Top three rides

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  • Top three rides
  • jedi

    What a summer we have had .conditions have been all-time .What’s your top three rides

    Mine are


    Win hill land area oop

    Taking my partner for her first real mtb trails experience at bike Park Wales

    Premier Icon senor j

    This year’s have to be…

    1. Southdowns way in a day -successful cx version. 🙂

    2. Big day out at Afan. 🙂

    3. 100k hertfordshire “gravel” odyssey (I do shorter variations of that one that one most weeks tbh!

    Premier Icon mattkkitch

    Best rides of 2019

    Ard Rock – did the Sport and just got onto the 2019 enduro!

    Torridon – now my favourite trail in the UK

    Ae DH – dusty downhilling in Scotland!? Hit the coffin jump for the first time.


    A ride on the tops between Threshfield and Malham

    The Dirty Reiver

    The BB200 a couple of weeks ago

    Premier Icon weeksy

    This year i didn’t do any ‘epic’ rides at all.. but i had a great summer on the MTBs overall….. but nothing in the slightest that stands out.

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    Lift-assisted ride down a green run with wife, daughter and sister-in-law, none of whom had ever done anything like it (and all want to do more now – where do I collect my commission ?)

    First cyclocross race – memorable rather than really fun but I’ll deffo be back

    Up to a ridge and looking (from a distance) over an area that’d recently burned-out in a forest fire

    Just one for me, and that’s the coast to coast. It was also the worst.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny

    2018 was a great year for me and my fat carcass:

    1) Ard Rock was a fave

    2) Doing the Crap Mesgn Enduro trail as part of a day at Flims/Laax was a really epic day out:

    3) A week in Morzine with the family following PPdS was a hoot, as my 13yr old son rapidly overtook me in bravery and capability. Also, stopping for lunch to meet the fam at Lac Ecoles in Les Gets, swim fun in the lake, then battering back over to Morzine for burgers and beer is really a pretty fun way to go riding.

    Gald y’all seem to have had a great 2018 too, crack on!


    was an amazing summer, but these 3 spring to mind quite easily…

    1. Golfie. mid week ride in July, had already been dry for months. drove up the night before and kipped in the van. rode pretty much all day til i couldn’t turn another pedal. perfect conditions! so good i stayed another night!

    2. Malaga (Mijas) after a couple of days guided with switchback we had one more day to ourselves to revisit some of the best stuff we’d been shown. long hot day finished at the beach with beers.

    3. Lakes. dawn raid on Skiddaw, summited for the sunset, perfect clear morning. descended Longside edge then up and down Grisedale pike, all before a single foot bandit had hit the fells and back home in time for breakfast!


    1. Ard Rock full enduro, first time at the event, perfect conditions, didn’t enter this year as it can’t be beat.

    2. Uplift day at Antur in perfect sunny still conditions.

    3. Big day out riding the steep trails in the Wye valley again in perfect conditions.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1

    Nice topic OP.  Best three rides. Finale day 2 with dh for men etc, end of season DH here in sweden with snow and mud was just stupid fun.

    The utter best however was getting my lad cycling without stabilisers.  Near tears of joy  *sniff’


    Hmm its tough to choose. Its been a great year of riding, and its also been the year I discovered road biking. So…

    1. One of the 5 fantastic days with Ciclo Montana in the Sierra Nevadas. Probably the day we did flowtastic, followed by the lost bridges. Epic landscape, tech trails and burning climbs. And then great food to finish 🙂

    2. Cadair Idris – been meaning to ride this for ages. Finally got round to doing it this year, and it didn’t disappoint. I know some people don’t rate it, but I thought it was incredibly rideable for a mountain day out.

    3. Matlock Top Ten on the road bike. A tough route in horrendous conditions, definitely type 2 fun. But it came at the end of my first summer of road biking, and I managed to get under my target time, and finish in the top 20.

    Premier Icon el_boufador

    Tough one for this year!

    In chronological order my top 3:

    May: Solo bivvy ride to Grassington in perfect conditions, slcamping at rylstone cross. Slept really really well. Rode a lot further than I expected to, about 100km over the course of 18 hrs total

    June: Cut gate out and back evening with my mates. Skinny dip at slippery stones, perfect light, perfect trails and perfect company

    September: pulled out of the bag, this one. 2 pikes ride (Grisedale and ullock) in one day, with mates. Almost didn’t go to the lakes as the week before the weather looked like it was going to be really poor. However it turned around at the last minute, and was generally pretty ace. Small group, right pace, rode some new trails aba also old favourites

    Special mention: Forensically scouring Ilkley moor for all the descents after work in July. Found loads of amazing stuff. Physically broken afterwards


    Pila ridge to valley floor via Desarpa and Matrix despite having to ride / push from the top of the park to the ridge as the second lift was closed.

