Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)
  • Swinley forest : Early mornings weekends?/
  • too bloody old
    Free Member

    Would like to take 12 year old on his first real “trail” .Swinley is not that far and he has a good hardtail (On one with fox and hopes etc ) maybe a few weeks time , pref when its a but drier .Whats it like most sunday mornings about 8 am for parking etc ? Idea is to “wing man ” him twice around the blue trail to show him the way etc .Dont want him to be be too intimidated by better riders smashing past him etc .

    DT78
    Free Member

    should be fine at that time. any later than 9 it can get full. I imagine the first nice weekend after the last few weeks deluge will be busy.

    I took my 7 year old round for the first time a few months back. he’s on a full rigid frog. he loved it. though by the end of the second blue lap he was getting tired. no problems with other riders. I just stayed right behind him the whole time and called out when he needed to move over. which was only a handful of times

    he’ll love it

    tonyd
    Full Member

    Yep you should be fine. To be honest I’ve always thought that anyone going over there on a weekend should expect traffic anyway so hopefully the nob ends are few and far between. I hope enjoys it.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    my lad used to ride there at 7 years old… we never once had an issue with other riders. Even at his slowest speed.

    People are mostly better than you think.

    stevextc
    Free Member

    I’d suggest going early you’re more likely to catch people who went early specifically so they can smash round as fast as possible and leave before the masses arrive.

    too bloody old
    Free Member

    Cheers , will wait until it dries out a bit as we are not running massive knobbly tyres ! Just Maxxis cross country types .WE also have a option to stay in Feltham and if we dont get robbed or murdered there !!!! we could easily get to the Forest by 7.30 . I’d like to think people are not aggressive when passing kids etc

    frogstomp
    Full Member

    Cheers , will wait until it dries out a bit as we are not running massive knobbly tyres ! Just Maxxis cross country types .

    You’ll be fine on those. The marked trails don’t get particularly muddy – just wet and grindy (sand).

    stevextc
    Free Member

    we could easily get to the Forest by 7.30 . I’d like to think people are not aggressive when passing kids etc

    Well other than those who are going at 7:30 so they don’t have to be stuck behind people whilst they hammer out a couple of laps…. they aren’t going at 0700 because they want to but because later on they will not be able to ride it.

    I’ll pretty much know if you do because I’m sure my WhatsApp will fill with “FFS how early do I need to get there not to get stuck behind leisure riders” comments.

    Incidentally I’ll be there Saturday 09:00 in the car park then leading a SLOW /beginners/relaxed group round leaving from the Hub at 10:00 along side a Faster/dafter group we periodically meet on the way round so you’d be welcome to join. The “B” Group will be as slow as the slowest.. avoid any “tech” or have bypass routes etc.

    I don’t know presently if there will be any other kids in the slow group TBH… all the kids I know that are coming are going to be in the faster/dafter one.

    tonyd
    Full Member

    “FFS how early do I need to get there not to get stuck behind leisure riders” comments.

    It’s a busy forest and younger kids tend to get up early, I specifically don’t ride Swinley on the weekend if I want a fast and uninterrupted ride. If people really get fed up with getting stuck behind “leisure riders” (!) then they should ride mid week – I often ride mid week mornings and sometimes won’t see another soul.

    james-rennie
    Full Member

    I’ve done a couple of Sunday mornings recently (August) with my 14 year old. Started around 10:00am, car park was filling up but fine. As usual, despite all the vans and cars we only saw 5 or 6 people on the trails during the hours we were out.
    We pulled over to let a speedy electric pair go past, they thanked us and waved.
    Another dad with a younger kid pulled over to let us go past and likewise we thanked them and asked if they were having a nice ride.
    All good, no dramas (but the queue & wait for post ride grub at the lookout cafe was looong).

    stevextc
    Free Member

    tonyd

    It’s a busy forest and younger kids tend to get up early

    We are talking about homo sapiens youngsters here not birds….

    A large part of the reason we kick off at 10am is because most of the group have kids and the challenge is getting them out of bed early.
    I can guarantee now group chat will be dominated like every other morning ride by “sorry, I’m running late, kids wouldn’t get up/ready etc.” Mine isn’t even going (he hates Swinley even more than me) and I’ll be struggling to leave on time.

    hatter
    Full Member

    The blue is a great ‘first trail’ my oldest was doing to Blue at 7 and happily rode the Red when he was 9, it’s all pretty doable but he’s pretty keen in fairness.

    We tend to steer clear of Swinley in Summer as it turns into a bit of a sandpit but it’s lack of winter gloop means we’ll probably be back there soon.

    stevextc
    Free Member

    Just a headsup… parking will be free for the next 10 days so expect busier than normal.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    (he hates Swinley even more than me)

    Aw, they never appreciate their parents til later in life!

    tonyd
    Full Member

    We are talking about homo sapiens youngsters here not birds….

    Oddly enough not all people are the same! My kids only started laying in (til about 9) this summer, they are almost 12 and 13. When they were 7, 8, 9, 10 we were often out and about by 8 especially in the summer.

    If you hate Swinley so much why do you go?

    thols2
    Free Member

    How’s the riding going @too bloody old ? Don’t forget to post some pictures up, always nice to see what other people do.

    too bloody old
    Free Member

    The post was made 4 days ago…. I then wrote “few weeks time” .But you ” just read what you want ” rather than what is actually posted

    stevextc
    Free Member

    Oddly enough not all people are the same! My kids only started laying in (til about 9) this summer, they are almost 12 and 13. When they were 7, 8, 9, 10 we were often out and about by 8 especially in the summer.

    OP is talking about starting riding at 08:00 after travelling from wherever, getting kid organised and bikes out etc.

