Beginners trails – the apparent lack of

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  • Beginners trails – the apparent lack of
  • RayMazey

    Please see comments below from Emmy’s Blog ref. Cannock Chase

    Hi Emmy,
    I’m loving the Chase. Only completed Follow The Dog so far, but your course gave me he confidence to tackle the ‘Weirwolf Drops’ first time out. The people I ride with, who have been riding for years, were very impressed. As even some of them haven’t done them yet!
    Changed my pedals straight away when I got back from your course as well, what an ubelievable difference they make! Just changed my tyres yesterday as well, but haven’t ridden them yet.
    Really enjoying it!


    the Croft trail in Swindon would be ideal for her, it’s also fun for the more experienced rider if she doesn’t mind you hammering off like a nutter (its a laugh to ride as fast as possible) then stopping and waiting for her to catch up?


    What MrNutt said +1 (I’m often having to stop and wait for him to catch up at Croft woods..)

    Brechfa green and blue are ace too.


    Is she confident on the local trails?


    krag you know how easy its gonna be for me now to full your tyres with water now you’ve gone tubeless? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Have you tried any guidebooks?

    Loads of really good ones out there – just pick an area that you fancy, buy, steal or borrow the relevant guide and away you go.
    Routes are usually graded by severity as well as distance, so you can start off on the simple ones and move on as your partners gains confidence. Great way to explore new places as well.

    What everyone says about skills courses is true.
    We’ve done a couple at the Dales Bike Centre which were excellent.
    Sue has been back with her daughter on a womens only course and really enjoyed that one too.
    They tailor the courses to the riders abilities, so your always learning but never out of your depth – can’t recommend them highly enough TBH.


    cinnamon girl, i haven’t had an update from you on your ridng for ages.
    thanks for the recommend ๐Ÿ™‚


    ๐Ÿ’ก Thetford black

    Premier Icon ampthill

    Its not near you but Woburn offers a good range of trails. I expect Surrey is similar but closer.

    I think that finding some ones motivation is key. I think even quite dull trails develop some skills and they cetainly build fitness. Go for scenic rides. Ride to the pub for lunch. Ride down road hills to get use to the speed. Ride some where for the night.

    Don’t take her on muddy winter rides in sticky clay. My wife was very tolerant of walking the hard bits in the mountains. But at the weekend we were remembering having to turn back to look for her. Her bike was solid mud. The wheels wouldn’t turn and it was to heavy to lift


    ounds like she doesnt want someone breathing down her neck (who does)

    Maybe that’s it. I tend to make more mistakes or fear of making mistakes if there’s people watching. Maybe take her somewhere quiet where there’s some techy stuff to get her confidence up but that won’t hurt too much if she falls?


    the trail center is possibly the thing that’s causing the stress..

    I know that some people will angrily defend them but I find trail centers to be extremely uncomfortable places to ride.. the volume of riders is too great for me..

    EDIT: +1 to what Jedi said below.. and despite what I’ve said.. I’m quite looking forward to taking my little lad out around Haldon in his new baby seat.


    when you ride a trail center the trails are empty compared to the car parks ๐Ÿ™‚


    Would the Isle of Wight be an option? I think there’s a fair bit of riding that can be done there, anyway great excuse for weekend away if nothing else… ๐Ÿ™‚


    I know that some people will angrily defend them but I find trail centers to be extremely uncomfortable places to ride.. the volume of riders is too great for me..

    I don’t like it either. “Proper” xc is so much better, I only saw 4 other riders in the 4-5 hours I was out riding on Sunday ๐Ÿ˜€ The silence/peace and quiet is so nice.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    As others have said, natural stuff down south is generaly quite dull and featureless.

    I think that wins the prize for biggest pile of utter crap I’ve ever read on this forum (and it’s up against some pretty stiff competition!)

    Trail centres can be a bit overwhelming for absolute beginners – everyone there on their bikes worth thousands, all the gear, body armour etc, ripping it down the downhills cos they know there’s no walkers round the next corner etc.

    A much better bet is to find a nice quiet area of woodland somewhere with a mix of trails and go from there. Swinley Forest (SW of London) for example has a whole host of trails from easy wide fireroad stuff to fast swoopy technical singletrack to jump spots so there’s some nice opportunity for progression, there’s a cafe for when it all gets a bit much and you can find a quiet area with little danger of some weekend warrior hurtling up behind her and scaring her.

    Another vote for a skills day though, ยฃ40 spent on skills is worth ยฃ400 spent on ‘upgrading’ the bike.

    Hi there,
    Skills Course will definatly help to give her knowlage and more importantly confidence. Most people can ride a bike but not many know how to do it properly off road. What she and you could learn now will give you years of fun together so invest in some training no matter where you go as long as it reputable it will be worth it.

    BTW were looking for a group of people to come on a course at Moors Valley Country Park. Ally will be on hand to run a ladies session so keep in touch if that sounds intresting to you or check out our site here
    Campbell Coaching



    Someone mentioned the Croft Trail in Swindon.
    We’ve got a series of novice friendly rides planned and we’ll have two more qualified instructors by Christmas, so we’ll be running another series of training courses.

    “Novice Friendly” Rides

    Regarding trails Brechfa Blue/Green is great.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable

    A lot of it is the company you ride in. Some people really respond to riding with more experienced people, some people prefer to ride with a group that’s nearer their own ability. Even a relatively easy trail can seem hard if you’re knackered from chasing after someone faster than you.


    You mention you’re over towards the New Forest. Have you had a look around the Purbecks? There are good loops to be ridden there with descents that will keep you interested while your missus can take her time coming down in a hassle free environment. You can also get some proper pub food too!


    As you have said you are near the New Forest have a look here for some way marked routes around hampshire. They are a good base to start from.


    Obviously it depends on where you live in the south but there is some fun but easy riding in Northern France. Foret de Saint Amande les Eaux, 1.5 hrs from Calais, easy enough for a few days. Flattish single track and pave, with some big ass slag heaps littered with descents if she gets a bit adventurous.


    I’m working on a training course “how to enjoy a red trail”, based at the Croft MTB Trail in Swindon. This will cover the basic skills needed to ride the red trail at Croft (and most probably other trails too) safely and enjoyably.

    MBSwindon (club) should be offering these for free or low cost next year, but if your other half would prefer a one-to-one session then I am available for hire (at much cheapness! email is rafe at

    As others have suggested, I think the Croft MTB Trail is ideal as we can build up. Plus it’s pretty quiet so we won’t be holding people up or be getting in the way, which should make it far more relaxing.


    PLenty of good riding in and around the NF incl some good DH stuff

    Premier Icon speaker2animals

    See I am by no means a newbie but I don’t want to/am scared of jumps and “northshore”. That’s one of the reasons that natural trails will be a favourite for me. No stupid balancing in the air or big drops. I’m really narked that trail centres now seem to be dedicated to the gnarr riders. Sometimes I just want a testing ride that does not involve any navigation or jumping/big nuts. Love singletrack and flow though.


    trail centers are not gnarr! how many have north shore now to speak of?

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