- Leigh Woods, nearly brought me to tears!
Living close to good trails isnt luck, it’s a matter of priorities.
I know this AC / LW stuff has been done to death, my tuppenth worth is that I was a bit disappointed to find new LW to pretty much be new AC Mk II and didnt really think that was necessary. Allows the area to cope with the anticipated growth in riders maybe, but doesnt add variety. If I want to learn to pump and manual*, I can do that in AC or Cumberland, I was hoping for slightly less of the same over the road. I dont consider either trail to be jumpy though? There does seem to be a trend in smooth, bermy, rolly blue graded type trails springing up around the country. FoD Verderers has the elevation to play with, unfortunately AC/LW doesnt benefit from this and so doesnt really do it for me (up or down).
I never got round to maintaining the old trails, so dont really feel entitled to critise what has been done. It’s too muddy to check, but I presume the old steep trails are unchanged, along with Garlic trail etc?
Hopefully the natural trails will return in spring, I’ll be helping by trying to ride them if they’re still there. Plus I came across some good stuff in Bourton Combe, Dundry and Combe Dingle this year that adds to a longer ride.
* actually I cant, I’ve tried and failed miserably.Posted 7 years ago
Lime Kiln Trail 11th September 2004 (worra fat bastard).
I’m talking from well before then – 95ish – it was much better – a nice little dip down and a hop up if you got your speed just right. Tricky in the wet and particularly when riding the trail uphill (it didn’t have a ‘direction’ then…)Posted 7 years ago
particularly when riding the trail uphill
I remember one ride shortly after I started riding round Bristol (must have been early 2000s) where I set off up that trail and had to turn back half way along it, it was so sh!te. Memories, misty watercolor memories. 🙂
Have to agree with AgentDagnamit that there is a bit of a dearth of challenging legit stuff round Bristol in the wake of Still closing (indeed, Still aside, there always has been) – we’re planning to try and get some action on this in 2012.Posted 7 years agonickeggMember
Only one person (Agentdagnamit)in this entire thread has mentioned the riding potential that exists to those able to read an OS map of North Somerset! There are a shedload of challenging bridleways and singletracks, all within easy cycling of LW and AC.
The fact i rarely see another rider says it all really although tyre tracks suggest others do ride on my local trails.Posted 7 years agodavesmateMember
Well I rode it last Monday in the pissing down rain and thoroughly enjoyed it. Throw in a lap or 2 of AC and maybe a bit of a slither around 50 acre and I reckon there’s a decent morning’s riding to be had.
In my (limited) experience of what these trails used to be like I’m quite happy with what’s been done. Although not completely trashed the old stuff was getting progressively worse year on year and it was a real struggle for Ant and his band of merry trailbuilders to keep up with it.
We’re blessed with so much good riding around here (and I live in Swindon), if these new trails aren’t your thing then buy yourself an o/s map and go explorePosted 7 years agoTooTallMember
Anyone modifying the “natural” trails to an armour plated highway isn’t my favourite person
Miles from anywhere and I might agree. On the doorstep of a bike-promoting city centre? LW was more of a mess than not and it was getting worse every year. This is only my 3rd winter here and I can see the degredation of the natural trails in that short time.
Explore elsewhere. I’ve found some fun loops out North from Emersons Green that join up some nice (and some gloopy) bridleways. Only seen 2 other tyre trails in all that time.Posted 7 years ago
nickegg – I’d be interested to know the trails you’re talking about too. I’ve done loads of exploring around N Somerset and there are some great trails (and some decent cheeky ones) but IMO they tend to be a bit tame for an mtb but great on a cx bike. I’d be keen to see if I’ve missed anything though.Posted 7 years agocheers_driveSubscriber
OP you really do have a selfish attitude. How dare your trails be busy with other people enjoying them and getting in your way!Posted 7 years ago
You mention that you have young kids, can you not see the benefit of the new trails to your kids in a few years time and the benefit to all people who other wise would be sat at home wasting their life in front of a TV?
I admit they are a bit mind numbing but to be honest the old trails weren’t much fun in the winter and I turned to the road bike for much of it. Now I’m enjoying regular night rides and when it drys up a little there are plenty of untouched trails in LW and as others have said plenty of other trails within cycling distance.anotherdeadheroMember
nickegg – shut up! You’ll have loads of noobs on MY local trails. Then they’ll get ‘armoured’ 😡
I like the work in LW and AC. I think they’ve done an ace job of making biking more sustainable in the local area. The new trail bed will be just right in a few years time. There was no way the BTG could have hoped to keep up, however committed to the cause.
It was frankly embarrassing how much of a mess MTBing had made of the woods, and was doing us no favours at all. It was fix it, or in a few years, get banned IMO. You’d have moaned then!
