley woods. If you do venture this way bear this in mind. Also, look out for illegal motorcrossers, who tear around the woods causing lots of noise and erosion. Some dog walkers have stretched ropes at head height to stop these, which is obviously very dangerous to anybody passing that way.

 

Narrative

The night after the big snow fall that blanketed the UK, I decided to take my winter bike out for a ride. It was dark, cold, and there was more snow falling all the time, making Horbury look like a winterwonderland ski resort in the alps.

On the plus side, the snow covered and low clouds reflected the light, so the whole ride was lit by an orange glow from the sky, and the lights were only really needed in the darkest bits.

The bike was a singlespeed, with no suspension, which actually worked well, as there was less to clog up with snow and mud. Disc brakes helped, as rim brakes just freeze up and become useless. The bike had Panaracer Trailraker tyres fitted, which do a brilliant job of gripping on winter hazards like mud and wet roots and even in snow and ice seem to be able to get a grip on surfaces than cars can't seem to manage. However, in areas where the snow was thick, it was just too much effort to ride, and I had to walk a few bits I would have certainly ridden up in the dry. I took a lot longer to get around the ride than I would have done in the day light.

Route Map

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