Has anyone used those MBR pull-out trail maps ?

Home Forum Bike Forum Has anyone used those MBR pull-out trail maps ?

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Has anyone used those MBR pull-out trail maps ?
  • thebees

    You know the ones, a map on one side and written directions on the other side. I’m tempted to do a fairly long ride using one but do wonder if those ‘ turn left next to the red Ford Focus’ type directions might make the job quite impractical. Any experiences ?

    Premier Icon nickc

    I’ve used them a couple of times, they’re normally pretty good. although I normally take along a proper map and not just rely on the pull-out


    nickc +1

    I tended to photocopy and laminate them before use in the outside (I say tended because since changing jobs I no longer have easy access to a decent quality colour photocopier and laminator πŸ˜‰ )

    Premier Icon garage-dweller

    Another yes they’re good but take a map too in case you make an error / decide to cut out a section and spend a couple of hours riding round a bit of West Sussex you don’t know heading further and further from the places you should have been with not enough food. You know, for example…Obviously I wouldn’t have been that dumb (well not more than once).

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    Yep, they are good to use with another map as backup.

    Had some thoughts about clockwise or anticlockwise being best and the occasional one about them being planned from an office chair…. but in the main, helpful

    Premier Icon DezB

    They do make for a very stop-start-y ride. Especially when the instructions don’t quite tally up with what you’re actually seeing. Not actually got lost using them, but have had a few frustrating cycling-in-circles-round-the-back-of-the-church type moments.


    I used one out on the Quantocks, which is pretty difficult to get lost on, and I didn’t get lost.
    10/10 would use again

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Only years ago, the numbers were printed over key parts of the map…

    i’ve done a few, it really depends on the writer, alot of them are just stolen from the same old books, i have at least 10 books on west yorkshire, calderdale and the dark peak (ladybower) dating from late 80s to modern day.

    if you use garmin/strava etc you can usually find the routes and have them gps tracked. i can really recommend the vertgrate guides,

    well written and great maps

    When they cover your local trails has anyone thought why on earth they keep missing the best stuff?

    Premier Icon jobro

    ….and when you know the area well they always seem to go the wrong way round!

    Premier Icon mtbfix

    When they cover your local trails has anyone thought why on earth they keep missing the best stuff?

    .and when you know the area well they always seem to go the wrong way round!

    Both of these comments are true but I’ve sometimes followed one of these on a local route and found that that fun descent that I only ever ride down isn’t half bad as a climb and the climb I always do is fun the other way too.

    Premier Icon richardkennerley

    If it’s a long ride the scale will make the map hard to read when your actually it there trying to work out where to go. I’ve done quite a few from mbuk/MBR but always take an OS map to.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog

    When they cover your local trails has anyone thought why on earth they keep missing the best stuff?

    Because the ‘best stuff’ is invariably footpath… πŸ˜‰ Or more likely because the person who compiled the route probably isn’t local and doesn’t know the trail network as well as you do. And because ‘best stuff’ is pretty subjective anyway.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Several of the loops in one or other of those magazines do go in the right direction. Often the rehash after a few years, researched entirely behind the Mac screen, has been take an old route and reverse it. And forget to check if the cake stops are (a) still there, and (b) not been renamed.
    One of the old open source free route sharing sites got bought by a certain publisher based in Bristol/Bath, and my local (road bike) loop found its way in to the magazine, even after I deleted immediately. I’m sure they sent someone to ride it. Absolutely positive they did πŸ˜‰

    Perhaps they should start engaging with local clubs like MBUK did with me a couple of years ago.
    I see the Exmoor route this month has a ‘walk the footpath’ section πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon kayak23

    I’ve got loads and loads of them.
    Done quite a few and plan to slowly knock off as many as I can. They’re a really nice intro to an area if you don’t know it.
    Did the Gap road in the Brecons the other week, Long Mynd soon and Bredon hill on the cards.

    Always have an os map as back up though and more recently, use gpx reader app too, if I can find a gpx of it.


    Yep – I’m comfortably into double figures for the number I’ve used (Peaks, Lakes, North Wales, South Wales)

    I always take an actual OS map as backup (can be particularly useful if the route map has a bright highlighter line across the route which can make distinguishing detail a little challenging)

    Generally they’re good, but sometimes the route would be better run the other way round (Garburn Pass springs to mind where we rode (pushed) up the technical descent only to ride down the bland fire road on the other side)

    I’ve done a few too, the directions are usually clear enough to find your way and I didn’t find too many that were blatantly un-ridden. Was it MBR that had the same couple riding all of them sponsored by kona/mojo?

