Its that time of year again....

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
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hondated
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Its that time of year again....

Postby hondated » 14 Oct 2011, 6:48pm

when I get the mountain bike out of the garage once more.
Unbelievably I went out on it today and made a special effort to find a new route and blow me down I did.
I had a great ride, being away from any traffic but boy is it harder than riding on the road.Part of the route meant me having to ride down a steep hill and then climb out of it and if you had seen me you would have thought what a wimp as I crawled down it with the rear brake on and walked up the other side.
Its times like that I really wish I was young and daring. Still it made a change from the road and I am looking forward to doing more of it in the next few months. Hopefully by the end of this Winter I might even be brave enough to ride down steep hills without the rear brake being on.

Wesh-Laurence
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby Wesh-Laurence » 15 Oct 2011, 7:43pm

I only took up cycling, properly, 3.5 years ago. I got fed up of the car traffic and polution and started mountain biking after 2 years of leisurely road cycling.

Mountain biking is far more technical and I believe harder than road cycling. I still get off if the trail is too steep uphill or downhill but I can now climb more hills and I am slowing improving my technique. I love being away from the noise, traffic and polution of the road and love being in lovely countryside.

I get more exercise from a shortish mountain bike ride compared to a longer road ride. However compared to road cycling I find it harder to find groups of the same standard to go mountain biking with.

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Steve Kish
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby Steve Kish » 15 Oct 2011, 7:47pm

My mates and I are usually Swinley-bound when the weather makes road riding a bit dodgy. As hondated says, it's trickier, as you're always looking for the best line in a trail. Still, super fun, though.
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

theopr
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby theopr » 18 Oct 2011, 8:49am

I find that if you don’t ride technical MTB stuff fairly regularly you tend to lose your skill and, more importantly, your confidence.

I don’t do much mountain biking but I like to ride MTB enduro races (slowly) and I find I need to go to somewhere like Swinley Forest at least once a month just to remind myself I can do it. Otherwise I would be a gibbering wreck at the end of the first lap!

And it’s a funny thing about cycling seasons. A lot of my roadie friends get the MTB out during the winter, while a lot of the MTBers get out on their road bikes. I think it’s more to do with wanting a change than anything to do with the weather.

gilesjuk
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby gilesjuk » 20 Oct 2011, 11:11pm

Road riders get worried about icy roads. MTBers don't like the mud of winter so go on the relatively cleaner roads.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby al_yrpal » 20 Oct 2011, 11:29pm

Two mentions of Swinley. I went once as its not far. I found it to be a souless contrived place. Compared with the Chilterns its unchallenging, uninteresting and pretty flat. Its supposed to be MTBing! No mountains in the Chilterns but plenty of muddy hills. I love the autumn and winter because its quiet and peaceful.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

theopr
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby theopr » 21 Oct 2011, 10:53am

al_yrpal wrote:Two mentions of Swinley. I went once as its not far. I found it to be a souless contrived place. Compared with the Chilterns its unchallenging, uninteresting and pretty flat. Its supposed to be MTBing! No mountains in the Chilterns but plenty of muddy hills. I love the autumn and winter because its quiet and peaceful.

Al


I think you need to know Swinley and all the adjacent bits (Crowthorne, porridge pot and tunnel hill) quite well in order to get the best out of them. The Chilterns are great natural riding but Swinley gives you the opportunity to ride fast over a lot of technical stuff.

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Phatman
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby Phatman » 22 Oct 2011, 8:02pm

Plus 1 for the Chilterns, there are challenging rides of differing lengths that you can link up (at least, challenging enough for me!).

To find something new, I got out the local OS 1:25000 and used a highlighter to mark out all the bridleways. Most could be linked up with short, easy road sections. Though the result was not as polished as some established circuits, it was a delight finding hidden corners on my doorstep.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby al_yrpal » 22 Oct 2011, 8:22pm

If you want technical, you should try the Chilterns roots. Remember Wind in the Willows' wild wood, roots a plenty, natural twisting trails, trees on the trail threatening your handlebars. Fallen branches, twigs, mud and leaves hiding hazzards. Slippery steep chalk slopes dotted with massive flints, dangerous and difficult. In a month I never retraced my steps, riding out from my home on more than 100 bridleways and tracks. Its all free, not an official snooper in sight. You can ride 40 miles without seeing a soul. Great pubs are another bonus. Even free tea to make yourself in one remote little church porch. And thats not even thinking about the Ridgway, Swans Way and open country. Its magic, I love it.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

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al_yrpal
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby al_yrpal » 25 Nov 2011, 7:02pm

Out on the mtb today with a pal I introduced to cycling. He was on his new Specialised Rockhopper. Its white with red wheels, his third new bike! At the end of our jaunt it was very muddy. But out in the woods it was great, nothing but the deer, squirrels and just one pair of dogwalkers in 20 miles. A snack and coffee at Nettlebeds excellent Field Kitchen.
The only place he had ridden was Bracknells Lookout. After our ride he said that being out in a real landscape was so good and he wont ever be going back to Bracknell, especially as you have to pay!
Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

arny660
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby arny660 » 18 Dec 2011, 11:43am

I took up mountain biking about a year ago. Thoroughly exhillerating but very tough!

I was suffering from depression at the time (not too serious, but bad enough) and it was suggested to me by my GP (a keen mountian biker himself).

Boy, did it help to lift the depression. Great stuff.

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Steve Kish
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby Steve Kish » 20 Dec 2011, 9:32pm

I went once as its not far. I found it to be a souless contrived place.


May well be that you didn't know the place very well. OK, the fire roads can be a bit one-dimensional but Full Nine Yards, Babymaker, Labyrinth, Corkscrew, Seagull, CJ's Trail etc. are all full-on-fun trails that are annually services and rebuilt by the Gorrick MTB lads.

Given the choice, I'd take this and some of the North Downs (Peaslake, Holmbury St. Mary, Friday Street) over anything this side of the Yorkshire Moors.
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Its that time of year again....

Postby al_yrpal » 20 Dec 2011, 11:15pm

I did go all around Swinley, including quite a few of the little trails although I don't know what they are called. They seemed to be mostly pretty flat weaving between the ferns amongst the trees. I rode along the fire breaks, around a lake. Its a planted forest, much of it Scotch pine, very o pen and even in the week plenty of people around. I really like natural forest bridleways , narrow, muddy, hilly, views, roots. Swinley seemed too much like the local skate park. The downside of natural countryside is having to get onto the road to link sections up.
If you want a great Sunday mtb ride just turn up at one of reading da's Sunday mtb rides.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?