Aston hill XC:Any good?

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  • Aston hill XC:Any good?
  • Trimix
    Member

    Well its OK, but given your already in the Chilterns just go and ride about in the Chilterns. Its free and fun to explore (take an OS map).

    To be honest the XC loop at Aston is not special. Its pretty much the same as riding singletrack in the Chilterns.

    You could start from somewhere a set distance away, ride to Aston XC style, do some DH runs and then ride back. There is a nice cafe nearby in Wendover woods as well.

    Lots of cheeky stuff thats pretty good all round there.

    Bagstard
    Member

    I’ve been riding the DH tracks there for years, but never the XC trail.
    My trail bike needs to be tested after a rebuild, so I fancied a sort of enduro day, XC trail first then all the DH runs, but pedalling up each time.

    Bagstard
    Member

    Unfortunately I get so little time to ride, I’m not willing to risk getting lost.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow
    Subscriber

    It depends on your fitness. I had a go on a frozen winter day and it was brutal and crashtastic. Pretty rooty, like all of Aston Hill, but definitely worth it for a few laps.

    Bagstard
    Member

    I’m not particularly fit at the moment and my alpine isn’t the lightest of bikes, but I want to work on my climbing ability and scope the place out for a noobie pal.

    Paul j
    Member

    I’d say its ideal for what your after and were you live. Short steep climbs rotty and lose and then session the dh tracks to make sure its built up nice and tight. For what its got and if youve got little time id say ideal.

    To be honest the XC loop at Aston is not special. Its pretty much the same as riding singletrack in the Chilterns.

    I totally disagree. I was the Marketing Officer on the Hill for four years and lived in Tring for six, so know most cheeky stuff around there.

    For a start, Aston Hill is built onto one of the steepest hills in the area. The XC loop is pretty techy and takes a while to get into the ‘flow’ of it, because there’s deliberately not a lot; like most trails on the Hill, it’s meant to be harder than your average trail in the South East. A lot of it – without wishing to sound too clichรฉd – is more natural alpine-esque, as there are steep switchback climbs and rooty singletrack in abundance, and you can link nearly every downhill on the Hill into it.

    There is some local cheek that is as techy, but not in the quantity that it is on the Hill and you have to know where to look. Otherwise most obviously accessible Chilterns trails are fun, but certainly not as challenging.

    http://www.rideastonhill.co.uk/xc/

    atlaz
    Member

    It’s short and fun but some of the climbs are a bit of a bastard. Also there is (or used to be) a corner on the fireroad/doubletrack that comes along as you’re zooooooming down the trail. It’s quite sharp. Every time I’ve been, someone ends up in the trees.

    I’m not particularly fit at the moment and my alpine isn’t the lightest of bikes, but I want to work on my climbing ability and scope the place out for a noobie pal.

    The climb will make you fit. It’s brutal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (But if you’re caught riding up the push path it’s a slap on the wrists, as it’s actually a well-used footpath. The park doesn’t need any more hassle from angry residents or walkers)

    For a noobie the top section is ideal. My better half, who rode but wasn’t so keen on the DH trails, loved it as a place to sort skills out.

    Bagstard
    Member

    Thanks all, sounds promising! Oh dear, how terrible I’m not allowed to ride up the push path (what a relief.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks all, sounds promising! Oh dear, how terrible I’m not allowed to ride up the push path (what a relief.)

    ๐Ÿ˜†

    Sometimes life sucks, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Bagstard
    Member

    Well I got to Aston on Saturday with the sun shining and had a test pootle on the XC track. It was pretty slippery under wheel and the fairly stiff climbs a good indicator that I need to trim down and get much fitter, but I enjoyed it all the same. The top section was really nice and I repeated it five times trying to get round dab free (nope.)
    Whilst there I hit all the DH runs and had a cracking day on my own, must admit though the gravity dropper was well worth it’s weight, it was up and down like a yo yo!

    b r
    Member

    There are trails within a mile or so of there that beat the pants of the XC route. Just get a 1:25000 OS map and trace out the BW’s. Then ride ’em and look for singletrack running off. Try it.

    There are trails within a mile or so of there that beat the pants of the XC route. Just get a 1:25000 OS map and trace out the BW’s. Then ride ’em and look for singletrack running off. Try it.

    Whereabouts? I lived nearby for six years and know the area well, including most cheeky stuff. I’d be interested in anything else you know.

    yorkshire89
    Member

    I went and the XC route was ok, not anything like your typical trail centre as it doesn’t really flow but it was quite technical.

    I did get lost though and ended up on one of the black DH routes ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    After the first lap i decided to just play about on the DH tracks instead, but i could only really manage the 4X and the easier DH run on my hardtail.

    06awjudd
    Member

    Surely there must be a few other trails nearby the main DH ones?
    Its just they’re holding an Enduro1 enduro at Aston Hill, and I can’t imagine they’d use much of the DH, I also doubt they’d be able to run it based on just one XC loop.
    Just curious…..

    b r
    Member

    Whereabouts? I lived nearby for six years and know the area well, including most cheeky stuff. I’d be interested in anything else you know

    One for free:

    Go north towards Tring on the back road for about 400m from Hastoe (hamlet). On your left is a path that runs along the ridge in the woods. Just before it hits the sunken downhill BW, hang a right. Follow this path and eventually it circles the woods/hill coming almost back to the BW. Its tight, flowing and quick. Good at night too.

