Off-Road Groups in the Guildford Area
The wife and I are moving into a place just off the Farnham Road later this month. I am looking to meet up with some groups/clubs who ride mid week and weekends. Can you suggest a group/club I should contact to see if they’d mind one more rider joining their ride?
NigelPosted 4 years agosingletrackmindMember
Wasnt there a ride leader who used to lead people over gaps , jumps and drops without any warning in the Surrey Hills?Posted 4 years ago
Not sure if this still goes on or not , just a word of caution as the rumours might , or might not be true.
Be a shame to join a group ride then get hurt on the first ride out.njee20Subscriber
Ridden with VCGH on the road once, they don’t do as much off road I don’t think.
The Trolls are a great bunch. There’s a group on Bike Radar who ride round there most weeks – London Calling on Facebook I think.
Or… Just go to Peaslake on a weekend and join in with one of the groups!Posted 4 years agothats_not_my_nameMember
VCGH used to have a very active MTB side (I used to be a ride leader), but a lot of the regulars stopped, for one reason or another, so it’s less active these days. There’s still a small group who organise rides on Sunday mornings from Godalming, but it’s mainly via their facebook page(not the VCGH facebook page!). I suggest you contact Jules or Roland, as they are the main people who organise the rides these days. There’s also some route maps that you can download from the website, if you fancy exploring by yourself.
There also Three Counties MTB group.
GregPosted 4 years agowebcoreMember
go to Nirvana, Westcott for the 9.30 prompt ride on Saturday every week. Not a shop ride really, just a bunch of loose friends. People there know most of the other groups and ride with some of them, so it will get you started in the area. And they know ALL the trails.Posted 4 years ago
Also try Beyond Mountain Bikes in Smithbrook Kilns near Cranleigh. They use facebook to get organised. Nice bunch.
There’s a healthy number of mid-week night rides as well.grenMember
Trolls are a great bunch especially if night riding is your thing. Different nights for different fitness/skill levels. Weekends tend to be less organised
Nobody ever gets dropped – sweeper on every ride. It’s a bit of a drive from Guildford though as most rides are on home turf – Tunnel Hills and other areas around Farnborough.Posted 4 years agodeadkennySubscriber
All kinds about.
BOB is a formal club which involves pay membership and does a lot of regular rides in the area.
Then there’s the likes of the Trolls which is not really a club but just a slightly more formalised regular ride group split into different levels of riding and mostly ride around the MOD lands. Great bunch and no one left behind (unless you go on the elite speedy ride and can’t keep up 😀 ). Mostly night rides, and they have demo lights you can borrow if you’re new to night rides.
Then shop rides, so round Surrey Hills – Nirvana Cycles, Pedal & Spoke, Head for the Hills (do they do shop rides?). There are also Evans rides, though they are often more XC in style (fireroads, bridleways and I even see tarmac involved!).
And less formal rides.
As mentioned London Calling MTB on Facebook (there’s the original thread on Bike Radar also but it’s dead now). Completely informal, just post up when/where and people can come along. No expectation of a formal style ride usually and they tend to be very social, though you can arrange whatever you like really. MTB Britain forum has a quiet thread on Swinley-ish rides but like many forums, it’s gone very quiet. There’s also the Swinley Forest Mountain Bikers (SFMB) group on FB which is quite big and rides arranged there, some regular ones too. A new one that’s sprung up also is Join-a-Ride again on FB which tries to list a lot of ride events. It’s not specific to this area though a lot seem to be around here. Farnham way, there’s even South Farnham Mountain Bikers (SFMB) on FB.Posted 4 years agojambalayaSubscriber
TurnerGuy – Member
Nirvana have the reputation for dropping people…
And Simon doesn’t like CTC members apparently.
But it is a good shop nonetheless.
I’ve done quite a few Nirvana rides. In response to the above;
I’ve got lost more once, it’s quite easy even in areas I “know” there are lots of little junctions, new trails are created and given I’m not the fastest I’m generally at the back. If the group have your number they will call you, they will generally track back and try and find you. I’m pretty grateful that the group wait for me on climbs and whilst I “review” trail features before attempting them.
I’ve never heard Simon comment about CTC, he loves mountain biking so I wouldn’t imagine he’d take a dislike to someone just because they joined a cycling group.
Agreed, it’s a great shop. I’ve been using it and going on rides there on and off for 7 years.Posted 4 years ago
Dorking Cocks: night rides 1830 Wednesdays, year round, Westcott Green (that’s at Nirvana but it’s not a “Nirvana ride” we do our own thing), moderate-fastish XC/ST with the odd swoopy bit. Couple of hours riding, pint or 2 in the hills, back to Westcott 2230ish. Friendly and nobody’s dropped lost in the hills, but you aren’t be nursemaided either.
Just turn up.Posted 4 years ago
re drops, drops can happen on any ride, & lots of this riding area is in dense forest with many trails and short sight lines.
partly this comes to expectations, back in the day (a while ago) when I did Nirvana rides the flavour was more “we’re going riding as a peer group you’re welcome to to tag along if you want” rather than “this is an organised group ride to make sure everyone has a good time regardless of standard”. I think that’s fine.
I’ve never personally heard of a rider being dropped in distress, I doubt that would happen unless by accident.
Folks who want a cast iron guarantee of group cohesion and the ride will suit them would be best off booking a guide I think, paying money and calling the shots.Posted 4 years agojambalayaSubscriber
I’d second what @mattjg says.
I’ve got lost as I was slow, they where riding some new trails and they tried to find me. I’ve been on a ride when a guy crashed and insisted he make his own way home, turned out he had damaged his shoulder. Another ride a lad had a heavy fall trying to learn to jump, he and his mate left and he spent a while in AE at our (and Simon’s) recommendation. I have a photo of a tree with a dent in it made by Simon’s head/helmet when he had an off just in front of us. He insisted he make his own way back to Westcott.
It’s a risky sport, stuff happens. People get lost. We are all adults here.Posted 4 years ago
Hmm, I did only a couple of Nirvana Saturday morning rides way back when the likes of Jon Webb were on them and on both occasions I got dropped not out of any kind of malice but just that they were too fast for me and I know that on at least one of those occasions they did come back looking for me.
These days things have very much changed and now I lead many of the Saturday rides myself. Partly I’m fitter (no fags, less booze, more riding)and partly the ride group isn’t quite as full on as it used to be, that said there are still some speed merchants about.
I for one would never purposely drop anyone but it can and does happen, I like this sentance.
‘It’s a risky sport, stuff happens. People get lost. We are all adults here’Posted 4 years agodeadkennySubscriber
Night rides do require a bit more organisation and sweepers, unless people really know the area well, in the dark. It’s surprising how somewhere you know very well in the day becomes a total mystery in the dark, especially when following others. Also if you’re dropped and your lights die, you’re screwed.Posted 4 years agoTurnerGuyMember
I was told that Simon doesn’t like CTC member based on one trying to sue the shop after getting injured on a ride. May not be true, just someone told me.
I was dropped a few years ago when I was at the back and stacked – walked back to the shop a bloody mess and ordered some new forks from Jackie.
My mate was dropped as well.
I am not complaining – I recognize it was just a group of peers, etc. And I like Simon and his forthrightness.
But they have dropping reputation…Posted 4 years agotonyg2003Subscriber
The Moles are a friendly bunch. We ride with the Dorking Cocks, DoaMTBer and the Trolls
from time to time too. All good folks.
As with the others we aren’t a club but a group of friendsPosted 4 years ago
so you ride at your own risk. However no-one gets let behind (unless we are being truly incompetent on a ride 🙂 ).
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