Anyone do mixed urban loops?

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  • Anyone do mixed urban loops?
  • trumpton
    Member

    As there’s a lack of offroad locally I have made a loop up using urban type riding with some cheeky singletrack and country park thrown in. It starts off on the cycle path, goes through a country park, then an alley and then some roads and then another park, some cheeky singletrack and then home all on cycle paths. Granted it’s not brilliant but it’s fun at night and I like the urban aspect. Makes a change from fully offroad. I am not on about commuting but a typical ride on the mtb ( or gravel bike I expect ).

    Anyone else?

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Subscriber

    Yep. Most of my commuting is like this, in the better weather there’s lots of urban Singletrack to include as well, but at this time of year, parks and cycle tracks and quieter roads.

    I always like a good Snicket/alley/ginnel! Maybe not very tech, but there’s something about these tiny ‘in between’ places that really appeals! Need to be careful.if broken glass / dog sh#t / local scallywags etc …

    We have a great urban MTB loop, taking in several flights of steps down through the university campus. That’s the kind of thing I’d be looking out for and exploring if you’re in a fully built environment with no easy access to natural trails.

    globalti
    Member

    The guys at Blackburn Bikers are absolute masters at this, many of their rides go raggedly around the outsides of towns like Burnley, Blackburn or Darwen. It takes a good memory to ride them alone!

    If you’re in the NW there is also the Preston Guildwheel and I believe Blackburn has an equivalent now.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    We do CX rides from the office, depending on which direction we head off the first couple of miles are either cycle paths, alleyways and pedestrian/cycle bridges. A set of parks / greenbelt with lots of cheeky singletrack, or straight out into the “countryside” of which the first few miles are dodging housing estates and DC’s as it get’s gradually greener.

    Suits the ‘CX’ designation as there’s lots of shouldering of bikes to get through stuff!

    Doing a loop of the river/canal path is quite good on a lunch break as it’s ~13 muddy miles but ones that can’t be ridden at speeds other times due to the number of other users.

    Not sure I’d choose a lot of those loops as a leisure ride though, it works because we’re all a bit mad and happy to treat it as a proper CX ride with dismounts, running, jumping over barriers etc.

    Premier Icon Sir HC
    Subscriber

    During the winter, a high proportion of our rides are urban xc as we call it. Alleyways, singletrack we’ve built all over the place. Link it all together in different ways each week. Often we’ve done 20miles and not left town!!!

    ton
    Member

    got 2 good 40 mile loops I do regularly that are this type riding.
    wakefield wheel is one of them, and it is ace.

    I rarely do it these days, but I have a decent mixed terrain loop from home in SO18 that drops down to cover a stretch alongside the River Itchen and then climb up the Old Cutbush Lane bridal way. It’s not huge, ~8 miles IIRC. Good fun on the Wazoo fatbike, wouldn’t be an issue for an adventure/gravel bike either, but not your best road bike!

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    My way home is a bit like this in the summer, it’s bit tame, but better than the road only options.

    Might do some of it on the way home tonight – got the Brompton so will be double interesting 🙂

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Link it all together in different ways each week. Often we’ve done 20miles and not left town!!!

    25 miles around the fringes of Swansea yesterday, on my Vagabond. Cycle-paths, overgrown lanes, quieter roads, bridleways and a couple of miles through a Victorian country estate where Haile Selassie, Lion of Judah, once went on a camping break. If the ground wasn’t so soggy I could have used a fair amount of single-track that I rode past yesterday.

    Premier Icon tourismo
    Subscriber

    Lots of good urban singletrack in Edinburgh, Braid and Blackford hill with the Morton Hall estate can give you a couple of hours worth of fun without spending any time on the road. Best as a night ride though to avoid all the dog walkers, you can include Craigmillar Castle hill too with a bit of road work. On the other side of the city there’s Corstorphine hill.