    Then drop quickly down on the BW and take one of the left forks which eventually bring you out at West Leith. Again, lots of cheeky quick stuff.

    londonerinoz
    Member

    Even when I was race fit riding a light hardtail the climbing didn’t exactly invite me to do multiple laps out of competition, I think 3 at most. Sounds like you did well on a heavy bike.

    Loved the descending though, I remember a huge bus stop and an early chalky corner that was especially slippery when wet. Another time the race was on the hottest day that year which was extra brutal.

    Bagstard
    Member

    To avoid any confusion, I did the full course once, the top loop five times, plus once each on the DH runs and pushing back up.No way I would manage the full course five times.

    scottfitz
    Member

    Enduro1 enduro at Aston Hill, and I can’t imagine they’d use much of the DH,

    Last year at tidworth there were 3 stages down the DH trails. So i don’t see why not.

    06awjudd
    Member

    Last year at tidworth there were 3 stages down the DH trails. So i don’t see why not.

    Oh good, I was hoping that might be the case ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s just from what I’ve seen of last year’s FoD one, they hardly used the DH at all.

    scottfitz
    Member

    Oh good, I was hoping that might be the case It’s just from what I’ve seen of last year’s FoD one, they hardly used the DH at all.

    I didn’t do the FoD round but i think one of the stages was down corkscrew.

    Are you doing FoD round this year?

    soobalias
    Member

    the red dh (the big down on the XC), is steep in places, the ‘climb’ is nasty and you wont want to do it more than once on a heavy bike, IME.

    Go north towards Tring on the back road for about 400m from Hastoe (hamlet). On your left is a path that runs along the ridge in the woods. Just before it hits the sunken downhill BW, hang a right. Follow this path and eventually it circles the woods/hill coming almost back to the BW. Its tight, flowing and quick. Good at night too.

    Then drop quickly down on the BW and take one of the left forks which eventually bring you out at West Leith. Again, lots of cheeky quick stuff.

    Know it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Part of that was my usual route back into Tring from rides in that direction. It’s great fun too, and there’s quite a lot of cheek in that area. There’s a really techy little path that runs above the bridleway from Hastoe wood down to West Leith.

    Better then the Hill? Arguable, depending what tickles your fancy. Is there the same volume of quality trail (when you include the downhills as well) as the Hill? I’d argue no.

    The Hill is a funny one though, because it’s not quintessential Chilterns trail. It’s technical and doesn’t flow, making it more like riding on lower alpine slopes than a hill in Buckinghamshire. Personally I love that, but I’d understand people not, especially if the idea of a trail centre instantly conjures up images of groomed, flowing trails with hips, berms and space between sections to prepare for the next.

    06awjudd
    Member

    Are you doing FoD round this year?

    Yeah, they did the second half of corkscrew, which really isn’t that long.
    No, so annoying! it’s 4 days before my last A2, so a no go. I’m doing the Aston Hill one hopefully, which will be my first race, and on my birthday ๐Ÿ˜• slightly apprehensive seeing as it’s competitive only, and I have no idea how good the average racer is.
    Still should be good fun.

    Surely there must be a few other trails nearby the main DH ones?
    Its just they’re holding an Enduro1 enduro at Aston Hill, and I can’t imagine they’d use much of the DH, I also doubt they’d be able to run it based on just one XC loop.
    Just curious…..

    I would imagine that they will use most of the downhills, as they are only a minute or two long, and then work out a way of looping back to the top that doesn’t use the hell-climb every time.

    He says… ๐Ÿ˜•

    06awjudd
    Member

    I would imagine that they will use most of the downhills, as they are only a minute or two long, and then work out a way of looping back to the top that doesn’t use the hell-climb every time.

    He says…

    Do you think they could chuck surface to air in? Or would that surpass the DH ability of some of the guys racing – I have no idea what to expect ๐Ÿ™‚

    To avoid any confusion, I did the full course once, the top loop five times, plus once each on the DH runs and pushing back up.No way I would manage the full course five times.

    Think my best was three before playing on the DHs. I heard stories of people banging out six as race training. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Do you think they could chuck surface to air in? Or would that surpass the DH ability of some of the guys racing – I have no idea what to expect

    Honestly? I doubt it as it wasn’t developed as a trail to race on.

    However, I’ve not been involved since S2A opened and things have changed, so am speculating.

    scottfitz
    Member

    Do you think they could chuck surface to air in? Or would that surpass the DH ability of some of the guys racing – I have no idea what to expect

    normally they use don’t any runs in full, bits of one DH track to another, some fresh bits etc… There is no reason not to use bits of S2A unless Aston hill have asked them not to.

    06awjudd
    Member

    normally they use don’t any runs in full, bits of one DH track to another, some fresh bits etc… There is no reason not to use bits of S2A unless Aston hill have asked them not to.

    Oh right, thanks, I need to get up there and practice on some of the trails then. Certainly the fact that the sport class has been omitted from the race would suggest a lot of DH.

    scottfitz
    Member

    Certainly the fact that the sport class has been omitted from the race would suggest a lot of DH.

    and the venue 8)

    normally they use don’t any runs in full, bits of one DH track to another, some fresh bits etc… There is no reason not to use bits of S2A unless Aston hill have asked them not to.

    There are some great sections that would easily be linked to add spice, which could well include S2A.

    I’d say practice everything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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