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Glad you like the site, positive feedback, plus riding readers special trails are the only reasons I do it.
There is a well recommended Chalet/Log cabin park at http://www.logcabinswales.co.uk/skivillage/
There is also a camping/caravan site On A470, 1' miles north of Dolgellau http://www.vanner.co.uk/ (Don't know what it's like, don't forget to tell us if you go!)
If there is a big group of you http://www.mtbbritain.co.uk/plas_isa.html is very good, owned by Sian Roberts (who you'll remember as one of our top XC racers if you've been around for a while like me :-)
Unfortunately the Pink Heifer is still closed and the MBR is open only in a shortened version. (Now all open - Ed.)
The good news is that the re-routed MBR has a descent from the Heifer on it and is very good (if a bit shorter than normal) see the review of this route on the F&M bulletin page.
The new MBR F&M route is well signed but the Pink Heifer is not.
This is part of the fun of the Heifer, it makes it a little more exclusive, and it is worth following the guide.
The Red Bull singletrack is all 'surfaced' as are the other trails.
Except for the Heifer that is, which has quite a lot of 'natural' trail on it.
The reason is basically the water, they do have a fantastic amount of it and it cuts the trails to pieces if they're frequently ridden.
Updates to this answer
will be on the F&M Bulletin
NEW Routes - with easy access from
Gareth. Two excellent colour leaflets for mountain bikers have been produced by Andrew Kelly covering the Ceiriog and Upper Ceiriog valley, near the village of Chirk in NE Wales. The first is a 23 mile circuit and the second a 14 mile round. The leaflets include highlighted OS map extracts and are even waymarked on the ground with circular badges. It is easy to make shorter loops and together would make an ideal weekend for any XC rider. They are available for 95p each from Wrexham Tourist Information Centre, Lambpit Street,Wrexham, LL11 1 WN. Tel 01978 292015. I will try to do an article on one of them later, but it really is quality riding in an unknown area.
Andrew, a Horse rider, also asks mountain bikers not to creep up silently behind horses and then flash past squealing brakes and heavy gear changes. A friendly shout from 20 yards or so and a momentary wait for acknowledgement by the rider, would improve safety for all concerned and do wonders for our relationships with horse riders.
Hi Paul, sounds like a hot
tip to me, this area is quick to access from the Midlands and seems well
worth a look, independent reports from anyone who rides them please.
Jus' been surfin' on your site and happened upon your Nidderdale feature. Looks a cool route.
Do you know any other routes around Nidderdale? Here's a link to a review of the route that me and me friends choose to ride around Nidderdale which is posted on our website:-
You probably know this route already, but if you don't it is definitely worth a ride someday. I think it is less weather dependent than the ride on your site. To view a pdf. file of our route click below:-
http://benjaminhaworth.tripod.com/nidderdale.pdf (it may take a while to load so be warned - 600kb-ish!)
If you want more info on it feel free to email me anytime.
(Chief of 'The All New MTB Morons!')
|License to crash?
I want to start downhill racing and I
got an entry form for a local race,
you don't really have to have a license for most UK races.
If you don't have a license, you have to pay extra to provide insurance for the day. (this will be the higher priced entry fee and is usually called 'entry fees and day license')
The advantage of getting a license for the year is that it's cheaper than one day entry at several events.
Also you cannot collect points towards the NPS national rankings without one.
This doesn't stop you walking away with one of the top prizes on the day (if you're that good!) on a day license though.
To check out the advantages of a yearly license/BCF membership go to http://www.bcf.uk.com/
If you're pretty sure that downhill racing is for you, sign up.
If not you can test the water by coughing up the higher individual rate to the organisers.
If the race is very soon, there may not be time to get a full license, so a day license it is then.
Hope this helps
|Flossing is Important
The more I see this site the better it gets. Thanks.
Also: Some time ago I stuck a chain
suck solution in a bike chat type forum but i can't
Excellent, more dental related tips always appreciated!
|Real Ale Wobble
Get me out on a 100K event with a start like Le Tour? I'd need a couple of Guinness before I agreed to that... Still, that's how I usually get roped in (note: if Alan was in a lot of physical pain I'd have been helicoptered to intensive care). These are the kind of events I like really, as little like a real race as possible and lots of fun. We're hoping to tempt Alan in to showing us his legendary Gower ride, watch the route guide section, coming soon I hope.
|Pump it up
your recommendations for winter kit, you say you can get a track pump
from 15 quid. Did you know argos do them for a tenner? Don't know
if they are any good or not.
