What’s LEEDS and the local riding like?

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  • What’s LEEDS and the local riding like?
  • DanW
    Member

    Potentially thinking of postgrad uni in Leeds….

    Forgetting factors such as the exact research topic etc, how would you guys rate Leeds for local riding and general feel? Being in Cardiff at the mo riding is top notch and the place is small enough to walk everywhere and has a great fel to it which I love. Plus theres all the trail centres close and decent, long rides straight out of the city centre. City centre accomadation is ok too. So has does Leeds fair in those types of areas?

    Don’t know that part of the world well at all so any thoughts are useful πŸ˜€

    Ta!

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Great. Starting from the university it’s possible to be on bridlepath within 5 minutes, and Meanwood is a great starting off point and big enough to mess around in for an hour or more. Lots and lots of routes, with the moors / Lake district / Peak district / Scotland all within easy driving distance.

    The uni club is good too – it’s been nearly two years since I finished but they organised trips to trail centres etc at least twice a year, and you had the BUSAs etc on top of that, and organised rides 3 times a week.

    http://www.leeds-uni-cycling.org.uk for more details. [‘ello, new website…]

    The North Leeds group rides two or more times a week. I used to ride with them quite a lot until I finished uni. It’s easier to get to their meets if you have a car, but I rode a few times if it was less than 10 miles. Always finished in a pub which was great. πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    Hi, I live in Leeds

    In terms of general feel of the city it’s always been a nice frendly place to me, so I stayed! The centre/shops is compact for ambling around, but I wouldn’t want to walk accross the entire city – too big for that. Prob about 8 miles across(?).
    Accommodation in the centre consists of lots of new build flats, which personally I would find soulless. Plenty of other places close to the city centre are good though. For somehwere walkable (1.5 miles) to the centre, reasonably priced, good sense of community and lively-ish I think the nicer parts of Burley (LS4 post code) are hard to beat.

    As for the riding, there’s loads! The best thing about Leeds from a mountain biker’s point of view is that there are trails almost right into the city centre. I rate the inner-city woodsy singletrack higher than anything outside the immediate city vicinity. In the summer I regularly ride a technical-ish 2 hour offroad loop to/from work in the centrte and I hardly touch a road. The trails I know generally head to the north of the city. Not sure what there is on the south side really.
    The downside to the woodsy singletrack is that (particularly to the NE) it gets very boggy in winter. This is less of a problem to the NW, especially the moorland to the N of Bradford where things tend to hold up better.
    Another downside to Leeds is that there aren’t many big hils in the immediate vicinity (if you like that sort of thing). There’s enough gradient to keep thinge entertaining, just no big lung busting climbs or epic descents.

    Other than very local trails you’re spoilt for choice if you want a trip out.
    There’s some great trails out to the N of Bradford – Baildon/Shipley/Bingley area – 30 mins
    Calderdale 45 mins
    Peaks 1 hour
    NYM / Dalby 1-1.5 hours
    Dales 1 hour
    Lakes 2 hours
    Wales 2 hours

    I’d recommend it.

    Jimbo
    Member

    "Great. Starting from the university it’s possible to be on bridlepath within 5 minutes, and Meanwood is a great starting off point and big enough to mess around in for an hour or more. Lots and lots of routes, with the moors / Lake district / Peak district / Scotland all within easy driving distance.

    The uni club is good too – it’s been nearly two years since I finished but they organised trips to trail centres etc at least twice a year, and you had the BUSAs etc on top of that, and organised rides 3 times a week.

    http://www.leeds-uni-cycling.org.uk for more details. [‘ello, new website…]"

    BUSA? Leeds? Anyone else know the song? πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    el_boufador

    inner city woodsy singletrack????

    where’s that then.

    twohats
    Member

    Probably talking about The meanwood trail.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    or miggy woods πŸ˜†

    twohats
    Member

    Miggy woods! My old riding spot back in the day…

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    Inner city singletrack? you got it! Clicky linkies

    Meanwood trail takes you all the way out from here to here. Loads of options, lots to explore on this route.

    Various options t’other side of the valley at the city end. Some good hidden switchbacks you need to look for to find. here .PS. I saw some deer here last week!

    Gledhow woods from here to here. Some great sweeping stuff / steep drops here.

    Trail parallel to the ring road here. Tight & fast in places.

