Cross-country for Christmas

Cross-country mountain-biking is arguably the most accessible and popular branch of the sport. It also remains the only discipline to feature in the Olympics. Probably, it is because it requires a higher level of riding-fitness than I possess, and possibly because it lacks the technical appeal of steep, rocky descents in the fells, it is  something I have done less and less of in the last couple of years.
But there is value in variety, and after long weeks of leaden skies, it was hard not to feel just a little enthusiastic climbing slowly towards High Cote Moor en-route for Malham Tarn and a classic cross-country ride for Christmas.