    You cant beat a good day in the summer round fairholmes

    Being chased down the mountain by a storm in Tignes back to Les Breves, We lost but only by 10 minutues,

    Hob Nob

    Hmm, top 3.

    One I would say was the PPDS. Never done it before & wouldn’t have been something I was bothered with, but was actually a really good, fun day out. Riding was a bit tame, but out at first thing, 126km later & 6800m of descending, doing the whole loop was an experience. Enjoyed that.

    Finale Ligure – out for the EWS, we went to do a guided day a few days before the race. Ended up being a great day out, with a random bunch of people.Another 100km+ day – totally frazzled by the end.

    Third ride i’m actually going to say the EWS race day this year. The race itself was a bit of a sh*t show with punctures, catching other riders & crashing, but I was with a great bunch of people I ended up being grouped with, and we ended up having a right blast, coupled with finishing the race & then spending the evening having a skinful of beer. Sore heads all round the next day 🙂

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    2018 is not over yet…

    but to date, ignoring the ****ing horseflies that drank all my blood, and left nothing for the midgies…

    Torridon (nice beer in the pub at the end too)

    Loch Eaniach (sp?)

    not sure about the 3rd yet, but could be next month, or a Christmas ride.


    Top of my head:

    Solo day in PDS

    MTB Meet-Up

    Hopton at the weekend

    But I’ve not had a bad year at all.

    Rode Snowdon, didn’t really enjoy the riding, but had a great day.

    Rode longer than harder than any year before I can think of and have probably never been fitter.

    ‘Got about’ a lot, rode some new places and broke the cycle of Cwmcarn this week, Afan next, rinse and repeat.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    No particular order…

    – Betws and Gwydir off-piste

    – Somewhere secret in southern Snowdonia with the locals

    – Glentress mostly off-piste

    Premier Icon chakaping

    One I would say was the PPDS

    Do they still throw in some lovely hand-cut trails as optional add-on bits?

    Premier Icon Akers

    In reverse order…

    3. My first Enduro at Pippingford Park with Southern Enduro. Great weather and really friendly welcoming crowd. Turns out I’m pretty slow though!

    2. A proper full-on non-stop day at Bike Park Wales in August. Got 13 runs in the day, managed to tackle stuff I wouldn’t have dreamed of last year, so thanks for all the coaching Tony!

    1. Riding EWS stages in La Thuile with White Room MTB. How Steep!!

    The year isn’t over yet, so this list is very much subject to change, especially when I get back from a week in Ainsa with Basque MTB at the end of November.  :0)

    Premier Icon gallowayboy

    Best should have been Sintra – two days guided rooty, loamy steep stuff. Half way through day one an innocuous tumble borked my knee. Kept going though, rode well, but eventually it swelled and stiffened so that I almost had to crawl to the apartment – missed day two but my son had a grand day out off the leash chasing Pedro down monstrous chutes and jumps. So its still number one just for the look on his face when he came back in the evening!

    Other than that didn’t get anywhere exotic but just about every local ride from one to five hours has been a delight this year so its a tie between all of them!


    I feel the need to categorize…

    Top UK natural trails

    Bronze, Long Mynd cheeky

    Silver, Helvelyn at dawn (sticks pass into Seldom Seen)

    Gold, Lakes epic – Skiddaw, Whiteless Pike, Grizedale Pike

    Top local built trails

    Bronze: My local Malvern Hills

    Silver: Staunton

    Gold: Innerleithen Golfie trails

    Top Foreign Gondola assisted days

    Bronze: Mijas/ Benalmadena (Spain)

    Silver: Alpe D’Huez

    Gold: Les Arcs

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    The vast majority of my MTBing this year has been with my 10 year old son Jacob (and less often with my 8 year old (Dylan) in tow too), most of the rides wouldn’t rank as anything more than very average to most but it’s been great watching them both develop as riders.

    All my best rides have been when they have taken leaps forward or had “firsts”.

    1) Llandegla weekend with J.

    His first weekend away int he campervan that was just for the purposes of riding.

    We rode the Red (plus to and from the campsite) on the Saturday and a very wet lap of the Blue on the Sunday.  Also got his first pinchflat!

    2) MTB Marathon  – Hope Valley

    Both boys did the MTB Marathon Hope, Jacob skipped round the Mini Marathon course but Dylan understandably found it harder struggling with some of the loose rocky descents.

