Am I the only one not to "get" North Shore?

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  • Am I the only one not to "get" North Shore?
  • Premier Icon Paceman


    That video is amazing… i’m impressed what can be ridden if you have the skills and the guts! ๐Ÿ˜•

    I’m a huge fan of it, as much for the aesthetic as anything. I agree that some of the trail centre stuff just seems pointles, low, wide, sturdy raised sections where you could have have swoopy singletrack just seems daft, and to me tht Ft William boardwalk just looks boring.

    Loved the Darkside though, quite imaginative use of a nasty forested hillside, and linking the exposed stumps together like that was really neat.

    I’d love to go back to the forests above Loch Creran where I used to build and really craft something special just for fun.

    From the skills point of view, I take a lot of satisfaction in just riding along kerbs, I found a line of old kerbstones just outside the Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe and spent an entertaining ten minutes dicking about on those, despite the epic surroundings and the big trails stretching away in every direction.

    Premier Icon bigjim

    I also think the ‘gesture’ north shore at trail centres is just pointless unless it genuinely crosses bogs or something in which case its just a boardwalk. Why ride a bike on slippery wood 6 inches above good dirt!

    I saw some north shore in private woods in Edinburgh a few years ago which must have been double head height – no way i would ride that though!


    I prefer the North East shore, the beach at South Shields has lovely golden sand, but the very best is Bamburgh – miles of unspoiled shoreline.

    A word of warning though, wrap up warm as it gets very cold at this time of year!


    if you didnt have woodwork to ride at a safe 6″ above the ground, you would not be happy to try when its 3′ up.

    same as jumps or drops, if trail centres only had huge jumps nobody would ride them, gotta start small

    (im not good with heights, not at all)


    I don’t think you can truely “get” any type of riding until you can do it to a fairly high level (or at least spend time with those who can), whether it be XC racing, trials, BMX, DH, dirtjumping or whatever.. you don’t need to “get it” though, appreciating it for what it is is another matter entirely. I think I could prob get into it if there was a scene round here (local, not Scotland) but the same would be true if I had better skate parks, BMX tracks, pump tracks or trails(dj) on my doorstep sometimes there’s just not enough time and too many ways to have fun on bikes 8)

    Jedi – fundamentally I agree with you about shore riding using the same skills as mtb but I think because it’s tuning into a very different part of those skills to every day mtb riding it’s very easily written off as something too different to even try. My natural skills (you know all those skills that’ve become so natural over the years you just do without thinking) are quite different from yours and I find I’m tested to the max if I even try to ride slowly along the kerbstones on a straight pavement but I can hit exactly the same 2″ patch of dirt/root etc. on a corner at 30mph again and again without even thinking and if I hop onto the same kerbstones at 20mph I can get along it fine until the momentum dies. I’m just not tuned into the slow speed moves in the same way you are. Way back when me n MC rode (and ahem.. walked) the Darkside at mabie I found a lot of the narrowest bits that needed to be pedalled along/up too awkward/difficult but cleaned the faster rollable downhill sections fairly easily whether they were narrow or not and found those bits fun.


    I used to ‘not see the point of it’ until I tried it (Surrey Shore that is, not real North Shore) then realised how much it concentrates and focuses the riding experience so that every pedal stroke and bike movement ‘counts’

    I do like most types of riding but find many ‘almost-a-mountain’ rides consist of an awful lot of mindless codger cog cranking through pretty boring landscape and although this does involve a stubborn endurance type of mentality the skill level is close to zero (IMO)

    Anyway, I find plank riding is great fun and develops confidence, coordination and sphincter control – all skills you may be glad of one day

    Ride On ๐Ÿ˜€


    Its very easy to enjoy even if you R H8TR.

    Simply sing out the theme of Kick Start whilst riding along it. It then makes sense.


    I hate it because it makes me nervous.

    I am pretty sure that on the ground I can track my tyres along a 4″ wide path without any trouble at all. Stick me on some wood, raise it up more than 6″ and I wobble all over the place. Even if it’s just a log that’s had a flat surface cut into it……aaarrrghhhh!

    Practice practice practice, I know but I barely find the time to ride, let alone go back and forth over the same bit!

    Dammit JHW, I’ve just lost an hour at work to daydreaming about what I could build back home…

    I think one of my hiking trips this year will have to make way for a week of trailbuilding (or ‘grubbing about in the woods’ as my dad insists on calling it, doubt he’ll be happy to have his 27 yr old son back for a week breaking his tools up in the forest haha!)

