- Fed up of remote trail centres
Now for a rant – I’m getting a bit fed up of the FC building singletrack trails in the middle of nowhereville.
I realise that we need to support rural communities, and yes it does make a difference to local B&B’s etc. But, and its a big but,that’s fine for Audi A4 estate owners and 62 plate VW vans, but what about encouraging kids with sod all money and their Halfords special. Living near inverness, I have Golspie, Laggan, Glenlivit and Fort William on my “doorstep” – well actually no, every one of them is over an hour away. Inverness (and many similar towns) has 70,000 folk in it and bugger all graded routes within spitting distance of the town centre.
When are we going to cater for riders in a way that doesnt mean loading up vans/cars with a days kit, sitting in the said car for two hours, riding for two and then going home again. Plus the kids we need to be getting out there simply never get the opportunity to ride these places.
Its a triumph of good salesmanship over common sense if you ask mePosted 4 years agokcalSubscriber
FC don’t have any land in and around towns? I guess it’s what’s available. There are some ‘local’ trails here in Morayshire, Sanquhar Woods, I think that is a community development and to be encouraged.
Moray Monster Trails, you forgot about those, but granted an hour away as well.
Might have trail conflict issues as well, funding, etc.
BTW, Glenlivet is Crown Estate IIRC…Posted 4 years agojohnnystormSubscriber
How many FC forests in town centres? Both my local FC forests have trails maintained by volunteers, not the FC. Which trails have you built locally? Also, what do the FC get from it? People whinge about Thetford’s trails and then dodge the parking by using lay-by and bringing their own food. 😉Posted 4 years agob rMember
I’d agree with you, if you lived somewhere with lots of folk and limited places to ride – but FFS you live in Inverness, Scotland.
You can ride anywhere you please (right to roam) and tbh you’re complaining about driving for an hour to get to 4 trail centres – in many places an hour barely gets you through the next borough, never mind a trail centre.Posted 4 years agoormondroydMember
What’s wrong with a map?
Edit: that came out harsh. I think it’s incredibly positive how much countryside there is to explore out there, and teaching kids that there’s more than just trail centres will do them a power of good. I can’t wait to show my little man around the chilterns, to show him the huge playground that’s out there for those with a bit of initiative.Posted 4 years agobigjimSubscriber
Can’t tell if trolling or not, I think you are, but if not…
I grew up near Inverness before trail centres were even a glint in a middle aged IT manager’s eyes reflecting in his Audi rear view mirror.
I managed to ride my bike (bought from Halfords in Inverness, seeing as you mention it) on cracking singletrack after school, at weekends and all through school holidays, with absolutely no problem. There is a load of riding to be had around Inverness and on the black isle, you just need to think for yourself, and pedal yourself there if you can’t drive, which I couldn’t when I was at school.Posted 4 years agoBillOddieSubscriber
Whilst OP specifically mentions the Forestry Commision, more Bike Trails for beginner/intermediate riders are needed closer to towns in my opinion.
The only ones that I can think of in the UK are new ones near Sheffield (Greno Woods) and Ashton Court in Bristol.
The issue that you will find is that many country parks on the edges of town are full of other users such as dog walkers and run by trusts and the like and are generally not overly welcoming to Mountain Bikers or cyclists in general. The one just outside of Leicester certainly isn’t cyclist friendly.Posted 4 years agomanton69Subscriber
You know what I have only been to a trail center once or twice. I used to ride 1.5 hours to get to Cannock Chase to get out in to the woods. Now that it has a trail center I don’t know if I would go back other than to the non trail center bits (given that covers a pretty big area). There is plenty of riding to be had wherever you are, even in and around cities. You have seen a bloke called Danny, I think it is, doing some stuff in towns on a mountain bike. I think he comes from Scotland and has his own documentary on Dave tonight. 😉
If this is a troll, well done, but having a go at a landowner that allows, even encourages, the like of us is a pretty low blow. As I said; well done.Posted 4 years agoBigDummySubscriber
Aston Court / Leigh Woods in Bristol has been a runaway success, but that has brought with it a some user conflict. The result is a lot of rather peculiar barriers to discourage riders carrying speed out of sections and annihilating dogs and children. The Welsh centres don’t have that level of mixed use, and are perhaps a more exciting riding experience as a result.
