What are your WORST 3 trailcentres

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  • What are your WORST 3 trailcentres
  • llandegla is pretty good IMO, better than Cannock. OK, its not the most hardcore rail, but its like any other trail in that the quicker you ride the better it gets. it flows well, has got some nice little jumps in and hasnt ever been overcrowded when ive been there. the new bits are also a good addition. try it, if youre used to cannock then you’ll like llandegla.

    and the cafe is pretty good too!

    3 worst –

    1)Sherwood pines (but theyve done well with what they have to work with)
    2)Afan (massive ballache imo, just a bit unimaginitive)
    3)Marin trail (as others have said – too much bloody fire road)

    neninja
    Member

    The built trails as Grizedale are less than inspiring but Grizedale has some of the best natural bridleways and by-ways in Lake District.

    Personally Whinlatter left me cold and I wasn’t convinced by Dalby.

    Hamsterley is my local centre and needs local knowledge to get the best from it otherwise the black would seem too short and the large parts of the red too dull.

    Frankly I given a choice I get far more fun riding natural trails – NYM, the Dales etc.

    I’m sorry but having Kirroughtree as one of the worst trail centres is just totally unacceptable to me and I’m not having it!! πŸ˜€

    I can understand that some people don’t enjoy centres, but there has to be a point where you can recognise a well designed trail which is enjoyed by people who like to use their pedals, and Kirroughtree is just amazing if you enjoy peddling, it just flows and flows and flows.

    And as for Ae, well I can understand how people may have felt it was over hyped, but the Omega Man is great if you add in the shredder.

    All you have to do is look at the smiles on people’s faces, even on tamer centres. If they are not for you then that is fine, but really, I think they are amazing for what they are, which is places to have fun and to help people get into mountain biking in a controlled environment!

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    Re: North Face (Grizedale). I actually really enjoyed the climb. It made a nice change not to be doing it on fireroad and the bends and slightly technical nature made it go faster.
    However, once on top, it never let you have any fun. Always controlling your speed. It’s only the last 500m where it gets good.

    2tyred
    Member

    Ae’s getting a bit of a bashing here – I rode there recently for the first time in 6 or 7 years and really enjoyed what I rode (albeit I was there with Tyred Jr and we did an edited version of the Ae Line red at his speed rather than mine). I think there’s been a fair bit of work done there since I’d previously been, just wondering if those criticising it have ridden it recently?

    This strikes me as an odd thread TBH. Some places are obviously better than others, but folks seem to be harshly critical which seems a little misplaced when you consider the amount of work and cost that goes into something completely unnecessary artificially created out of the natural environment FOR YOUR LEISURE at very little direct cost to you!

    (I thought Grizedale was rubbish as well)

    arrpee
    Member

    1. Ae. It’s seen some recent improvements, but somehow it just never seems worth the effort.

    2. Carron Valley. OK for a quick blast and the last descent is good fun, but the remainder just seems like too much of a compromise. Apparently the Eas Dubh descent was actually intended as a blue-graded climb, which goes a long way toward explaining how frustrating it is to ride. Also the last third of Cannonball Run (yay, uphill jumps!). As has been discussed at length elsewhere, it’s a criminal waste of the area’s potential.

    3. Lochgilphead Fire Tower Trail. Haven’t been in a long while, but when I last visited, it featured the longest, dullest fire road climb ever, comically poor signage and rather disjointed layout.

    Fun though it is to moan, I suppose it is a bit of a slap in the face to those who bothered to pick up a shovel, or lobby for permission to build. Especially as I’ve done neither. 😳

    Seems harsh to critise peoples hard work that I pay a couple of Β£ and get to ride, but

    1 Northface at Grizdale was bland apart from the end
    2 Moray Monster – for lots of reasons.
    3 Afan – The Wall is fine at the end but the first hours or so is rubbish, a new bridge by the trail center would help fix it mind.

    Other notable mentions

    Thetford – Although its not their fault that it flat.
    Keilder – Is their fault cos its not.
    Kirroughtree, rode it 3 times and just seem over rated to me

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    KIrroughtree. I’d looked forward to riding it for years, found it a bit dull, then fell and sliced my arm open. I’ve now resorted to road riding to get my cycling kicks. Must be a natural evolution…or some might say regression πŸ˜†

    Also the last third of Cannonball Run (yay, uphill jumps!)