We had a chance to look at it recently, it's good value for the money, but it has no built in pressure gauge. This makes it good for reducing physical effort (many pumps are incapable of high pressures) but you still need a separate gauge for setting accurate tyre pressures. If you do it this way, pump the tyre over pressure, then let it down with the gauge to avoid multiple gauge/hose swaps. An alloy barrelled pump with a built in gauge can be had for £15 and we think it's worth the extra. Set both tyres to 45 psi for hard riding to avoid pinch punctures (best for 2.125 inch tyres, light riders can get away with less, heavy riders may need more). This saves a lot in the long run, reducing tube and rim damage. To test a gauge for accuracy (some are way out) try cross checking with a car type gauge. If you have Presta type tubes, use your track pump to put some air in a car tyre then check again with one of the electronic or traditional telescoping gauges. The latter are very accurate when applied properly and the pressure in the larger car tyre varies little with swapping gauges.
thanks for replying to my recent e:mail, I would like to trouble you for
one more piece of advice.
Thanks Duncan, I'm thinking of having a seperate category for links to top routes on the web, as part of the links page.
|Pink Heifer in Dangerous
The Heifer is a killer ride, almost literally in Schlime's case, who managed to high side it to the LEFT on the "WAY steep path to the waterfall". Just at the point where your route guide tells us to "walk over Collapsed section" (which we didn't bother to read until after the event...Doh!). I was first down and made it over, only to bottle out at the 1st switchback. Schlime was next and wasn't so lucky. He fell the 15 feet down to where the path had collapsed to, landing on his head (Giro Switchblade helmets are worth every penny), his bike followed landing on him first, then lodging itself in a tree, which was lucky because that stopped it falling all the way down to the bottom of the valley. Luckily he had a decent helmet and a thick skull. Although he says he can't remember much about the "Ant Trail", which was definitely one of the best bits.
We'd ridden the Dragons tail before so almost knew what to expect, but that still didn't stop me from getting over confident and going arse over apex about half way down. This piece of trail is so good that we almost trekked back up (well we thought about it anyway and that must count for something!). You were right about those tarmac climbs being eye popping more like knee popping. But more importantly we didn't get lost which means it must be a damn fine route guide to overcome the enormous drag factor of our intellects.
An excellent trail and well worth the 200 mile round trip.
We'll be trying the Stretton trails as soon as possible.
See ya, Mart, Schlime, Rich, Steve and yes Al did chicken out.
Yes, this ride separates the mad from the sensible. Obviously you guys are made of the right stuff. And yes you do need that full sus bike to make your life complete.
|Blatant (but interesting) plug.
Hi Gareth, excellent job on the site, most
OOOh! cutesy little Chalet's or what? they look good to me.
|Yes Yes Yes!
I spotted your site on Bike Magic,
nice work it's good to see the Minton Batch route highlighted, definitely
a fav route in Shropshire. Keep up the good work, if you're after some more routes to feature I know some excellent routes in the Brecon Beacons.
Darn right we want to check out the Brecon Beacons, watch this space for a review. Now we've been and it was spectacular. We're going again this weekend to try out a legal version of the route. It's set to be a long hard ride so wimpy types need not apply.
Blimey, that's good
you've captured what riding is all about for the vast majority of regular off-road riders that I've ever met.
The trail guides seem well informed and the photos are excellent.
Now we've been and I think it's going to be at least as good as Coed y Brenin (and that's saying something!) Everyone's going to have to wait till later in the summer though as a web-site has sponsored much of the new trail building and negotiated a temporary exclusive.
Why do we MTB? The evolution of a species.
I've been mulling this over for a long time and I think the answer lies in our instincts. Many of us believe humans left these behind when we left the trees, but they're still the driving force behind our behaviour. In order to avoid predators (and other humans!) our ancestors needed to be able to run fast and duck through gaps between trees at speed. Until a few hundred years ago much of Europe was forested, the terrain was rough and tracks were often narrow and winding. So some of us are left with a pleasure in perceived speed and risk, which drives us to the edge of our abilities (and beyond).
'The spirit of adventure and exploration' is what we call the main instinct I 'm talking about. To stand the best chance of passing genes on to the next generation, our ancestors would've had to hunt food from great distances (or starve) when food was scarce. The younger and faster hunters specialised in the sprinting kill, whilst the older (and slower) would have to travel further from the homestead to gather food. Hence the younger mountain-biker's instinct is for speed (both cross country and downhill). Whilst the older mountain biker prefers longer distance rides.
So how will we evolve in the future? a generation gap may be forming, with young riders preferring the downhill and jumping aspects of the sport, whilst older riders enter trail-quest and Polaris style events. Anyone want to buy an MTB spear, to take on their next hunting expedition?
Gareth Robinson, Leicester UK