    I’m just pointing out many people who live “next door” go early to just hammer out a couple of laps, fast as possible then get the hell away before the masses arrive.
    It also means I can’t ride with my kid who point blank refuses to ride Swinley.

    If you hate Swinley so much why do you go?

    It’s pretty enough … it’s just un-ridable other than treating it as a social outside early mornings or late evenings.

    1) In this case because I was asked to … certainly not my choice but it’s also relatively easy for many attending the group rides to get to.

    2) It’s geographically close to me and still better than riding on roads or on the turbo (both of which I hate more) and I’m an old codger needs to keep exercising.
    I still try and avoid it and as far as I remember haven’t been between Saturday and the last group ride (JUL 24).
    In contrast I’ve probably been on 30-40 rides in Surrey Hills in the same time period.

    Off the top of my head the last time I went “voluntarily” was because I had to go into Bracknell and drive past.

    3) A bit of (1) but it’s not bad at night once it starts going dark again so I might join some rides however these very specifically will be off piste anyway.

    too bloody old
    Free Member

    The “un-ridable” bit… What do you mean exactly ? I am treating it as a “playground” for him to learn and its not so far etc . Me teaching him ‘from a bike” will be better than standing around and him not really learning that much .SO as long as the legs work …I can tag along and show him the ropes . Doubt he will get into wanting to jump and stuff yet , he only has a “on one ” with Rock shocks and hope brakes etc . so far more XC .But we also spend time in Snowdonia and if he wants to go down the Down hill sections .It will mean a new bike and some lessons .I’m not up for that !

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    So what are you planning to ride?

    I note that your son’s suspension changed from Fox to Rockshocks(sic), do you or he have a preference?

    too bloody old
    Free Member

    Mistake…I have Fox forks he has Fox seatpost but R/S forks . I am a original “Project 2′ man .Who then upgraded with a flexistem ! I think those forks taught me about taking smooth lines etc and also across some wild places .Amazing forks . I think Equipment today is roughly all good. IF SET UP CORRECTLY ! and maintained well . So for me I will always go for whats working the best . Same for brakes .When I did my last two big adventures . I had the chance to use the first Gen Hope stuff .But took Avid mech discs as they just always work and easy to maintain . With the Projects 2 I used the very very first set of U brakes in the UK . But for the journey they did fine as no real speed or downhill done .

    I now have a Whyte 905 with a few mods done by the previous owner .His on one Scandal is too small for me , but I am so jealous of it ! Its a lovely frame .

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    Sounds like it’s been a very, very long time since your last big adventure.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    The “un-ridable” bit… What do you mean exactly ?

    I’m literally over the road. Un-ridable I think means is, as an experienced adult wanting to ride for your own enjoyment, during the day on a sunny weekend, you will get stuck behind the queues of young families.

    If you are one of those young families, its great. no massive extended climbs to tire little people out. mostly singletrack. fairly easy to give up and go back to the car if you (your kid) have bitten off more than you can chew and wants to go home.

    too bloody old
    Free Member

    He is dying to do more riding .At 4 year of age he made it up the “miners” (snowdon) without been carried once .Its just living in LOndon .Its not safe for him to venture out alone . The “ferals” will steal it or some driver will knock him off.Many “locals” have a very unusual attitude to driving here !

    PJM… Yes . 5 operations on my legs and months away from been 60 . Was never ever a road cyclist .Took XC bikes to exotic places for months and rode around having fun. Somedays 2 miles . some days 30 . Life was great !

    stevextc
    Free Member

    The “un-ridable” bit… What do you mean exactly ?

    Oh, not technically .. It’s just too busy most fair weather weekends to ride round at any speed later on. It’s constant start/stop/slow… and if you try and leave a gap someone will jump in front.
    That’s not really going to affect you… Our local pool is a bit the same … it’s just more formal in that there are early morning sessions where people swim lengths and they put lanes out.

    I’m not arguing rights and wrongs and the usual Swinley “it’s a family leisure area not MTB trails noone should be allowed to go quickly” guff.. I’m just pointing out most people who go early tend to do so to have a “proper blast” so the only reason to arrive a bit earlier is really to ensure parking.
    Going earlier that 0800 this tiome of year you’re just more likely to bump into people (or them come up behind you) trying to hammer out a couple of laps as quick as they can then get off … later on they will already have left.

    I am treating it as a “playground” for him to learn and its not so far etc . Me teaching him ‘from a bike” will be better than standing around and him not really learning that much .SO as long as the legs work …I can tag along and show him the ropes .

    It’s fine for that .. there are no real hills or technical features so he’ll outgrow it quickly once he’s been a few times but noone left after 0900 should really expect anything but it being like the M25

    stevextc
    Free Member

    I’m literally over the road. Un-ridable I think means is, as an experienced adult wanting to ride for your own enjoyment, during the day on a sunny weekend, you will get stuck behind the queues of young families.

    Adult has nothing to do with it… Jnr stopped going to Swinley when he was 7-8 ish…
    It’s even worse for kids as it seems adults have some massive need they have to jump in front of kids who are waiting politely for the people in front to get out of the way so they can actually ride

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Adult has nothing to do with it… Jnr stopped going to Swinley when he was 7-8 ish…
    It’s even worse for kids as it seems adults have some massive need they have to jump in front of kids who are waiting politely for the people in front to get out of the way so they can actually ride

    worse being female… two blokes who had stopped on a fireroad between two sections of the red once pushed into the 5-10m gap between me and my girlfriend. She said they were painfully slow.

    I ride there probably at least once a week, more in summer. There are a few (official) bits I have yet to check off. Wish I could have said “swinley, competed it mate” at 8 years old!

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