    Maybe you need to learn to carry more speed from the earlier sections πŸ˜†

    Dalbeattie – always find it gets pretty repetitive by the end; “oh look, more big blocks to ride over”. I’ve ridden there a few times, and I always start by enjoying it, but end up longing for it to finally end as there’s very little of interest in the last few miles.

    Carron Valley – I appreciate the work the CVDG did just getting the existing trails, but it’s really frustrating that the FC scuppered the chance to have a decent trail centre close to Glasgow.

    Glentress – each time I go down, they seem to have converted more of the Red route into a BMX track, replacing the eroded trails that were actually engaging to ride.

    Pooley
    Member

    weeksy, so you don’t rate Cwmcarn much, begs the question, where do you mostly ride then? Although limited in quantity CC quality surpasses Afan. IMO Cheers

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Not really into slagging off other people’s hard work but Llandegla wasn’t enjoyable for me personally. It is just mountain biking by numbers, huge wide tracks, nothing inspirational, heaving with people more into bikes than biking, if you know what I mean.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Wharncliffe could be something, if FC would pull their finger out.

    Apparently Singletraction shot themselves in the foot a bit with the FC ranger by generaly anoying him, hence nothing gets done. But it works as a DH center and TBH if it became another Dalby they’d probably have to sanitise the DH tracks. I like it in the summer when it’s dry.

    Guisbrorough woods. I tried to ride the red route but got so bored I gave up, it’s just fireroad with 1 muddy unclimbable climb* and 1 downhill, which is OK, if a bit short as it’s pretty much straight down the hill, could have been 3x the length and still been plenty steep enough.

    *it’s a good decent though, you still ocasionaly see people ‘lost’ trying to climb it.

    Keilder, it just doesnt flow (for me). and the decents are a bit monotonous, just corner after corner after corner with no line choices, no features, nowt?

    Thanks Mrcrushrider…

    jimster
    Member

    Afan for me, loved Penhydd but the rest of it you can keep.

    AndyP
    Member

    I’ve not ridden too many, but Wharncliffe and Hamsterley seem to have missed the best trails in the area. Seems a bit odd for a trail centre, that.

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    Dalby, Marin, Llandegla.

    But then I’ve only ridden three trail centres in my entire life so they’re my favourite three too. Flipping brilliant fun all, I really should make time to visit some more.

    You’re all a bunch of spoiled kids, I remember battering around swampy bits of Peak District on a canti-braked Raleigh gate twenty years ago and having a bloody marvellous time, of course I wore an onion on my belt which was the style at the time, now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em…

    llandegla… best ridden on HT or FS?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Depends, which would you rather ride?

    Cannock chase..for shizzle….polished round rocks stupid in the wet and a stupid amount of braking pumbs everywhere…the ever I’ve ever seen anywhere…

    Then brechfa….crap

    Then…..
    Ashton court…

    Leigh woods over the road was good and there spending loads money on it should be done by next year..

    Final descent at forest of dean red run was mega fun…pushed up “hell hill” three times to run it again…

    tomlevell
    Member

    Guisbrorough woods. I tried to ride the red route but got so bored I gave up, it’s just fireroad with 1 muddy unclimbable climb* and 1 downhill, which is OK, if a bit short as it’s pretty much straight down the hill, could have been 3x the length and still been plenty steep enough.

    *it’s a good decent though, you still ocasionaly see people ‘lost’ trying to climb it.

    It’s climable. **** hard but it’s doable which to me is a good thing. Doesn’t work as a waymarked uphill though granted.

    While I’m here.
    Mabie – Yawn
    Ae – irritatingly bumpy and dull and could have been amazing
    Grizedale – It’s ok.

    depending on how long I’m going to be in the saddle is usually my deciding factor. I use both at cannock (at different times) but I don’t think I’d want to do more than cannock on the HT as it leaves me a bit broken.. and its setup 1×9 which is probably more of a deciding factor.

    P-Jay
    Member

    CYB – Slow, rocky, no flow – I’d bet the type of rider who doesn’t like Cwmcarn or Llandegla would like it, Horses for courses…

    Aston Court, a big multi-directional unmarked mud bath, or least it was.

