Does Swinley trail centre attract more "idiots" than others?

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  • Does Swinley trail centre attract more "idiots" than others?
  • Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    Usual rules about riding at a speed that allows you to stop safely apply here. Especially on blue runs. Especially at busy centres. Especially during school holidays. Etc.

    bikeneil
    Member

    Common sense just isn’t that common anymore it would seem.

    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Subscriber

    Indeed i totally agree, and we rode carefully and considerately.

    But, if people are sat down in blind dips between jumps, leaving their bikes across the trail, then i think they also need to accept some responsibility……..

    bensales
    Member

    Common sense would appear to have been lacking in the trail builder as well, putting a table top jump with a blind exit on a blue run.

    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Subscriber

    Should have added that we didn’t hit anyone, or even get close to hitting anyone, as we were riding at an appropriate speed (and we are massive mincers….. lol) but i could have immagined that stopping in the location they chose could have caused an incident.

    (which is exactly what Swinley doesn’t need at the moment……)

    bikeneil
    Member

    [/quote]But, if people are sat down in blind dips between jumps, leaving their bikes across the trail, then i think they also need to accept some responsibility..

    That’s who I was referring to.

    There’s a blind landing ramp on the blue run at Swinley?

    Seriously?

    I can’t think of any, unless you are doubling two table tops into one, which of course would make you the shizzle.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Have you been to Llandegla?

    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Subscriber

    I was riding at Swinley on ‘t weekend. Only there because a mate of mine had never ridden there and we were going past anyway.

    Well, i know it’s close to London, and not really surrounded by prime MTB territory, but blimey, there are some rather odd people there!

    For example, the family who decided that a good place to stop and stand across the track was immediately in the ‘blind’ bottom of one of the landing ramps after a table top on the fastest section of the Blue loop there, the one that everyone was jumping!

    So, sorry if we all arrived a bit fast (shouting “Slow down” isn’t really going to help when a riders wheels are 5 foot off the floor btw 😉 but i’d suggest picking a better place for a rest next time 😛

    Hope no one hit you!

    uselesshippy
    Member

    I saw two idiots pushing prams the wrong way around swinley once. Right in the middle of the trail, completely oblivious to the bikes streaming past.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Always though the blue at Swinley was where you go to have a picnic on the trail. Walking your dog on it (tree branches provided for disposing of poo bags) or going for a run in the opposite direction is recommended.

    More seriously though, Swinley always attracted two groups on bikes. The mountain biker and the family leisure rider. Before the new trails the latter pootled on the fireroads blissfully unaware of the singletrack. After the new trails they’ve seen the signs, and think “blue, that sounds easy. Suitable for a family pootle”, and off they go. To be fair some trail centres have blue trails that are exactly for that kind of thing and aimed at gentle leisure riders so people might be expecting the same.

    whitestone
    Member

    After the new trails they’ve seen the signs, and think “blue, that sounds easy. Suitable for a family pootle”, and off they go To be fair some trail centres have blue trails that are exactly for that kind of thing and aimed at gentle leisure riders so people might be expecting the same.

    I thought that was what the red at Swinley was for? 😆

    grahamt1980
    Member

    Riding the blue one weekend, I came up the hill to that section and caught up with a dad and his son on a little bike, I reckon he was 4. I let them go in front of me and waited. But I also made very sure that they were clear and also kept slow so I could see where the little guy was.
    Yeah it slowed me down, but if he had crashed in front of me and I couldn’t stop it could well have killed him.
    Take your time, trail centres are not race tracks, inspite of what some may think

    P-Jay
    Member

    Cannock is the biggest den of arseholes I’ve ever encountered riding – been there 3 times and 3 times I’ve enjoyed the company of agro riders who’ll break their neck to pass you at the worst place possible and then hold you up, forgo helmets in favour of wooly hats in the middle of summer, stop in the middle of the trail, ‘session’ stuff by pushing up the trail the wrong way and get the hump if they have to step aside for you and generally think they own the place.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    The Green at Swinley is barely a km long so begonners, families and even toddlers get bored and head onto the blue with its 5 metre high berms, taoletops and strava heroes smashing out the blue on their way to the red

    They really need a turquoise trail !

    Of course picnickers on the middle of trails obviously don’t know any better but some better signage wouldn’t hurt.

    Personally I’d only ride there very early over the summer hols otherwise its chocka !

    rj2dj
    Member

    Swinley has always been popular with multiple groups of users with varying skill levels. People on bikes and BSOs have now been funnelled and encouraged into a very small space. It can get very busy there, and some people can do some seemingly very daft and dangerous things on both ends of the spectrum. Whilst we as a knowledgeable community on STW may have a great deal of common sense between us and may even agree on an acceptable way of all playing together (haha, as if!) – a lot of people just ride a bike a few times a year as a bit of fun. This latter group of people are probably at Swinley causing all sort of havoc during the summer holidays!