    I’ve a folder of them somewhere from ~2000-2006 which is useful to dig into if I’m going away somewhere with a bike, there’s usually soething vaguely local.


    I’ve found them pretty good, but as above I only ever use them with a proper map as a backup.

    They are really great for just putting in an A4 document holder thing, sealing the top with selotape and then folding and stuffing in an easily accessible pocket. Do 90% of the navigation from something convenient, then any tricky bits might need a slower look at a proper map.

    The couple referred to above were Tom Hutton and his partner Steph – I miss her photos being on the route guide………. πŸ˜•

    When they cover your local trails has anyone thought why on earth they keep missing the best stuff?

    I think “I’m glad they’ve missed the best stuff!” Usually because it’s not really meant to be there…


    Thanks, will give it a go in the Surrey hills next week πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Trekster

    Got folders full of them from the ’90s, before ‘tinternet came along(or before I could afford it!)
    Always a good way of finding new stuff, nowadays google can usually find a route on somewhere like bikely, gdsies and new boy on the block Strava if you have the paid up version and search for hot spots.

    As above, always use a map in conjunction with it. Once on the top of Calf on the Bowderdale route we met a couple of guys and all they had was the pull,out, lost at the top of the hill didn’t bode well for the fest of their day!!!

    Premier Icon Nick

    I did the MBR Long Mynd one from about 15 years ago, first ride there, it went up Minton Batch.

    Premier Icon mtbguiding

    I was/am one of that couple πŸ™‚ (we still do it – 18 years now for me!) And Steph will be both thrilled and embarrassed at your compliment! She is still in the mag, just they use a lot smaller pics now – on the actual route pullout itself.

    We’re also working on some more guidebooks so she will make an appearance there πŸ™‚

    There are a lot of myths about the route guide – perhaps some confusion too, as there’s always been a couple of mags doing them, and they are easily mistaken for each other.

    So to try and answer some of them.

    Sorry, but none of our routes are done from the screen of a mac/pc. We are paid to ride our bikes and go exploring, why the hell would we then sit in front of a computer? We spend around 9 months of the year chasing decent weather around the country riding and photographing routes – usually 2-4 day trips. We then feed them into the magazine every month to try and get a geographical spread.

    There is no right and wrong way. There is often a way that most people think is better, but often they work well in both directions. Sometimes sticking to one direction, means never riding a great descent, because it’s always a climb.

    If we miss out the best stuff, it’s either because we have covered it recently already, it won’t fit into the route length/difficulty we’re trying to achieve, or the best bit isn’t legit. I doubt very much that there are many ‘best bits’ in areas we have covered, that we don’t know about.

    It has to be remembered that with our current access laws in England and Wales, there is actually a very finite number of good trails and good permutations of good trails.

    So, if we repeat routes identically, it will be because we want to feature the area (and some of the great trails in the area), and there really isn’t a logical alternative. We try to avoid doing this within 3 years and even then, I’m pretty careful about what and where (Note: We actually only do 3 of the 4 routes in the magazine – the 4th is usually related to a feature on other pages, so this could be different.

    Usually, we try to fit the really good trails into a few different loops so that they don’t get repeated identically. Sadly, this can lead to the previous problem of us then being accused of missing the best trails!

    I’m sure that there are many others I’ve missed – sorry.

    But if folks do have questions, feel free to contact me (email in profile), always happy to try and answer them, we take a lot professional pride in our work.

    And also a big thanks to all those that sang our praises above – much appreciated!

    Premier Icon D0NK

    use to use them lots, my mate was the driver and he mostly did route choice and navigation, mbr route card being all he brought – not that I would have been any better prepared – we did ok, only got mildly lost a few times. Nowadays I pick up routes from other people or look for trails I Want to do and ask around on how to likn them up. Local knowledge (and a complete disregard for stupid trail classifications) trumps magazine routes.


    We spend around 9 months of the year chasing decent weather around the country riding and photographing routes – usually 2-4 day trips

    Sounds like a dream job.

    Premier Icon mtbguiding

    Sounds like a dream job.

    We think so πŸ™‚

    Not sure why folk think we’d rather sit in front of a screen?

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

The topic ‘Has anyone used those MBR pull-out trail maps ?’ is closed to new replies.