    Not a complete centre, but another vote for Skyline, pointlessly long, and made of up miles, and miles, and miles of featureless fire road to string together pretty so-so singletrack. It could be made so much better by cutting out the pointless long fireroad loop (nothing more depressing than crossing a road you road along an hour earlier and all you’ve done in that hour is ride fireroad. Ditch the furthest part, advertise the shortcuts better and make it a snappy little 20-30k loop with that amazing final descent and you’d get more than the usuall 6 dozen riders a week on it. It wouldn’t be so overgrown and boggy ether then.

    Premier Icon Paceman
    Subscriber
    xterramac
    Member

    I started a project at the begining of this year:
    Not a complex one, I just set out to ride all of the red routes at every one the UK trail centres in one year….

    North Face Trail at Grizedale was a big let down given the area and the hype around it when it was first built. To much boardwalk not enough flow, for my liking……………

    Thetford was not really like the man made trail I hoped for, it was more like any other woodland trail found in any village, only flatter and less natural feeling, i achually got bored riding round Thetford…………………

    At Wharncliffe, i think the locals must have moved the signs, as all i found was zero flow, deep mud and a trail that felt very unfinished after the first 500meters gave the impression it was going to be ok, before it just vanished into nothing! The DH there is ment to be world class, so id have thought the trail might be a gem and not a turd….

    ” you can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”

    Premier Icon cheers_drive
    Subscriber

    Marin
    Llangdegla
    Mabie

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Wharncliffe, i think the locals must have moved the signs, as all i found was zero flow, deep mud and a trail that felt very unfinished after the first 500meters gave the impression it was going to be ok….

    I’ve only ridden bits of it but the impression I got was it’s a vaguely technical way of linking the top car park withthe downhill runs. It’s only dissapointing if you ride it in the wet or think its an actual ride in itself πŸ™‚

    For me Sherwood Pines was a big disappointment, laid out with no feel for the terrain, too many straight lines, and a clear lack of investment in surfacing and build. It reminded me of the old Ashton Court trail in Bristol, better than nothing but not really up to being promoted as an official trail. The jumps and DH areas were great though.

    I can’t think of any other trail centres I’ve genuinely disliked. The Seven Stanes seem to be getting a lot of flak but IMO they do live up to the hype. Much of Ae was closed when we rode it and the diversions were so badly thought out (a quick portage through a stagnant swamp anybody?), but that was a couple of years back.

    Brechfa in the wet last weekend was a bit of a handful but that’s down to the rider, not the trail.

    ojom
    Member

    Glentress – each time I go down, they seem to have converted more of the Red route into a BMX track, replacing the eroded trails that were actually engaging to ride.

    Ride the black nice and fast then instead.

    jonba
    Member

    I’ve only ever been disappointed with one trail centre and that was Dalby. I just remember it being mostly very easy and a little dull. We did a ride out over the moor from there which was much better.

    Premier Icon rootes1
    Subscriber

    Black route at Bedgebury

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7gKq53cycY[/video]

    That for real?

    Rougher bits on the road route c2c!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    With Kirroughtree, personally I don’t think it measures up to the hype but then very little would. That doesn’t make it bad though… Just, possibly disappointing.

    McMoab didn’t disappoint. I found it tough as, and very different to anything I’ve ridden before.

    wrecker
    Member

    Cannock. The only one I’ve been to which has disappointed me.

    stuboy2uk
    Member

    Anyone saying Penmachno or Marin is either seriously spoiled for trail centres, mental, or obviously just too shit or unfit to ride them properly πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon ChrisL
    Subscriber

    I’d forgotten about the Moray Monster trails. The Ben Aigan Hammer was pretty dull but in the other bits I found the Gully Monster made up for a lot of so-so riding.

    It had never even occurred to me to consider the fun park at Kirkhill a trail centre, more just a vaguely entertaining way to finish a ride in the rest of the forest.

    and ChrisL – what were you driving at CV? we used to razz around trailbuilding at CV in everything from clios to lowered audis and not so much as a knock on the sump. The road in was more like a bombing range than a road though

    It was my bog-standard, not lowered, Skoda Octavia. Ambushed by an unexpectedly deep pothole on a demo day. πŸ™

    ouch. aye some of the potholes should have been reclassified as geological features. Thats what happens in a “working forest” though apparently…

    Carron Valley…it’s a criminal waste of the area’s potential.

    couldn’t agree more. second only to Fauldhouse! in the number of people within a 2 hour radius (something like 2.7m people within an hours drive)

    it was (and is) a huge untapped resource. Still, its not for the lack of trying πŸ™‚ http://www.carronvalley.org.uk

    as for the uphill jumps all jumps go uphill, if they dont they are drop-offs πŸ™‚

    Must not be going fast enough πŸ˜‰

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Apparently Singletraction shot themselves in the foot a bit with the FC ranger by generaly anoying him, hence nothing gets done.