    Premier Icon ta11pau1
    Subscriber

    My town is lacking in elevation but I can do a similar loop, connecting up multiple green areas each with it’s own ‘offroad’ bits with cheeky woodland.

    trumpton
    Member

    thanks for all the replies.

    tjagain
    Member

    I do this a lot. I have spent years working out offroad loops around Edinburgh that vary from tarmaced old railway lines to woodsy singletrack to steep muddy paths. I am fortunate in that we have Corstophine hill and Arthurs seat in the city tho. Probably half of my riding is done within city limits maybe more. Its astonishing how much singletrack there is if you go looking for it and despite 25 yers of doing this I still find more bits.

    razorrazoo
    Member

    I’m based SW London area. When I’m wfh I often take an hour at lunch to have a quick blast, if it’s too wet for the road bike I have a variety of 10-20 mile Road/gravel loops that take in Bushy and Richmond parks, various bits of the Thames tow path etc. I could get further afield as well mostly off-road and gravel further into London too. This is on my gravel bike though, would be a bit of a chore pedalling my Mtb around.

    trumpton
    Member

    I do mine on an old school mtb. When I lived in Bournemouth had some great routes, with steps and scary bits – all done on a jump bike. Was great ending along the sea front in the winter months.

    kayla1
    Member

    Yep. We’ve made a brill 5-ish mile loop from ours that takes in a nice bit of downhill byway and some stairs and drops and stuff. It’s uphill all the way home though- earn that toast and coffee!

    I have an urban loop from Stockport through Manchester city centre that predominantly uses disused railway line, canals and the River Mersey with a few bits of road linking up where necessary. Great fun to ride 25 flattish miles straight from my front door in any weather.

    trumpton
    Member

    that’s the best when they can be ridden in any weather. nothing like a wet dark evening riding them when everyone else is inside and you have the places to yourself. Good to have no mud too.

    MTB-Idle
    Member

    yes, I used to do these on my MTB about 20 years ago. We had a great route that was a mix of urban streets, alleyways and off road around Epsom, Banstead Chipstead and beyond. Pretty sure @zippykona and I rode it together back in the day.

    Fast forward a few years and it all got overtaken by the Surrey Hills trails and the need to go bigger and better, steeper and more gnarr and then when I got bored of that (shortly after breaking my wrist badly on a black run in Les Gets funnily enough) I moved onto the road bike.

    Now it’s come full circle and in order to help a mate who had a bad crash on his road bike get his confidence back I’m riding urban loops again which are mainly doubletrack and bridle paths but include heading over to Chessington, Epsom Common, Oxshott, Esher and Richmond Park as well as the Thames towpath and beyond.

    The most recent loop I’ve been riding was lifted from Charlie Woodall on That Bloody Bike site.

    The riding looks a bit like this: In the gravel yard

    It’s just fun riding a bike from my front door.

    Premier Icon IvanMTB
    Subscriber

    Used to live in Coventry, that is not exactly MTB Mecca. Once weather was turning really bad Wednesday Night Ride drifted from bridleways and little pocket of woodland into full on urban bashing.
    That was fun 🙂

    Cheers!
    I.

    A few years ago a bunch of us from here did about 80km starting and finishing in Edinburgh. Round Arthur’s seat, Craigmillar castle and the ERI and out into Midlothian. Tour of Roslin and the Bush estate and then up into the Pentlands. Finished at Holy Corner for ice cream at Lucas.

    globalti
    Member

    Town fringe riding can get you into some interesting places. Once in Burnley I rounded a corner and came face to face with the local Pakistani “area boys” who protect their part of town from white yobs. The leader, a nasty-looking guy who I’d seen in action once before, opened his mouth to speak but was cut off abruptly by my “salaam aleikum” and then went even quieter when the rest of the crew came into view round the corner. It all ended with a bit of friendly banter.

    trumpton
    Member

    scary. Only ever encountered doggers, a couple doing it in a car ( who didn’t appreciate my helmet light ) and groups of youngsters who were harmless. Don’t encounter much now.

    greyspoke
    Member

    I always like a good Snicket/alley/ginnel! Maybe not very tech, but there’s something about these tiny ‘in between’ places that really appeals! Need to be careful.if broken glass / dog sh#t / local scallywags etc …

    I believe in Sussex they are called “twittens”. I like them as well, there are a few connections that help me get to the trails from where I live in Cardiff. Problem is, when I am navigating by car, I often end up trying to use one…

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    When I lived in the middle of Peterborough I had a fair few mixed urban routes like this. Bit of singletrack on waste ground, parkland or dual carriageway verge, alleys, stairs, cycle paths and gravel. Pretty good fun all time off you have no real alternative.

    Quite miss it now in some ways. Living in a village, if the local trails are too wet to ride or being removed totally as it looks like the FC are about to do then it’s pretty much tarmac country roads or nothing…

    Premier Icon lucien
    Subscriber

    I live in East London and most of what you are describing was my local riding.

    A mixture of paths, parks, stairs, kerbs, BMX tracks, towpaths and anything else I could find.

