Ride Like a Girl at 72!
No one ever really feels their age. Who wants to be told they can’t do the things that they love because of how old they are? I for one really hope that I can still ride like a girl at 72! Well we have found proof that you absolutely can!
After watching a video covering the opening of the new Lady Canning trail in Sheffield, I was left in awe. Not so much of the trail, but the 72 year old lady they had briefly featured riding it.
‘What a Legend, I have to find her’ I thought to myself.
After about 10 minutes of posting some #FindPat tweets on social media I had a hit direct from none other than her husband John, who said that his ‘RAD’ Missus would love to be in our magazine (yay!)
I arrived at the Horscroft household, ready to ride. I was greeted by one of the friendliest, couples I have had the pleasure of meeting, Pat and John. Pat announced that John had volunteered to be our uplift service for the day. ‘I’m not really a fan of the uphill bits, and this way we get to do more of the fun, downhill runs’. A girl after my own heart!
Drop 1 – Lady Canning Trail. A feature packed 1 mile downhill trail which is an absolute joy to ride.
‘We managed to have three generations riding this trail at the weekend, John and I, my son and grandson’. Said Pat with a proud smile.
The 1 mile trail opened earlier this summer but has been a long time coming. It took a lot of campaigning and planning from the guys at Ride Sheffield – the local mountain biking community, of which John is an active member. He does a lot of campaigning for better access and Right’s of Way for riders in the Peak District.
Once we got to the bottom there was John with his van ready to take us to riding spot number two.
Drop 2 – Secret
Really, I can’t tell you where this trail is. It’s a secret track known to the locals, and I felt honoured to be riding it.
‘Today may be a rest day for me, but I am very jealous right now. You are about to experience ‘THE BEST bit of riding the Peak District has to offer!’ – John, as he waved us off for our second ride.
True to his word, this was a fantastic bit natural riding. Pat led the way down the technical and rocky descent, to where our final uplift for the day was waiting to take us to our last run.
Drop 3 – Classic, followed by Bluebell woods
A really nice bit of downhill, following a bridle path, which then links into Bluebell Woods, as Pat likes to call it, due to the amount of Bluebells that bloom each spring. A lovely bit of woodland riding to end the day.
It turned out that the pair are very keen on their adventure sports. Originally from Kent, they relocated to the Peak District to accommodate their outdoor lifestyle.
‘We were spending so much time driving up and down the M1 that it just made sense’.
Pat has been cycling for around 12 years, but only took up mountain biking on singletrack six years ago, after a shoulder injury left her unable to climb as much as she would have liked to. In those few years, she started out needing to be towed uphill by John, and now has raced at Steel City Downhill.
The pair like a nice trip over Bike Park Wales too, having first visited 2 years ago for the centres opening week.
‘I’m seen as ‘uncool’ because I collect my Bikepark stickers on my handle bars’, she says, pointing to her collection of uplift passes – Trust me Pat, no one thinks you’re uncool!
Having had a hip replacement three years ago, Pat now takes it easy and teaches yoga in her spare time. She previously spent seven years living and skiing in Switzerland, and fifteen years teaching Judo, in which she has a black belt.
I learnt two things whilst riding with Pat:-
- There is definitely no such thing as ‘too old’
- The Peak District has some incredible riding on offer! We will be back!
- Bring on retirement!