    There’s still miles of singletrack away from the blue/red loops to be had at Swinley and the bits over in Crowthorne Wood are not even “cheeky”. I was in Crowthorne Wood this evening, saw one other MTBer and safe to say we didn’t crash. I did get chased by a dog at one point though…

    In answer to OPs question, it probably attracts more novices than some other trail centres. If you can avoid coming across too preachy, it might be worth a quiet word just nudging them in the right direction.

    Mountain biking is cycling in the mountains. It’s the pastime of iron willed, honed athletes, who have a skillset many can only dream of. They ride cutting edge bikes over terrain that’d make your jaw drop. This is the hobby of the chosen few.

    Cycling in Swinley forest is not mountain biking; it is not the above. Of course people pretend it is; but they should remember it is actually “leisure cycling” they are doing. They should be prepared for people playing/sleeping/reading a book/eating a picnic in the trail, afterall that’s part of “leisure cycling” (for people who aren’t brave enough for the mountains).

    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Subscriber

    Thing is, i’ve got no issue with Leisure cyclists! Good on ’em for getting out on their bike tbh. There were plenty of family’s, kids and couples, riding slowly around the trails at Swinley at the weekend, and we gave them all the space they require. But to just stop on the trail, get off your bike, leave it in the middle of the trail, at any point, let alone on an obviously fast and blind piece of the trail seemed far beyond being just a beginner or leisure cyclist to me………

    Premier Icon hatter
    Subscriber

    I think it’s a matter of access rather than the nature of the trails, you’re comparatively unlikely to encounter people milling about being clueless on say, the Adams Family descent at Coed Y because you have to be fairly determined to drive all the way out there in the first place, let alone winch yourself up to the top of Gomez.

    When you have a very accessible trail in a high population area (I.e. Swinley, Cannock)you’re not going to get the inherent weeding out process that more remote trails have on who you’re going to encounter.

    The Swinley trail designers (Gawd bless ’em) recognise this, which is why the tamest bits of the blue are at the very start and the trickier bits of the red are located as far from the Look-out as possible. To reduce the chance of helmetless muppets on supermarket BSO’s ending up on them.

    Swinley is far from alone in this and it’s far from a new issue, I distinctly recall a tracksuit clad couple slowly pushing a pram UP the dual course at Chicksands one busy Sunday morning, and the torrent of abuse they unleashed when (very politely) informed that this wasn’t the greatest of ideas.

    The only way to filter this out would be to have no trail centres anywhere near high population areas, which would be a huge shame.

    I like a big ride in the wilderness as much as the next man but now I have 2 kids and I can ride Swinley Blue/Red on a Sunday morning and be back to resume parenting duties by lunch, so to Swinley I do frequently go.

    coatesy
    Member

    Funnily enough, whilst reading this thread I thought of the couple we met on The Adams Family at Coedy, back when it was part of the original Karrimor Trail. One section (still there in much modified form)had a steep and narrow singletrack descent edged with drops and rocks, upon which we came across two people pushing their fully loaded touring bikes uphill.
    Of course, you don’t need trail centres or leisure riders to do daft things, I was asked to take a group from a local road club on a mtb ride. Losing light on the final leg, somebody snapped a chain, so I went back to sort it, and whilst doing the job, part of the group just abandoned their bikes across the trail so they could watch, and received a justified talking to from another group that nearly ran over them. As mentioned above, common sense really isn’t common anymore. 😥

    ajc
    Member

    Went to swinley this week for first time and took my two boys, 6 & 8. Only saw one other rider on the trails and he was mincing along on an xc bike with googles on. My 8 yr old had to hang back so he didn’t catch him. Weird people go there, that’s for sure.

    rocketman
    Member

    Cannock is the biggest den of arseholes I’ve ever encountered riding – been there 3 times and 3 times I’ve enjoyed the company of agro riders who’ll break their neck to pass you at the worst place possible and then hold you up, forgo helmets in favour of wooly hats in the middle of summer, stop in the middle of the trail, ‘session’ stuff by pushing up the trail the wrong way and get the hump if they have to step aside for you and generally think they own the place.

    😆

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    They should be prepared for people playing/sleeping/reading a book/eating a picnic in the trail, afterall that’s part of “leisure cycling” (for people who aren’t brave enough for the mountains).

    Like this, yeah.