But agreed with others that some combination of riding and a map usually finds you somewhere to ride. 🙂Posted 4 years agopaladinSubscriber
There’s a few community ‘trail’ centres in the north of Scotland that I know of, grantown, abriachan and forres. Ideal for kids, they’re smaller than FC trails so can be in a forest adjacent to town, but being community trails, the community has to pull its finger out in order to have it built.
Nearest ‘built’ trails to me are an hours cycle away, but the forests between here and there yield almost as much entertainment.
Edit to add that abriachan is 20 mins from invernessPosted 4 years agoAmbroseMember
FC own large blocks of marginal land, often in areas suitable for mountain bike trails. Simplistically, better quality land is usually either built upon or used for houses/ buildings/ growing food. FC has a remit to provide recreational facilities (we fund the FC via taxation) but other, private landowners do not have to do this and I know of nobody who would do so. Further, the area required may be larger than a single parcel of land, raising lots of problems negotiating access etc.
However, there are a few places I know of in Wales that have met and overcome some of these difficulties to some extent.
Cwmrhaedr- community venture on FC land. Free access. You don’t even have to pay for car parking. 4 miles from nearest town/ railway station.
Trallwm- pay to park, private land, free trails. Nearest village about three miles, nearest station about four.
Garw valley trails- slap bang in middle of the village! No train. Free to park I think, free to use. Very compact area.
Afan- easily accessible from Port Toilet on the cycle track.
Near Ammanford, the local council seem to be building tiny (just a few hundred metres length) skills trails in the local parks, as well as in the local ‘Country Paks’ like Llyn Llech Owain, Millennium Coastal Path and various others.
Bike Park Wales and Antur Stiniog both cost to use because they are private ventures. I’ve not been yet so can’t comment any more.
Fort William is hardly a huge distance from the trails at Nevis Range.
OP- I think you are trolling or unaware of what is being done in some places and also of why it is not being done in other places. Ordnance Survey maps show Right’s of Way and other paths and tracks. Inverness, with its very civilised Scottish land access laws will have lots to offer if you look. Go ask at the local bike shop.
‘I live in Harrogate. Nearest ‘proper’ trail centre is in Les Gets. ‘ Fantastic 🙂Posted 4 years agoscotroutesSubscriberJoB wrote:
but what about encouraging kids with sod all money and their Halfords special
they’re happily building trails in the woods round the back of your house
[/quote]And they actually are in this case. Up around the mast above Inverness…..
OP – you forgot Balblair and Carbisdale. How many stops in the train is that from Inverness?Posted 4 years agoshortcutSubscriber
I just can’t have any sympathy. Live in Basingstoke. Everything from the back door is on clay or chalk, nearest trail centres at QE Country Park (chalky and a bit rubbish) and Swinley which is over ridden, eats your bike in the wet and a bit rubbish. There is other stuff 20 mins away and the Surrey Hills and hour from home.
From Inverness you have Balblair, Golspie, Laggan, Aveimore etc all excellent and not really that far and I know there is other local stuff.
Suggest a box of tissues and a heavy dose of eye drying.Posted 4 years agoGolfChickMember
but what about encouraging kids with sod all money and their Halfords special.
We dont want them to nick our decent bikes?!
Im super surprised you can moan about Trail Centres when you live in Inverness surrounded by all the natural riding you have and sorry but Golspie rules, I’d love to have it only 2 hours from my doorway! I’ve holidayed twice in Inverness now and I’d love to live there with all the natural beauty and places to go on my doorstep!!Posted 4 years agomiketuallySubscriber
but what about encouraging kids with sod all money and their Halfords special.
they’re happily building trails in the woods round the back of your house[/quote]
In September I made a conscious effort to ride random routes home from work and followed all the little bits of singletrack in the little sections of woods left between the housing estates. There are some cracking little trails made by kids riding their bikes on them for the last thirty years.Posted 4 years agocrankriderMember
Cannock Chase – within riding distance of the whole of cannock, within easy riding distance of the train station.
Sandwell – Just been built, within riding distance of 1/2 of west brom to birmingham
Not bad really, eh? Where there is land there will be trails, you cant have a bloody mtb centre in the middle of London can you?Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
A lot of these things were specifically built in the middle of nowhere, in order to get people to go there. Laggan’s a great example as there’s good numbers available, after a year the benefit to the local economy was as large as the original built cost.
Learnie’s a bit sad now midlifecrashes, it lost a chunk of its black route to forestry work so now it’s very disjointed, the skills area was partly collapsed and felt totally abandoned.Posted 4 years ago
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