    3) First Cannock Ride for J

    Big leap forward for J on this ride, handling the drops on the Monkey and Dog along with all the breaking bumps…

    Premier Icon shortcut

    1- BC Bike race Day 7 Squamish

    2- Moab Porcupine Rim

    3- Thundermountain Utah on a solo dawn ride.

    other notables are a lot of Surrey Hills rides, Whistler Comfortably Numb / Yummy Numby, Coed y Brenin Enduro.

    lows – the moisture content at Algarve Bike Challenge and the mid and walking of La Tramun in Girona.  Overall though – an epic year.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    In no particular order…

    Beast from the East commute – just magical and hilarious ride to and from work.

    [url=]Snowy Marin Nail Trail 7[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr

    May saw me head off for a couple of days with middle_oab when his exams were done. Ace weather and ace company, we had the best time.

    [url=]Argyll bike tour[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr

    I am then torn, A day out on the bike in the Cairngorms chasing DofE groups was up there due to the 28*c heat(!), awesome trails and unparalleled scenery was up there….BUT, I had a just brilliant fun day with youngest_oab around FtWilliam trails, where we met eldest_OAB and pals at the end of a weeks coaching coarse. Top Chief’s Happy Ending is just a giggle, as is following your child down there, and seeing another one do this was just satisfying.

    [url=]Abernethy Gravity Extra camp[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr


    Great to see so many rides with kids featuring here. OP didn’t state his requirements for a top ride and I’d completely agree that the best rides can be a combination of terrain, company and just the satisfaction of having done it at the end.

    So, for me it’s a selection based on the above – three different types of ride (MTB, road, gravel), but all feature my 9yo son whose riding has come on leaps and bounds this year:

    1. Calderdale MTB Marathon
    Just a couple of weeks ago this one, but was in pretty epic conditions with rain from start to finish but we never stopped smiling (mostly because it stayed reasonably warm so we didn’t freeze!). This is a ride we’ve done before, but it’s a firm favourite and I’m sure we’ll keep going back for many years. Hilly and tough terrain, but not too muddy this year so was 100% rideable which kept spirits high to the end. Oh, the boy knocked 20 minutes off his previous best time too 🙂

    2. Newcastle to Edinburgh (Coast and Castles)
    A 4 day, 230 mile, mixed-surface ride up the North-East coast, and the inland up the Tweed before heading North over the Moorfoot Hills into Edinburgh. The four of us that did this had a fantastic time and noone wanted to stop riding when we got to the end. The furthest that either my son or myself had cycled on consecutive days, so was a huge distance milestone for us both.

    3. Dales Epic
    I might have created a monster when we bought the 100 Greatest (road) Cycling Climbs book, but my son has always loved statistics and suddenly every ride was about bagging hills. We’ve got a long, long way to go when it comes to completing the list, but when I asked him what he wanted to do on our next epic ride day, his answer was simple: “hills”. I plotted a route that bagged two off the list (Fleet Moss and Buttertubs) and added a couple more honorary ones for fun (Kidstones, Askrigg Common) and away we went. At 6000ft vertical, and 60 miles long, it was a tough ride, even for me, and my son admitted after that this was probably about the limit for him, but he rode every inch of every climb, never putting a foot down (this is a point of honour for him!) and finished the day with a massive sense of achievement. So much so, that he insisted I make him a certificate so he could take something to school the next day to show his teacher!

    (Honorary mention: Great Yorkshire Bike Ride. Fab day on the bike!)


    Sintra, was that WeRide?


    Last day in Samoens in July with Tyred Jr. He’s 13 and quite simply a better rider than I am, and the two of us had ridden all over the place by the end of a fortnight split between the Tarantaise and Giffre valleys, but the final end-of-day-sunshine run at his lunatic pace (terrifying for me) down the steep, dusty, rooty, rocky trail was just sublime.

    Easter time up above Carrbridge with the fast youths I coach. They’d all cleaned the horrible tight little rock chute that I wouldn’t even consider attempting myself, were all completely buzzing from it and we spent a glorious hour or so after that hammering some of my favourite trails in those woods, flat out sprinting back up the fire road (training, innit?)

    An sunny afternoon a few weeks ago with both my kids down at GT. Friends we’d been riding with earlier on had all gone home and it was just the three of us. Tyred Jr the younger is 10 and his elder brother’s often a dick to him when we’re out on bikes but for whatever reason seemed to realise just how capable his wee brother is these days and we all had a magic afternoon together, off the beaten track.

    Premier Icon oldejeans

    Three classic rides during an unprecedented spell of wonderful weather that linger in the memory:

    Cadair Idris (solo) and then Mawddach Estuary (with the family) in a day

    Cadair Pano

    Llyn Cowlyd – Llyn Crafnant – Llyn Ogwen

    Llyn Cowlyd

    Cut Gate solo on a warm July evening

    Cut Gate golden hour

    Premier Icon gallowayboy

    5plusn8 yes, WeRide in Sintra……good guys!

