Aston Hill: newbie advice needed

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  • Aston Hill: newbie advice needed
  • lucien
    Member

    Aston has 3-4 downhill runs, short, very (i mean very) slippery, and 1 red XC course, that’s nice going down and very steep going up, but unfortunately not at all long.

    Good to go if you are there, even in the wet but take your bike skills with you

    crocodilian
    Member

    A good one to start on is the DH section of the red or DH3. The black will be pretty trecherous for a first time rider, especially in the wet, it’s pretty much roots all the way and apart from a couple of berms at the top it’s quite steep all the way. There is the 423 as well which isn’t as harsh as the black and has a faster top section and less roots but launches into a quite tricky steep and very chalky (very wet chalk at the moment!) section at the end.

    They’re developing a new trail at the moment too which looks to be quite different to everything else there, I think it’s inspired by Whistler but shorter, much shorter. Lots of berms and drops I think.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    And your pads!

    I find it’s not a matter of if but when I’ll come off riding there after rain.

    Maybe try the red XC descent and DH3 first, they have a shallower gradient.

    crocodilian
    Member

    “Less DH, more XC kind of a guy”

    Sorry, missed this bit. Definitely stick to the red and dh3 then. In fact, if you just want to get used to faster bits up there just do the top section of dh3 as it’s not steep but does have enough berms to keep you happy.

    Generally in this weather, the mud won’t be the problem, the chalk and the roots will be.

    Had my first time at Aston Hill a few months back.On an XC hard tail it was a baptism of fire to say the least!

    Wet chalk is slipperier than an eel.I came off within 5 minutes.

    jkomo
    Member

    1st time to Aston Hill tomorrow after work.
    How muddy is it? Which trails to start off on?
    Less DH, more XC kind of a guy.

    jkomo
    Member

    Right o, my mate and I normally do FOD and Cannock but thought we’d give Aston a go.
    It’s only about 40 mins from work.
    We’re both on 130ish full suss.
    With all the shyt weather we haven’t been out for a few weeks.

    It’s not much fun at the moment. It runs well when slightly damp, gets blown out when it’s very dry and turns to ice when it’s very wet.

    It’s currently very wet.

    Don’t do the black at the moment.

    jkomo
    Member

    Is it easy to navigate?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    There are usually trail maps in a little box by the second gate.

    If not just ask someone else to show you where the trails run, there’s always people there.

    jkomo
    Member

    Thanks all

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    oh and try not to brake on the roots !

    superfli
    Member

    I went there for the 1st and so far, my only time in late Nov. It was very cold and wet. The place was scary slippy! First run was DH3 which was rooty hell and I was just a passenger on the bike! The red run was ok, but the northshore at the end has no chicken wire, so any, any touch of the brake and you’ll be off.
    I spent most of the time on 423 which was bar far the easiest, and most fun in those conditions

    jkomo
    Member

    Crikey, I’ve just fished out my old Rector protector knee pads.

    b r
    Member

    If you are after XC ignore Aston Hill and ride the Chilterns – if its damp, try Ashridge just 10 mins away.

    Premier Icon tomtomthepipersson
    Subscriber

    It’s slippery as hell in the wet.

    As above, head up to ashridge – it’s muddy at the mo but perfectly rideable. If you have strava you can find some of the less obvious routes.

    jkomo
    Member

    We did the XC route, thinking it would be a good warm up. It was relentless hard work and not a lot of fun.
    As you all warned, heavy claggy mud, and super slippy.
    Didn’t feel like doing much else after. It was a shame cos some of the DH bits we crossed looked great.
    I’d like to have a day up there exploring I guess, get to know it a bit.
    Preferably not after four months of rain.

    schbeemb
    Member

    Well summer is about to arrive soon, late next week apparently, as the jet stream moves north. Go back when it’s dry and forget the XC; do the red (part of XC) descent, push up then try DH3 which is doable on a 130mm travel bike.

    In the dry its techy brilliant fun – nowhere in the Southeast I can think of is better for downhill.

    And the new trail is taking shape too (and more weather proof).

    The more you go, the more you’ll grow to love it.

    jkomo
    Member

    I will, I’m sure you’re right.

    soobalias
    Member

    not in the wet. tonnes of roots, tonnes of chalk, plenty steep.

    navigation is easy, map in the carpark, routes are marked, but essentially all trails drop down the hill, at the bottom turn left and push up the footpath, or turn right and ride up the xc.

    did i say not in the wet. I went over there at the end of last year, i walked from the car park out past the bombholes to the top of the 4X. It was lethal wet, i didnt even unpack the bike.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    when is the new trail opening looks really good. Is it all surfaced ?

    schbeemb
    Member

    Its called surface to air and they’re thinking October for opening. It’s a more all weather surface.
    They build on saturdays and weds night – join the facebook group and go help out if you live near.

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