Peak District Mountain Biking and mtb Routes in the Peak District

Bridleways, BOATs and Singletrack …

Peak District Mountain Biking is a popular pastime. Locals and riders from further afield flock here to experience the magnificent legal mtb routes on bridleways and BOATs. There are no manufactured trails here, other than a few set up unofficially by locals here and there. Unfortunately, there is inevitably some road riding to be done to link together the choice sections.

Riding a hire bike on the Tissington Trail

The mtb enthusiast will find short and challenging routes in the west of the Peak District with long and challenging killer loops in the Dark Peak and the White Peak. You will find plenty of tough climbs and short, sharp, gnarly downhills.

But note at the weekend, you will also find plenty of 4x4s and trail bikes to contend with as they don’t always respect the rules of the road and end up on bridleways with you!

What Bike?

It doesn’t really matter although our preference is for a hardtail, simply because it requires more skill and control than a full susser which will just rattle down at full speed over all terrain, whatever the skills level of the pilot.  How do I know? I have ridden both and found the full suspension mountain bike  to be a bit boring as there was little to do other than sit there and point it!

Peak District mountain biking is not always well received, there are some ramblers who seem to think we should be banned. There are some mountain bikers who should be banned though – those who blast down at full speed expecting everyone to get out of the way. It is necessary to show respect for others as the Peak District can be a crowded place at certain times of the year. So it is not always possible to blast downhill on your mountain bike at full speed as you have to be alert for dogs, kids, walkers, horses … which is a bit of a waste of a full susser.

But there is something for all levels, families and novices can ride the traffic free Monsal, Tissington and High Peak Trails or the Manifold Track and Derwent Reservoir circuit which have some road sections.

There are a number of mountain bike guide books, our favourites are the Vertebrate graphics books. They are clear, easy to follow and well researched with extras like the top ten mtb downhills and top ten off-road climbs. Here are some links to Peak District mtb books on amazon …

White Peak Mountain Biking: The Pure Trails

Peak District Mountain Biking: Dark Peak Trails

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