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    Beast from the East commute for me too (off the train 5 stops early). 35 woodsy, snowy, dark, lonesome miles home:

    SDW overnight in August was definitely one to remember.  Absolutely amazing ride.  Dawn:

    And I’m going to take the same cop-out/catch-all route with “all my local evening rides” as well.  Been a great year for smashing around the hills, and there’s another 2 months’ worth left of them.

    Riding the Black descent with my 6 year old boy at Balblair Forest, Bonar Bridge in Sutherland.

    Having our first ‘family ride’ up the local woods now my 3 year old girl is proper mobile.

    First night ride last week since my best mate died a few years ago. Only up my local woods but lots of good memories triggered.

    40 Km XC ride in and around La Bresse on the world cup week.

    That’s 4 i know, but fairly humble achievements


    Off the top of my head:

    Racing at Tidworth Rd2.  I’d just about got my new Rocket set up near-perfect and I was riding better than I ever have done despite the dusty conditions making it tough to stay upright!  Was with friends too so had great company.  Only downer was I had selected the wrong category when entering so was in the really fast group.  I was 3 seconds off the next guy but didn’t care as I was 2 seconds up on my PB the year before that was in vastly better conditions!

    My last day out in the PDS this summer, great ride from Chatel over to Morzine for bacon butties and back.  A good way to end a frustrating week as it would have been tough leaving there frustrated as I won’t be back for a few years after going there 5 times in the last 7.

    A day at Windhill last week with a good riding mate who was back on the bike after 10 weeks layoff.  He’d crashed heavily at BPW the last time I rode with him and had been talking about giving up, selling the bikes etc most of that time.  Was great to see him enjoying his riding again, even more than he had before!

    The rest of the year has been all killer-no-filler though too.  The only downside I can think of is that my Trek Fuel EX has been languishing in the corner waiting for a near-rebuild (fork and shock service, new pivot bearings, new drivetrain, new wheels) that I was going to tackle after the lovely weather finished and as it never did  I’m only just getting round to it.  It does mean I’ve been doing all my riding, from XC bimbles to DH days, on my Orange 5 and then my Rocket when it arrived at the beginning of May.  Overbiked for 90% of the time but the riding was so good it didn’t matter.


    So far for 2018, my most awesome nd memorable rides are:

    Trans Cambrian way in April

    Cutgate in sweltering hot weather in August

    An exhilarating day in the Alps on my own charging about in the sunshine on my new full suss

    Premier Icon lunge

    Not much of note this year. The ones that sprint to mid are:

    1. Manchester to London. 220 miles, great weather fast groups, lovely day out.

    2. 40 miles on the canals around the midlands, really diverse sights, lovely weather and something a little different.

    3. Struggling here, maybe my trip to Cannock for the first time in 5 years on a borrowed Yeti SB6..

    Epic year for weather and new bike riding. Top rides this year (so far);-

    * North Coast 500 bike packing on road- adventure bike

    * Coast to Coast Fort William to Aberdeen off road mountain bike

    * I was managing to rideTweed Valley 2 or 3 times a week and got a bit blase about riding Golfy/Inners and GT off piste, so highlight was an after work blast at Yair with the local trailbuilders. Honorable mention to Thrunton as it was a change.

    Premier Icon on and on

    Mont ventoux

    5 ways up the Salève

    lapping lake Geneva in under 5 hours 30.

    Premier Icon hardtailonly

    El Boufador

    Cut gate out and back evening with my mates. Skinny dip at slippery stones, perfect light, perfect trails and perfect company

    <span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”>September: pulled out of the bag, this one. 2 pikes ride (Grisedale and ullock) in one day, with mates. Almost didn’t go to the lakes as the week before the weather looked like it was going to be really poor. However it turned around at the last minute, and was generally pretty ace. Small group, right pace, rode some new trails aba also old favourites</span>

    Two of my favourites too …

    <span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”>My other favourite would be either the Ronde Von Calderdale for its brutal cobbled climbs (type 2 fun, and before the ‘great summer weather’s, or the Yorkshire True Grit.</span>

    But also numerous, local rides. 1-2 hour local MTB blasts. Extended commutes on the Pickenflick. Marvelling in the way that sections of always boggy trail have turned to dust for months this year!


    Same as Jedi, Snowdon trip, peaks cheeky and BPW are high up there. Ard Rock was rad and this summer at the field was ridiculously good week in, week out.


    1. Fred Whitton in May. Sensational weather for the second year running.

    2. Solo Coast to Coast in a day in June.

    3. A fantastic day in the Dolomites on a lovely hired Cervelo doing some classic cols including the Pordoi and Fedaia.

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