Ride Report: Bracknell, 15 Dec ’07 (bit late I know!)

6 01 2008

Gayle & Jay (Tunnel Hill Trolls) kindly offered to lead us round Swinley Forest just outside Bracknell joined by Shecycles and Quest.  I reckon about 45 guys and gals were there for the riding.  We split into 3 gals and one Boyz group and after lots of faff and chat, headed out into the forest.  My group was quite big so it split again to keep the flow going. 

Now don’t expect a detailed description of the trails we rode because there is just so much of it.  It was mostly rooty, twisty singletrack that goes on forever but with highlights like the Labyrinth, Tank Traps, The Whole 9 Yards and Seagull Alley , a jump gulley and fantastic tabletop littered, bermy decents like ‘Babymaker’ and the technical bombhole play areas like the Corkscrew thrown in for good measure, it definitely keeps you on your toes and uses your offroad skills.  Oh and dare I forget The Wall, a really steep loose stoney climb that is the start of the many great downhills in the Expert MTB area, it certainly earns you your fun.

Our pace wasn’t too fast but the biting cold weather meant we were working very hard for our mileage.  Energy draining from my body rapidly and not being replaced anywhere near quickly enough, we’d done 12 miles or so by lunch so hotfooted it back to The Lookout Centre for something to eat (although they lost our order and it never turned up!).  Back out for session two in double quick time saw me ramming a sandwich down my throat, I was on empty legs and really felt it straightaway.

We worked our way back out into the wooded singletrack and managed another 10 miles or so which although knackering was good fun although I have to confess to almost turning back because I didn’t think I’d finish what was on offer, or would end up having a big crash through lack of concentration. 

I don’t know what it is about Swinley.  There aren’t many massive climbs (only The Wall to my knowledge) but the undulations are unrelenting and the ground in winter can be boggy peat in places which can be hard going and saps your energy really easily.  So much so that I baulked the last section of singletrack home and took the shortcut on fireroad, man I was whacked.  But enjoyed every bit all the same.  

If you haven’t been to Swinley I would definitely go, it’s a bit of a journey but the local MTB Club get paid to keep the trails maintained (and to build new ones) so it’s got a massive network of them.  At only £1.50 for the day (£12 a year) it’s great value too.

Big thanks to Gayle, Jay and the Tunnel Hill Trolls for leading and sweeping the masses who turned out to ride the trails and for the mountain of cakes !

Cheers

Lisa  

Clicky side bar for photos or go to photos page if this is in archive…

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