Ever wondered when new promoted MTB routes are researched and how they are assembled?

Well, its not always on a bike or in the summer. On 23/01, it took 141 miles of driving plus 5 hours of walking in wellies to check out possible route sections for a new Sandstone Way variant in 4 different parts of the northern Cheviots. Some 'paths' were blocked, some have gone AWOL, one had had its gate removed, many were badly water-logged and all those without a stone base were a mud-fest.

Here are a few pics of ground covered and routes discovered during the 5 hours. We all love to ride good singletrack, view great landscapes and enjoy challenging descents but link routes that avoid farm steadings with 'safe' road and river crossings are just as important. One pic shows an old road ploughed out and planted and another which has been ploughed and left unplanted but unusable - all to be followed up.

These old roads are our legal heritage and mustn't be allowed to disappear.