On Sunday, while the world’s best mountain bikers were in Ireland for the second round of the Enduro World Series, we decided to head to Gisburn Forest for some Enduro practice of our own. It was my third time there and each time I go, I love it more and more.
It has to be one of the few places where the climb is (almost) as enjoyable as the descent. It’s pretty technical in places with lots of big rocks, roots, dips and step-ups, so plenty to distract you from the burn! It was good to test out the new 1×10 conversion on a more technical climb, and I think I rode it better with the new set up, being able to worry less about gear changes and just focus on technique.
The only time I struggled a bit was in the quarry, which has some massive boulders and steep sections to get up, but that was mainly down to my lack of skill rather a lack of gears. I didn’t even miss the granny on the long steep fire road to get up there.
As always, we made a few stops for photos and filming, and when looking through the shots afterwards there was a definite recurring theme – loads of rocks! Whether it’s negotiating rock gardens and massive slabs on the way up, or blasting over them on the way down, rocks feature heavily on ‘The 8’ at Gisburn, culminating in the mother of all its rock features, ‘The Slab’ up on Whelpstone Crag. It may not have been quite as gnarly as the rocky section that was being tackled at the Emerald Enduro in Wicklow, but it’s pretty daunting for me, and I’m yet to muster the courage to send myself down it. Until I do (which I will!) here’s Dan making it look easy…
One of the few sections that’s not dominated by rocks is the fast and flowing Hully Gully, although there’s still the odd slab and rocky section to continue the theme.
Once again, we had an awesome blast round ‘The 8’, confirming the verdict reached on previous visits, that Gisburn absolutely rocks.
Anyone else been to Gisburn? How do you rate it? Share your thoughts below…