Thorpe Cloud – I’ve done it.

The long walk up Thorpe

Rising to nearly 1000 ft in the south Peak District with a very clear ridge line, a nice country walk 4 weeks ago, turned into a me getting very excited about bringing the bike back. So I rallied the troop(s), and looped Jamie Hewitt into the mix, a fellow GoPro Family Member. This was never going to be an epic day’s ride, more an adrenaline hit, but why not?

This was also the perfect time to test out some of my new gear I’ve very kindly received from GripGrab. Storm Doris had passed shortly before, so heading to an exposed peak with winds in excess of 50mph probably wasn’t the best idea for riding, but sure put their gear to good use.

First and foremost, Thorpe Cloud. What’s it like? Well, do you like hiking, with a bike? If so it’s right up your street. There’s a lot of climbing, about 30 minutes of intense climbing, and even then you can’t get right to the top due to it getting too rocky to ride down, if you’re not an Atherton. We were however pleasantly surprised by a hikers trail on the north ridge which doubles up nicely as a great bit of downhill single track. There were also huge gulley’s and the much steeper, south ridge, but with 50+ mph winds, safety won the battle with trying it. A full video will be going up sometime in April, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

Hiking path down
IMG_0077.JPG

GripGrab; their promise being to build products that makes sports more enjoyable no matter how cold, wet and windy it is. So first up is the Winter Raptor glove.

I’ve always been a fan of a heavier built gloves, so wanted to give these winter specials a true testing. They actually felt reasonably similar to my Troy Lee Design pair in terms of fit, but the quality was noticeably turned up a notch, as was the windproofing. My hands were kept comfortably warm but not at the extent of sweaty palms. Clearly, some breathable technology going on here. The thickness neither had any negativity on feel, underlined by riding my DH rig, which absorbs a lot of the high frequency bumps. Any negatives? The gel inserts, which I’m a big fan of in other gloves, were too much in this case, with finding my hand sliding on top of them if I put a lot of pressure through. That aside, I’m thoroughly impressed by “NAME”. The key outtake I took was, quality and the overall look aint bad either!

GripGrab Gloves

The second, more experimental test was GripGrab’s Aquarepel Leg Warmers. I’m no fair weather cyclist, happy to get dirty, wet and a bit cold, but what if I could avoid all of that and stay comfortably warm? Well that’s exactly what happened. Good thing the body receives all 5 senses, otherwise who would have known it was blowing a gale? Using their on-site size guide, I chose medium, however after time, the thigh part does slide down, so I’ll explore this further on a proper pedal ride. There was also little moisture in the air to give their water repellent qualities a true test, but they’ve sure peeked my interest in wearing them…

GripGrab Leg warmers

I’ll be sharing my thoughts throughout the year on the suite of GripGrab products I’ll be testing.

In the meantime, go ride Thorpe Cloud. The locals will love you. Genuinely, curiosity and excitement was expressed by everyone we bumped into.

Peace out.