As ever though, peeps who go exploring discover all the juicyest bits.Posted 7 years agoransosMember
Having ridden round AC and LW last night, I have to say the trails are standing up to the weather and heavy use remarkably well – I think that overall, it’s a vast improvement on what we had before. If you want natural trails, there are plenty of those in the Mendips. Take a snorkel…Posted 7 years agoPeterPoddyMember
I rode AC/LW a lot a few years ago. I returned again last summer and I was dismayed that one of my all time favourite trails, the Quarry Trail, had been resurfaced. Initially I hated it. I used to love the rough, rocky surface and the fact it was a tough, technical trail
But, I very soon realised that it HAD to be this way. The old trails were ruined bogs and dying on their arse, and something had to be done. I rode the old trails at their best than saw them slide to their worst. Sure, I’ll miss the old stuff, but this is the way of the world.
I’ve ridden it a fair bit now and I love it. I seriously think that the general development in the area is some of the best ‘trail centre’ Singletrack I’ve ever ridden.
Hats off and many thanks to the BTG 🙂
RIP Quarry TrailPosted 7 years ago
Long live the Quarry Trail!
At risk of keeping this thread limping along, like a dying dog with a ruptured bladder full of pure tedium, I’d just like to relate an exchange a mate had in the new Leigh Woods skills area the other day:
Young lad on fancy jump bike: “These new trails are rubbish, the old natural stuff was way better.”Posted 7 years ago
Mate: “Why don’t you go over to 50 Acre Wood and ride the trails there then?”
Young lad: “I’m not going over there, it’s going to be minging!”wordnumbMember
I do find the notion of directional trails in woodland rather bizarre, tbh.
There are building regs to consider with professionally built trails. Multi-directional trails have to be almost two metres wide in England, ie like Sustrans routes. Something to do with insurance apparently.
Mr Agreeable, that pretty much sums it up. – When’s the next trail repair day?
Given that we know these trails are going to be well used, I certainly can’t think of any trails so close to a large city, isn’t it better that LW/AC aren’t too technical? Ok, some people might be riding more slowly than others but no one’s stopping to push through a difficult section, that would be more frustrating.Posted 7 years ago
When’s the next trail repair day?
Aiming to get them up and running again for early February, it’s a bit too wet to dig up there at the moment (well, we could, but we’d probably muller the existing trail as we moved the stone).
Our website is currently mid-revamp (which I really need to get on with) but you can get news on dig days here:
And I usually post on here, albeit to deafening silence.Posted 7 years agonumber562554Member
I’m all for hard surfaced easy grade tracks. I think what they’ve achieved in Ashton Court is great. Apart from spoiling the feel of the Hawthorns section by widening the track and trimming away any branches and trees that you might have formerly smacked into it’s generally great fun and still has a lot of character.
I was really looking forward to Leigh Woods being a variation of the same but like the OP am pretty disappointed. It’s a lot slower than Ashton Court whatever your skill level and never feels like it gets going. Too many tight corners just for the sake of it, very random and uncohesive “features”. Too many completely bonkers pinch points… some places you can pop straight out onto heavily used walkers paths no slowing measures applied, others you practically have to come to a standstill unless you want to risk smacking your pedals on half a dozen huge rocks. One’s even put in back to front for the direction of the trail for godsakes with the tight slowing bend on the exit form the path crossing rather than the entry.
I never rode it before the resurfacing but if it faithfully follows the line of the Ho Chi Minh trail then I think that the line is far better suited to a boggy rutted slog than a hard surfaced trail with little “flow” as I believe the phrase is and they should have left it alone and designed something for Fifty Acre Wood instead.
The word used a lot on here when Ashton Court opened was “grin”. Anyone feeling that after a spin round Leigh Woods? Sorry, not feeling the love. Great idea poorly executed.Posted 7 years agoFuzzyWuzzySubscriber
I enjoyed it for sure, yeah there’s a couple of weird bits but on the whole it’s an enjoyable trail and I really don’t miss the old trails in LW inc. the stealth stuff. I do think some things could have been done better but there might be reasons it wasn’t that I’m unaware of, not like I’m an experienced trail designer/builder. It’s perfect for night riding to…Posted 7 years ago
I don’t think it was ever going to give the same experience of continuous riding that Ashton Court does, because it crosses so many other paths. Which of course was true of the old Ho Chi Minh too. The trade off is that you have some interesting optional sections, many of which are brand new.
We rode the new trails last night, then headed over to the Ridge trail. By comparison, it’s a complete ditched out mess, and will probably stay that way until early summer, unless it freezes.Posted 7 years ago
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