Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 71 total)
  • New trails at Swinley
  • Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Well this looks interesting…

    Trails

    Black 1 – Starting with a road gap jump of some 10 foot /3 metres across and about a 15 foot/4.6 metres drop in elevation (similar to the size of drop at the corner of the old Expert MTB Area) going into a fair run out where a suitable berm needs to be built. Then comes a second gap jump followed by a swing to the left to follow the line of the push up track with 3 or 4 features such as gap jumps or doubles

    Black 2 – This trail will start with another gap jump although smaller than the start of Black 1. The remainder of the trail down the hillside will be of natural construction and weave in and out of the trees. There may be a few short doubles or drops. If possible this would also be a good section to install a rock garden.

    Black 3 – Starts with a drop across the perimeter track to a run along the top edge of the saddle, or spur on the left hand side, before cutting across the dip and back up to the spur on the right hand side. The trail will follow the contour of the spur for a short while before sweeping across the top, probably as a gap jump or step-up. It will then descend down towards the exit point for the other trails.

    allthepies
    Member

    Perhaps they miss the air ambulance since the jump gulley was closed 😉

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    LOL based upon previous Swinley ambulances as above, I’m not sure it’s a great plan in honesty !

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    http://www.trailteamswinley.com/

    Hit the “Plans for 2016” menu for maps etc.

    Looks interesting…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I like the idea of building properly advanced trails, but worry that these might be a bit too much of a step up from the Red and all that’ll happen is people build chicken lines around the gaps.

    Having said that (and I said this when the Blue/Red were first built) the Blue and red are a lot more advanced than most people that ride them. With fairly significant gaps and drops if you ride them, just that 99.9% roll them. So if you do want progression, try riding Red 15 and 25 as they were intended.

    P.s. dig day this weekend, so if you want to moan, turn up with a spade and do it in person.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    I like the idea of building properly advanced trails, but worry that these might be a bit too much of a step up from the Red and all that’ll happen is people build chicken lines around the gaps.

    There was some chat on FB about a “Red+” – TTS are listening to what people want and will take it on board.

    The more people that get out and dig, the faster it will get done…

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    the Blue and red are a lot more advanced than most people that ride them.

    didn’t you fall off on and break your wrist on the fire road??

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    didn’t you fall off on and break your wrist on the fire road?

    😆 cheeky!

    I know someone who broke his leg walking off a badminton court

    Interesting

    Agree on standard of current trails – ridden hard they can catch out the unwary, even bits of the blue IMO.

    Would make sense to have chicken lines, even just from a liability perspective. I haven’t been there for a while, but hope they don’t do too much with the old “advanced” area. I liked it as it was/is – just slightly hidden (?) but there to explore if you want. I enjoy the two routes on the RHS with the narrow starts for example

    cokie
    Member

    True, if the blue and red is ridden properly you can carry some great speed and get some reasonable air time. Amazing how quickly you can catch people up too.

    Personally I really like Swinley and any development there is a good thing. I’ll be looking to volunteer when the weather gets better.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    didn’t you fall off on and break your wrist on the fire road??

    I didn’t say I could ride all of it :-p I just said there’s a lot more to the Red (and blue) than most people ride.

    Video below, proof that no gnarr is required to break yourself! I got the guy behind me to stop (sat there with a floppy arm they didn’t need persuading), get a spare tube and zip tie out of my pack, walked him through making a sling out of it, and walked back to the lookout. No ambulance needed 🙂

    [video]https://youtu.be/1twoWkOwEbY[/video]

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    It’s those rigid forks, bloody lethal…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    No, it was sitting up, coasting onto the fire road and squeezing the brakes. I’ve hit that corner flat out making “barrrrrrpppppppppp” noises and it grips just fine!

    Premier Icon Straightliner
    Subscriber

    I’m also a fan of what’s been done at Swinley, and well done to TTS for making this all happen.

    My only concern with this new freeride area is the location as I feel that it would be better off out on the red loop as the proximity to the start of the green and blue trails (and the centre) means people may go and ride it without having the necessary skillset and end up injuring themselves. I know the description talks about having a difficult entry to put people off, but I wouldn’t underestimate the ability of people to walk round that part and still get theselves in trouble.

    deadkenny
    Member

    Noting these are freeride trails. There will be problems if people see there are a load of black trails and think if they can do the red and even a black at other regular trail centres then this will be okay, only to then smash themselves on 15ft gaps and drops. Though qualifiers may help. Then again many people stack it just on the qualifiers at BPW.

    Is kind of odd to have flattened the gully with an attitude of too many injuries there, and then justify this near the lookout on the basis that it’s easier for the ambulance to get there. So expecting a similar or greater level of injuries. Surprised CE would accept that.

    Of course it may not turn out to be what is promised.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Noting these are freeride trails. There will be problems if people see there are a load of black trails and think if they can do the red and even a black at other regular trail centres then this will be okay, only to then smash themselves on 15ft gaps and drops. Though qualifiers may help. Then again many people stack it just on the qualifiers at BPW.

