Bikes beat badgers!!

We've had all sorts of things try and thwart our family bike rides - the weather, punctures, uncooperative children (surely not!!), illnesses, forgotten items of kit, icy roads, excessive heat - to name but a few. But never before have we had BADGERS trying to stop us cycling!!!!!!

Recently we decided to go to Whinlatter Forest park for a spot of mountain biking (and to allow 9 year old T to put the Cuda Impact dual suspension mountain bike we'd been sent to review to the test on the trails there).  As we started up the steep road to the visitor centre there was one sign that said "Road Closed Ahead".   We carried on, as we thought to ourselves "Surely it must be beyond the visitor centre, or it would have been better signed".   Alas no, and we started to see cars parked all the way along the side of the road, before reaching the road closed sign*!!

A quick search on the phone alerted us to the fact that badger activity in the area had undermined the road and it was not safe for cars to pass, as this picture shows.

Badgers close the road near Whinlatter Forest in Cumbria - January 2018

Thankfully we managed to find the last safe parking space on the road, and all agreed that we were not going to allow some badgers to ruin our bike ride!!  Badgers might trump cars, but they certainly don't win over mountain bikes.....

Instead of starting our ride with the exhilarating section of single track berms on the Quercus Trail that we usually do several times as a warm up, we were straight into a road climb up Whinlatter Pass - owch!!!

Steep climb up Whinlatter pass to get to blue run

The plus side of this was that we got to see some stunning views over Bassenthwaite Lake whilst taking a breather.

Views towards Bassenthwaite from Whinlatter pass

We picked up the Blue trail further up the road, and had a fabulous afternoon of riding. The road closure must have put a lot of people off, as we hardly saw anyone else on the trails.  T had great fun riding a dual suspension mountain bike on this route for the first time.

Fun on the Blue mountain biking trail with the kids at Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria

And if it hadn't been for the badgers, we wouldn't have been able to end our day with the epic descent back down Whinlatter pass - MASSIVE smiles all round at the end of that one!!

What's the strangest thing that's tried to stop you getting out on a family bike ride?  Do let me know in the comments section below.

If you're thinking of visiting Whinlatter Forest check out the Forestry Commission website for full details (and to see if the badgers have been active again!)

* On our journey back we saw that where the road closed and diversion signs should have been on them main road - the temporary frames were in place, but the signs missing. 

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