    All well and good, apart from being mugged and having my bike nicked mid-ride back in the summer (mid-day, mid-week cheeky ride) which has put me off quite a lot.

    tinribz
    Member

    This is all I do now. I must have cycled practicaly every cycle lane in the city I live. At one time I would even drive to a different places for the day to take an urban tour. Some great photo ops too.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    Yes pretty much my staple ride when I do an extended commute home Friday afternoon or don’t have time to drive somewhere for proper trails at the weekend… I posted on a similar theme, and was told I didn’t realize I was a trials rider… I discounted that idea at the time, but it was where I was heading.

    I’m pretty bad at trials, but just being able to get up obstaclIes opens up a whole new variety of options to make urban riding more fun/challenging and I’ve started noticing more things I’d never considered riding before that have been right under my nose the past few years.

    I still can’t really wheelie or manual, but can do a little bit of hopping about on the rear wheel (badly), and endo-pivot to turn around. Along with trackstands and riding skinnies these basic skills are so valuable in learning about body position on the bike.

    Marin
    Member

    Oh yes. Mix of promenade, gravel, country park, bridleway, 1 minute DH sections, quiet roads. Past a sandstone fort and a windmill sometimes. Miss my out the the door route so moving back over the water to Wirral to pedal away. It’s what gravel/adventure bikes are great for.

    trumpton
    Member

    Lucien that’s awful. Not sure you got mugged on a bike but that’s bad.

    Premier Icon 40mpg
    Subscriber

    Used to do lots of this over winter when the forest was too boggy. 30 to 40 miles of urban back passages in and around Southampton. Can get all the way from Fawley to Hamble both sides of Southampton Water with barely any road. Throw in Lordswood, the Common and the University steps with a bit of multi storey car park dual racing for a great night out 😁

    scotroutes
    Member

    As above, Edinburgh is ideal for this. Riverside path, canal, cycle lanes, parks, a couple of decent hills inside the city. I used to commute via river and canal paths into town. On a good morning I’d be splattered in mud riding past the tidy office workers in their smart clothes. Used to get some confounded/sometimes envious looks.

    Calton Hill, Queens Park, Blackfords then on to Colinton was a good one.

    I also had a 90% off road loop from Balerno to South Queensferry and back.

    Premier Icon Paceman
    Subscriber

    What a great discussion thread 🙂

    I’m inspired to search out some urban “freeride” loops.

    swamp_boy
    Member

    Not exactly urban, but a loop I do goes through some big infrastructure at the M1 / M25 junction. From a field edge it cuts through the hedgerow then over the M25 slip road on a high footbridge that feels very narrow, up a rise through trees, down steps on the other side onto a higher footbridge over the main M25, runs next to the carriageway for a bit then winds it way round the pillars holding up the M1. Short bit though a wood then down more steps and under the M1 though a big concrete pipe and back out into another field.

    Quite a few years ago a mate of mine organised a loop round the Isle of Portland, taking in the town streets, little snickets and cliff paths. And a stop at a chip shop.

    Premier Icon lucien
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    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”>trumpton
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    Lucien that’s awful. Not sure you got mugged on a bike but that’s bad.

    <span class=”bbp-reply-post-date”>Posted 10 hours ago</span><span class=”bbp-admin-links”>REPLY | REPORT</span></div>

    Well, pulled to the ground by a group of youths, bike stolen, jersey pockets rifled whilst knife held to my face

    scuttler
    Member

    Sweary Northerners occasionally do laps of urban Huddersfield and the surrounding parks and woods. Proper round the precinct and down the pissy 70’s concrete steps (bunnyhop the tramp) kind of thing.

    Premier Icon sirromj
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    pissy

    Oooh yeah, that’s one of the problems riding urban, especially if you want to practice some sort of trials-skills while trying to find shelter from the wind.

    Premier Icon jekkyl
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    Multi storey carparks are mint at night on a bike, ride to the top and bomb it back down. Also city and town centres are ace for bombing through early evening dodging the shoppers and taxis.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    I’m in Ilkeston, between Derby and Nottingham – between cyclepaths, towpaths and alleyways you can ride for miles on reasonably well surfaced tracks, plus a decent, if muddy, bridleway network. Local club rides out from the town centre on Monday nights and after 20 years I’m still being shown cheeky alleyways to get through town

    grannyjone
    Member

    The guys at Blackburn Bikers are absolute masters at this, many of their rides go raggedly around the outsides of towns like Burnley, Blackburn or Darwen. It takes a good memory to ride them alone!

    Blackburn Bikers ? I’ve never heard of them. I’ve have searched for them and all I can find is a Motorbike club.

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