    Is kind of odd to have flattened the gully with an attitude of too many injuries there, and then justify this near the lookout on the basis that it’s easier for the ambulance to get there. So expecting a similar or greater level of injuries. Surprised CE would accept that.

    Of course it may not turn out to be what is promised.

    Have a read of the facebook post on the subject. The Gully wasn’t flattened because it was too difficult, there are bigger jumps on the Red. It was flattened because the accident rate was high, which means they had to do a risk assessment of it, and that flagged up the obvious issues that:

    1) It wasn’t graded in any way
    2) It’s inaccessible for ambulances in any kind of reasonable time frame, hence need an air ambulance almost every weekend at some points.

    On 1, The new trails are built to IMBA specs, which is best practice so if someone does skip the qualifier it’s their fault. The Gully was the opposite, 2 easy jumps, followed by a very sharp tabletop and a (minor) gap jump.

    On 2, There isn’t an inherent issue with people breaking themselves playing sport, there’s probably similar accident rates at 5 a side pitches. The solution isn’t to hide 5-aside pitched down 2 miles of potentially rough or muddy tracks behind locked gates.

    Note that the plans also include a longer Green, which will include a fire road route so that will keep the kids and families off the Blue and Red trails (which is probably the #1 complaint, “I came round the corner and there was a pushchair and a family picnicking”).

    As above though, if you want a Red graded ‘freeride’ area, turn up and dig, the sooner stuff is built, the sooner more can be built, and the more manpower there is available the more TTS can put into the plans for future years. If there’s only 5-10 people on dig days then they can only submit plans for what they think they can do with 5-10 people.

    deadkenny
    Member

    thisisnotaspoon – Member

    It was flattened because the accident rate was high

    Is what I said.

    Have already read the FB post and seen TTS’s comments addressing the issue mentioning in particular that the new location is easier for ambulances to get to. It’s just I’m surprised at that being a reasoning to even allow it given the initial assessment of the high accident rate at the gully.

    The new trails are built to IMBA specs, which is best practice so if someone does skip the qualifier it’s their fault. The Gully was the opposite, 2 easy jumps, followed by a very sharp tabletop and a (minor) gap jump.

    IMBA or not, I’m not sure skipping a qualifier makes it legally their fault when it comes to a greedy compensation lawyer. Unless they are made to sign a waiver like at BPW (and even then a good enough lawyer could probably still be successful suing).

    The Gully was all an easy roll. The incidents were just what people made of it by hitting things big and messing up. Always found it odd anyone totally inexperienced managed to injure themselves significantly there. There was always criticism from “experts” moaning about “lycra clad seat high” types going down the gully, but they would just pootle down rolling at slow speed. Almost impossible to get anything more than a bruise 😀

    As above though, if you want a Red graded ‘freeride’ area, turn up and dig, the sooner stuff is built, the sooner more can be built, and the more manpower there is available the more TTS can put into the plans for future years. If there’s only 5-10 people on dig days then they can only submit plans for what they think they can do with 5-10 people.

    I’m not calling for anything myself. Not really interested in freeride stuff anyway. Out of my league with big gaps and drops 😀 Fully appreciate those who want that stuff though.

    Not knocking TTS’s efforts. Fair play. From latest posts it sounds like a lot of volunteers for dig days already.

    As I say, just was commenting that I’m surprised with CE’s risk assessment. It’s a good thing mind.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    whats really really needed is a ‘turquoise’ trail

    the green is far too easy and short, my kids get bored of it on their balance bikes!

    the blue has too many big features to catch out the unwary and too many people blasting round it at warp speed scaring the newbies

    deadkenny
    Member

    ^ a family trail basically. A number of other trail centres have them. Easy for cruising around, taking trailers etc. Keep them separate from the rest.

    Before the new trails families used to turn up and just pootle on the fireroads. They were quite happy with that. With the new trails some are thinking that’s where they should go, but even the blue is not really what they want.

    I agree Kimbers. I did a recce of the green a little while ago with mind to taking my boy around that (he’s three) and I thought it was too featureless. He’s fine wizzing around the ‘natural’ single track in our local woods. The tighter it is, the more he enjoys it.

    I did hear that they are building a pump track though so I will definitely get him going around that. It could fill the gap between green and the blue trail for getting the skills and confidence up.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    There is a plan to extend the green too. It might be too easy for your boy but i think the grade is just about right for young novices, it just isn’t long enough to keep attention for long

    “Green Extension
    Our original plans to run a trail from the existing green route, incorporating what is now Blue 1 and running through the wildlife areas to make a nature trail, have had to change due to the tree-felling. We are back at the drawing board on this one and working with The Crown Estate to come up with a new plan. More news as soon as we get it.”

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say the green is too easy for my boy, it undulates enough to be able to get him out of the saddle and blowing, I just think it is not fun enough to keep him engaged.
    I should take him up there and let him decide really. Maybe try and tempt him onto a couple of blue sections.

    warns74
    Member

    More importantly when are they going to get the Mr Whippy machine (and the rest of the cafe) up and running again?