    It’s the first time I’ve seen it worded in that way, as though it was SingletrActions fault. I guess there’s two sides to a story and all that.

    just re-read that. smiley overload…

    Apparently Singletraction shot themselves in the foot a bit with the FC ranger by generaly anoying him, hence nothing gets done.

    I’d love to know how you came by that impression? Care to share?

    I wouldn’t say SingletrAction shot itself in the foot, I’d say FC consistently failed to engage, realise the potential of the place and to make anything good happen. So total was their lack of positive input that nothing the local guys did, be it planning, route design and marking out or anything else was ever going to suceed. For example, when we get the offer of free aggregate and that’s rejected (for no clear or stated reason) by FC what are we supposed to do?

    The Beat Forester is usually key to getting anything done and in the case of Wharncliffe the BF didn’t want to know. This was despite numerous emails and comm’s trying to meet and make arrangements / strike up a relationship. Unfortunately the only person with any cycle-savy from FC was Chris, the ranger for Sherwood Pines but his involvement was a bit arms length, “ranger without a mandate” so I think he was always struggling to be effective in this instance.

    When SingletrAction got involved there was a fairly active unofficial trail building contingent and a sizeable existing user group (MTB, nevermind all the other recreation activities). We first got invited in because the FC threat was to eradicate all trails in the woods due to user conflict on the bridleway / trail at the bottom (Trans Pennine?). We intiially helped do some stuff to address this, and completed everything we agreed to do. FC never came on site with plant and machinery to build the big catch berm and trail re-route as was agreed but hey ho. Whatever else, the trails are still there in part thanks to our work.

    Try juggling a bunch of unofficial trail builders, a group trying to get things on a legitimate footing, rider / volunteer apathy and the fact that any minute change to existing trails was pored over with a split of “love it” / “hate it” response that ranged from internet flammings to physically removing stuff on site. Great fun :-S

    So saying nothing got done because we annoyed the FC is so far from the truth as to be laughable.

    At Wharncliffe, i think the locals must have moved the signs, as all i found was zero flow, deep mud and a trail that felt very unfinished after the first 500meters gave the impression it was going to be ok, before it just vanished into nothing! The DH there is ment to be world class, so id have thought the trail might be a gem and not a turd….

    The woods are subject to quite a bit of antisocial use (quads, 4x4s, car theft and vandalism etc). They’ve also got some local characters who were pretty happy to threaten anyone doing stuff they didn’t like and vandalising signs / cars was a too frequent occurence.

    Laughably signs got put in a year or more ago for the XC route along the intended alignment. But we never built the damn thing, it feels unfinished because it’s exactly that. Volunteers did what they could but we staed from the outset it needed a fully armoured construction (i.e. hardcore and rock surfacing). Without FC letting us bring that in it will always turn to slop come the winter months.

    Add to this that the delicate balance of volunteer enthusiasm was constantly being undermined as we tried to “hold back” folks who wanted to just carry on with unofficial building with a promise that FC would permit some good stuff sooner or later. As FC never did come through (in fact most comm’s were usually of the “don’t do this, we’re taking that out ..” kind then that promise became very hollow. Everyone got fed up and eventually it all fizzled out.

    I have a lot of respect for the people both local and within SingletrAction who tried their hardest, on a voluntary basis, to try and make something happen at Wharncliffe. The fact it didn’t doesn’t rest with them. Maybe looking at the organisation with a mandate to promote physical activity, who have an underused site within spitting distance of major urban conurbations, with better ttransport links than almost any other “trail centre” and that would be usefully deployed to ease visitor pressure on one of the busiest (footfall by area) national parks in the UK might be a bit better? Heavenforbid they might even be publicly funded and the land might be publicly owned?

    They might even have taken a commercial view what with the UK’s “greatest ever DHer” on the site’s doorstep advocating development.

    Pfft πŸ˜›

    But hey ho, I’m ranting and facts or reality should never get in the way of the odd throw away comment, eh?

    Cheers

    Tim
    Chairman, SingletrAction

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