    Enough to keep you entertained for an afternoon in Roundhay park

    Some nice trails in Armley about here

    A big disused quarry and some good singletrack out towards Horsforth here

    Some interesting bits & pieces around the Beckett park campus here

    Oh and some GREAT sets of steps here if you like that sort of thing πŸ™‚ here

    Plus there’s other smaller bits & pieces about to link it up.

    You can put all that together into some nice routes without leaving the city.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    That’s very interesting indeed el_boufador, many of those links are close to my in-laws place in Holt Park.

    Any chance of tapping you up for a ride when I’m in town sometime?

    johnhoo
    Member

    howdo Neil, how goes it? Long time no see

    what el_boufador says is spot on

    If he can’t help, check out http://www.northleedsmtb.com or, if I’m guilty of not keeping up to date, http://www.bikemagic.com > forums > rides > north leeds

    twohats
    Member

    From Holt Park there is loads of trails. Breary Marsh, Golden Acre park, Loads of different routes into Eccup, Harewood…

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    Now then Mr Hooper! Long time indeed! Hope you’re keeping well
    How’s North Leeds mtb nowadays? Riding much still?
    I’d love to come back out to play again but alas I have kid + wife (preganant) to contend with so riding time is limited and I tend to ride solo now for convenience’s sake. I really should make the effort to get out with you guys again ’cause it was great fun.

    chakaping – yeah give me a shout I can show you a great route from your folks’ front door, taking in many of the links I added. As twohats says there is also a lot of good stuff outside the city too.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    If you like playing around on technical stuff, Stainburn is not too far from a train station on the Harrogate line (Poole?).

    SingletrAction

    DanW
    Member

    Thanks for that guys!

    Being a country lad I like to have a bit of greenery and countryside nearby be it for riding or just having a wander or whatever. Sounds like Leeds is just what I’m after riding-wise as an XC/ Enduro type fella πŸ˜€

    Sounds like Leeds has that nice fairly small community type feel by your comments too which I love about Cardiff. Wow that makes me sound like a tree hugger! Would you describe the centre (shops/ pubs/ clubs) as really rough or is it generally alright? Sometimes you can walk around Cardiff even on Friday/ Saturday nights and not see that many people out and about!

    Any other nice living spots along with Burley? I’m sick of shoddy student houses and can’t wait to live somewhere ‘normal people’ are allowed to live πŸ˜†

    Huge thanks to everyone for your input!

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    most of the areas surrounding leeds city center are shyte holes
    imagine a dart board, the bull is ok, the outer is to be avoided at all costs.
    aim for outside the ring road or not much inside it.

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    >Any other nice living spots along with Burley? I’m sick of shoddy student houses and can’t wait to live somewhere ‘normal people’ are allowed to live.

    It’s nice here in the Aire Valley, i.e. Bingley, Shipley, Saltaire, Baildon etc, Leeds is 20mins away on the train and there’s good riding on the doorstep.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    You need local advice on where to live.
    If wanting to live in North Leeds near the Uni then Meanwood has some nice bits and is good for trails.
    Avoid at all costs the area near Chestnut avenue, its the most burgled street in the UK and is in the centre of a grotty area.
    Cookridge and Horsforth is also nice.

    If looking for a slightly different feel, try south Leeds. I live in Woodlesford and can be in centre of Leeds in 10 mins by train.
    Much of south Leeds is crap though. In fact me and Ton live in the only nice areas!
    If minted, then the area north of the ringroad is the area of choice, but its a fortune.

    Avoid east leeds (I grew up there…Seacroft/Crosgates/Gipton) as there is nothing for a student other than the 56 bus into the centre of leeds.

    Leeds is a nice City and if you come I hope you enjoy it. I had a great time at the university there.

    johnhoo
    Member

    Neil – NLMTB is still going strong; I don’t always get ride details in time to update the website, but I do try. Otherwise BikeMagic is the place to look.

    I haven’t ridden as much this last 12 months due to the cr@p weather & a hefty case of "can’tbebothereditis", but I aim to do more in ’09. Need to get some miles in on my tod before joining up with the night rides though. Might join some of Gerry’s Thursday rides

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    el_bouf – Cheers mate. My email’s in my profile if you’d like to drop me a line and I’ll get in touch when I’m heading up.