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Fwiw I think the tts focus on the freeride area is wrong. The terrain at swinley just doesn’t allow anything more than a few seconds of dh, so these will be short runs built for a fraction of the people who ride there. Far better to invest time in extending the existing trails which, as noted above, have got plenty of gnarr if you go looking for it. Why not look at integrating some of the older stuff (camel, off the back, rollercoaster, twisted sister etc) into an alternative redder loop, and sorting out the fire road drag from lsp to red 15.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    In fairness gravel hill is one of the bigger continuous decent, certainly bigger than the old “freeride” area opposite the gully.

    I agree that a freeride area is of minority interest, but it’s an un-catered for (ish) minority. There’s already 20miles of blue/red, with little or no gaps/drops.

    As far as fireroad goes, there’s already plans to remove the fire road section between the star posts by using some of the old seagull route.

    The problem with Out the back, rollecoaster etc is it’s not CE land. You can ride it (and it makes sense to in the context of avoiding some of that fire road) but it’s not going to be official.

    Personally I’m planning on digging this weekend just so I can get a better idea what the plans look like on the ground.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Overall I think the tts plans are good, bringing back the start of seagull etc, but it’s never offered that much (openly) for freeride, just the gulley and a few selected spots. The gulley is gone but most of the others are still there. Maybe the fact they’re unofficial is causing CE a headache so they need to do something to stave off the lawsuits, and that’s pressing tts to act.

    The trails I mentioned are all in the ce land except maybe roller coaster, I think the forestry commission (Crowthorne side owner) were going to monitor swinley with a view to incorporating some of the Crowthorne trails into a loop too. It’s the mod land to the soutg that’ll be harder to do anything official on!

    I’ll join a dig day too, not this weekend though. I used to do plenty of minor maintenance back in the olden days when I worked from home 😉

    Hob Nob
    Member

    To be honest, it would make more sense if they spent the time working on making the red & blue a bit more interesting.

    Chucking a few short runs with some gaps & drops in isn’t really going to attract anything new, it certainly wouldn’t make me want to go & ride there, when I can drive another 30 minutes to the Surrey Hills and get the same, multiple times over, linked up with some really fun trails, rather than some really boring ones.

    Even the off piste stuff at Swinley is old and tired. Its mostly the same stuff than was there 15 years ago, just a bit more eroded.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I rode there for the first time in a while yesterday…

    If you find the blues boring then you may as well give up riding IMO… They’re excellent. OK, so they’re unlikely to kill you, but you can have tonnes of fun, some jumps, some corners, well, lots of corners with the middle flat section which goes on forever and ever…

    If you ride it flat out, then even just doing the whole blue is a damn good workout.

    35 mins of great fun yesterday 🙂

    deadkenny
    Member

    As an FYI, check out Trail Team Swinley’s FB posts for pics of the freeride stuff being built. Looks impressive. Also looks like regular business for the ambulances 😉 . Hopefully the qualifiers do their job though.

    Big gaps and drops on official Swinley trails!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Can you post them ? I don’t have/do FB.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    Can you see those?

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    yes sir.

    although I doubt I can ride them

    Hob Nob
    Member

    If you find the blues boring then you may as well give up riding IMO… They’re excellent. OK, so they’re unlikely to kill you, but you can have tonnes of fun, some jumps, some corners, well, lots of corners with the middle flat section which goes on forever and ever…

    Maybe I should give up riding then, because I find it pretty boring, even with doubling up the odd rollers here & there.

    Give me Peaslake, Tunnel Hill, some other lesser known Bagshot spots any day over Swinley.

    Hell, I would even go so far as saying my local woodland is better riding than Swinley. It’s certainly more challenging.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Nothing wrong with “chicken lines” IMO.

    I rode at Woodhill in NZ a couple of years ago and lots of the features are graded (1-6) rather than the trail itself. So you just do what you’re comfortable with, rather than committing to a vaguely-graded trail at the start. Worked well IMO.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Maybe I’m the weird one then

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    I’m with you weeksy – the blue is a surprising amount of fun. I just hope they’re putting a load of really obvious rubbish bins around the trail head of the freeride area – the jump track always looked like a bomb site on Monday mornings.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I’m with Weeksy, you’d need to be a riding god to get 100% out of the blue and red, things like the double on Deerstalker that’s actually 2 tabletops, the doubles/tripples on Kevlar. I’m no riding god, I can’t link up all the rollers on R15 (whatever it’s called now), and I’m at the sharp end of the Strava leaderboard on that trail, on a rigid bike, which makes everything after the tabletop very hard work, so there’s obviously a lot of progression built in.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    (whatever it’s called now)

    Reservoir Cogs 🙂

    I’m at the sharp end of the Strava leaderboard on that trail, on a rigid bike

    Scurries off to Strava to see how I compare*

    *Also on a rigid bike.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Reservoir Cogs 🙂

    This what happens when you name trails by committee, none of them make any sort of sense (apart from it starts near the reservoir). Not that the old ones made much sense, but at least there were stories or just the trail builders sense of humor behind them.

    Scurries off to Strava to see how I compare*

    *Also on a rigid bike.

    1:04 on “R15” (in the top 1000 out of 12,000!)

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    Loads faster than you, just checked 😀

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