    😀

    devash
    Member

    Mountain biking is cycling in the mountains. It’s the pastime of iron willed, honed athletes, who have a skillset many can only dream of. They ride cutting edge bikes over terrain that’d make your jaw drop. This is the hobby of the chosen few.

    Did anyone else get a mental image of Chuck Norris riding up Everest on a 1980’s era steel frame fully rigid while reading this?

    I’ve encountered more clueless people at swinley, but I can’t say it surprises me, as people have said, it’s very accessible.

    The responses I’ve had have been moderately surprising – no confrontations or the like, but for example I’ve encountered families walking the wrong way up the trail, stopped and said ‘Just to let you know, this is part of the mountain bike circuit, better keep an eye out for people whizzing through’, to which the response was ‘thanks, yes, we know’.

    Adrenaline junkies of a different sort perhaps, getting their thrills by strolling along, never knowing if they are about to get run down my a blue green red blur of enduro gnarness?

    stumpy01
    Member

    Not been to Swinley, but I have seen that kind of stupid behaviour at pretty much every trail centre I’ve been to. People seem to forget that there might be other people around doing the same thing they’re doing.

    ^^^someone’s cheese has gone off.

    Sonor
    Member

    Did anyone else get a mental image of Chuck Norris riding up Everest on a 1980’s era steel frame fully rigid while reading this?

    Chuck must have visited the south of England and not been happy with the mountains here, roundhouse kicked them out of existence, making us all “leisure cyclists”.

    devash – Member
    Did anyone else get a mental image of Chuck Norris riding up Everest on a 1980’s era steel frame fully rigid while reading this?

    I was fully rigid while reading it.

    Premier Icon transporter13
    Subscriber

    Couldnt agree more with PJay to be honest…nice area to ride unfortunately ruined by a few dickheads.

    whitestone
    Member

    I was fully rigid while reading it.

    That is far more information than I need to know 🙄

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    hatter – Member

    The Swinley trail designers (Gawd bless ’em) recognise this, which is why the tamest bits of the blue are at the very start and the trickier bits of the red are located as far from the Look-out as possible. To reduce the chance of helmetless muppets on supermarket BSO’s ending up on them.

    That’s kind of exactly the opposite of how it’s normally done- you want a hard bit right near the start so that people go “**** me”. Starting easier then getting harder is how I’d build a noob trap tbh!

    Premier Icon Stainypants
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    Again PJ +1, nearest I’ve ever come to fight on a mountain bike ride.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I was fully rigid while reading it.

    beat me to it

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    My favourites were 2 blokes riding the wrong way round Kirrochtree black, some helpful advice was rebutted by the I can, I’m allowed it’s Scotland and the classic it’s better this way round – On a summer sunday. Then the couple walking their dogs round some of the tight twisty bit’s of Mabie again, yes access says you can but come on think about it!!

    Anyway it sort of sums up what every thread about Swinley leaves me feeling, I really can’t be bothered to even go and have a look.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Only really encountered serious muppetness at a trail centre twice.

    1. slinging down the final E Wal descent, you know the bit that kinks between the two broken walls…a bloke and a his wee son walking up the trail…some reasonably hard braking. He was completely lost and more than a little bit annoyed at all the fast mountain bikers that’d passed him….

    2. A chap at Brechfa, left what I thought was a big enough gap to him as we cruised along a singletrack section, right up to the point that he decided to come to a halt for no apparent reason on the trail, just slammed his brakes on, missed him by an inch

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Starting easier then getting harder is how I’d build a noob trap tbh!

    yeah seen a few trails where the most nadgery bit is right at the beginning, a “qualifier” suggesting to the rider “If you can’t manage this you best not do the rest of the trail”. Also means you’re not miles down the trail when you get to a hard bit where the choices are to either ride it or backtrack a looooong way.

    ninfan
    Member

    Hmm, still not sure if the “idiots” in the title are supposed to be the family on the track, or the one trying to pin it and show how gnarcore he was on a blue trail?

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    you want a hard bit right near the start so that people go “**** me”. Starting easier then getting harder is how I’d build a noob trap tbh!

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    or the one trying to pin it and show how gnarcore he was on a blue trail?

    nobody said they were being Gnarcore or whatever condescending term you are using.
    It’s something very well signed in lots of places with helpful cartoons that it’s a really good idea not to stand or sit in the middle of the trail and to perhaps consider that you are not the only people there and that there are people who might happen to be doing what you were doing just minutes ago…

    ninfan
    Member

    perhaps consider that you are not the only people there

    Particularly good advice that works two ways don’t you think? Especially on a blue or ‘moderate’ trail that is designed for ‘intermediate cyclists/mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills. Mountain bikes or hybrids’

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