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    I’ve never subscribed to the theory that riding along a kerb 4″ off the ground is the same as riding on a skinny 10 feet in the air. The same bike-handling skills may be involved, but overcoming the psychological element is the most crucial skill (that Jedi has nailed!)..

    Same with rock climbing. No way would I solo some of the stuff that I try when bouldering. As many have pointed out, it is the penalty for failure that is the biggest issue.

    Still, I do enjoy messing around on a bit of wood work


    I’ve never subscribed to the theory that riding along a kerb 4″ off the ground is the same as riding on a skinny 10 feet in the air.

    It’s exactly the same, until you fall off that is ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    To gain confidence I went from kerbs to scaffold planks on the ground to sissy shore in the garden then a few days at Esher Shore (RIP ๐Ÿ™ ) to get the ‘skilz’ – would love to have a go at the ‘real stuff’ some day, though I’d more than likely bottle it/hurt myself badly ๐Ÿ™„

    but overcoming the psychological element is the most crucial skill

    Perhaps, but I’d suggest that a major part of ‘overcoming the psycological element’ is confidence in your ability to ride skinny stuff?

    No point blundering on to a 10 foot skinny if you can’t ride in a straight line 8)

    Edit: Hilldodger sort of beat me to it.

    Premier Icon DezB

    I just love the brrrrrrp! sound when you ride across a bit of woodwork. If I could ride the high up stuff without fear of death I would!

    The bog std trail centre stuff is OK, and a good way of protecting bogs (The North Face trail), but:

    1. It’s wood. Makes me think it’s slippery (like roots).
    2. Ground trails often develop nice catchy edges on corners, NS doesn’t
    3. Heights, and falling, worry me.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    I’d suggest that a major part of ‘overcoming the psycological element’ is confidence in your ability to ride skinny stuff?

    I’m sure for some that is the case, but not for me. Reiterating my analogy with rock climbing, there’s a level of technical difficulty I will not attempt when 50 feet up a rock face (or north shore!), despite knowing it is within my ability. There is just too much risk. Maybe as a young 20 something with no wife and kids it would be different ๐Ÿ˜€


    I love the stuff, first time riding some was in morzine (canyon run I think it’s called?) and I absolutely poo’d myself when I looked down and realised the ground had just dropped away, gave me a serious adrenalin buzz which just pootling along the trail wouldn’t have done.

    Stuff I’ve ridden in this country at trail centres has been quite disappointing.

    Still don’t think I’m good enough to safely do ‘proper’ north shore though, penalities for failure are scary.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    13thfloormonk – Member

    “to me tht Ft William boardwalk just looks boring.”

    It is, but it’s really just link trails- the nevis red equivalent of a fire road. There’s still some fun bits in it, wee jumps and steps and berms and such but about half is just a motorway to get over the deep bogs.


    most of the time i see wood work, i start to worry, brings attention where it is not wanted and causes issues with other user groups.


    i love creating new phycological challenges in a place where otherwise would be still just a flooded hole in winter.
    some of the best constructions i have ridden in canada haven’t been on the north shore ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’d like to get good at riding north shore where it isn’t far off the ground so mistakes won’t be too costly. The tall stuff really scares me!


    Most of the best “Shore Style” constructions I’ve ridden have been at unoffical sites where the health and safety factors haven’t been rigourously applied. Ladder drops, banked/bermed woodwork and see saws add new,fun, elements to riding. A flowing section of boardwalk can be used to good effect here and there.

    However when I see a couple of token “skinnies” in the undergrowth beside a trail centre track (usually on an uphill section) it makes me think “what a waste of effort”


    hats off to the uk wide shore builders. (zack, jcl, steffan, fish esp )

    Most of the best “Shore Style” constructions I’ve ridden have been at unoffical sites where the health and safety factors haven’t been rigourously applied.

    Ha! I can second that, the local nutcases to me were Ben Cathro, Chris Hutchens and the Phillips brothers, all of whom race/raced DH to a pretty high standard, and in the space of what seemed like an afternoon they came up with about 500 metres of beautiful, imaginative but downright shonky ‘shore’.

    The section propped against a small rock face with rhododenron bushes hanging over it was a particular highlight..

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