When taking your four-legged trail buddy out for a ride I find it really important to take into consideration the distance of the ride, trail surfaces and safety of the location. I go for shorter rides with Bell as she's only got little legs, and luckily for me, she is also super light so I'm able to carry her if we were to hit a fire road section. Bell will just sit back in my arm and enjoy the wind in her ears! If I couldn't do this I'd be hitting our max ride distance which is 15 km (9 miles), based on her breed and energy levels.
When is comes to surfaces I'd be less inclined to take Bell on any hard, sharp shale rocks and hard packed surfaces that are usually found in trail centres, unless maybe if she was wearing some kind of foot protection. Safety first, for me that is taking Bell to a location where I know what to expect, which will not be too busy and a place where we are both going to enjoy ourselves.
The rides below, that I have chosen for my Collection, take into consideration all of these points and are my favourite local spots, in and around the Peak District, to take a spin out with my trail dog, Bell.
You can find out more about bringing up Bell on my blog, Kell, Bell and Bikes.
Before taking your dog out for any of these rides please ensure they are trail dog trained! These rides are not for beginners.
I love this Ladybower loop. You can tick all the boxes for a Peak ride; good views, great descents and good cake.Again, this is the perfect ride for trail dogs as it's not too long, the majority is at a slow pace due to the climb and rocky descents.The only road section is safe as there's a cycle path so you're not alongside traffic.
This ride incorporates three of Matlock's best hills for mountain biking, with all natural and technical descents with some nice picturesque transitions through the countryside and quiet lanes.I'd be carrying Bell on the roads to save her paws, apart from the climbs where maybe I'd stick her on the lead and ask for a tow.
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This ride touches on some of Matlock Moors single track delights and takes you through to a secret mini trail centre (totally worth a visit).Then you'll also head down into a hidden pump track in the woods. This area has so much to offer and I have lots more to explore.
Ashover is a super nice Tour with some natural technical descents. I also like to call it the river run because it's drainage is pretty poor 70% of the year, you will be guaranteed a wet bottom and some form of eye protection or a decent mudguard will come in ever so handy. This is one of my favourite local spots to go for a spin with Bell.There is a quiet road section where I tend to pick her up and carry her as it can get quite fast and she would struggle to keep up. I love the line through the old quarry, I'd challenge anyone to clear the climb up through it and give kudos to those who succeed!
Top stop for a trail dog ride. There is one major fire road that all of the trails come off which makes it a great spot to session the trails and also make your ride as short or long as the like.All the trails are a mixture of hard-packed mud and loamy, you can find a few roots here and there but no loose rocks or embedded.On some of the trails there are a few forks which is where I recommend you keep your trail buddy behind you so they don't get lost!
If you haven’t visited Lady Cannings, it’s worth it for sure. There are two trails, Cooking On Gas and Blue Steel. Both are graded Blue with no mega features or jumps to scare off novices, but don’t let this put you off: it has the most delightful berms and there is lots of fun to be had!The fire road where the two trails meet is a wide and mellow climb which takes you to the top. Ideal location for trail dogs, but be mindful that it runs fast and it can get super busy.
Sherwood Pines is probably one of the only trail centres I'd take Bell due to the trail surfaces being kind to her paws.I always go for the red run, the trails are wide and you get a good mix of flow and some technical features. There are no long trips on the fire roads which is a plus, the trail is virtually all single track.Although there is very little elevation the berms and rollers keep you rolling along nicely.The cafe at the end has the best hot chocolate I've had yet with lot's of outdoor seating, so definitely worth a visit after your ride.