    DanW
    Member

    To be fair Cardiff has some shady areas I wouldn’t want to live but as a student you don’t have any reason to go there. The rubbish housing seems to be designated "student housing" but the areas themselves are ok. I guess it’s the same everywhere πŸ™„

    I’ve been trying to map out all these areas mentioned in relation to the uni and so on and think I’m getting a rough picture. Out of interest where is the main shopping centre in Leeds? There seems to be lots dotted about but which area is the ‘central shopping area’? For anyone that knows Cardiff, the Queen’s Street/ St. Mary’s Street equivalent?

    It’s amazing the info the STW massif can provide in such a short space of time! I remember when I first went to uni STW was my first port of call for opinions and riding details and so on. Kind of worrying in a a sense I guess! πŸ˜€

    DanW
    Member

    Found the shopping centre I was after… just across the inner ringroad from the uni if I am not mistaken? It’s hard to judge distances though. How long would you say it takes to walk from the university of Leeds area to say the Headrow shopping centre?

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    15 mins tops

    chb, you fancy a ride.
    you are only 2 mins away.

    AndyP
    Member

    There’s some great riding around. And I used to love working at Cookridge Hospital. But it could be argued that the rest of Leeds should actually be spelled S-H-I-T-H-O-L-E.

    Philby
    Member

    Quite a bit of good riding around Otley Chevin.

    Headingley area and Far Headingley are probably reasonable places to live, even if they are a few too many students, as is Horsforth mentioned above.

    toxicsoks
    Member

    I live in Roundhay which is very nice with good access to the park and 10mins out into proper countryside. There are, er, toilet areas to be avoided like Gipton, Seacroft, Harehills, Middleton, Belle Isle, Beeston etc but it’s not all crap. No big city is going to be trouble/chav free.

    toxicsoks
    Member

    I haven’t ridden as much this last 12 months due to the cr@p weather & a hefty case of "can’tbebothereditis", but I aim to do more in ’09. Need to get some miles in on my tod before joining up with the night rides though. Might join some of Gerry’s Thursday rides

    Sounds very familiar, John. Maybe we should form a ‘Not very fit club’ and get some practice in – as long as it’s dry!!!
    πŸ˜‰

    Er, you may know me by my more ‘gentrified’ monicker on ‘another’ forum.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    Toxicsoks lists many of the worst areas, but misses many of the really grotty bits near the Uni. For example I would much rather live in Seacroft than Woodhouse moor!

    Ton ride would be a good idea. You know where I live (next door to Dan and Gill, you had just gotten the beige on-one when we met at their house once!).

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    One weird thing about Leeds (certainly the bits I know to the north west and east) is that there’s quite a mix of small nice areas immediately adjacent to small not-so-nice areas.
    For example, some of Meanwood is lovely, and some is toilet. Sme of Burley is lovely, and some is toilet. Local knowledge is definitely recommended.

    In my experience the only bit to avoid en-mass is East Leeds i.e. Gipton/Seacroft, which are essentially white trash sink estates.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    Oi…el bouf! Thats the white trash sink estate that spawned me.

    You sound foreign with a name like el Boufador, wouldn’t be welcome in seacroft. πŸ‘Ώ

    Rich_s
    Member

    Here’s worth a trip – go to the top of the hill; ride WNW. Try not to die. It can easily be combined into a trip round Pudsey – take the canal out of the city centre and then loop round from the Calverley area. Never more than 1/2 a mile from a pub and some decent riding πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    More Leeds riders to be found over at

    Bad Brains

    Regular rides Tues, Thurs and Sundays. Nice folk to ride with, range of abilities/areas ridden/sanity.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    chb, bloody heck mate.
    how are you.
    we WILL have to do a ride.
    mail me, it is in my profile.

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Subscriber

    Nah I’m white trash mesen. And I live almost in Gipton.

    twohats
    Member

    I was born and raised in Seacroft never did me any harm, yes its a bit, er, rough, but there is far worse places, like the next place I moved to, Armley! Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire! If there is anywhere that is at the top of my list of places to razed to the ground, Armley is it!
    Leeds, on the whole, is a great city to live in, just make sure you choose the right area to live in.

    gringerd
    Member

    Chakaping.
    I’m a Holt Park resident. Gimme a shout when you’re up and I can show you some canny trails from there.

    Some literally right on the doorstep. πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Will do Gringerd – cheers.

    My email’s in my profile if you’d like to drop me a line.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    Leeds Centre is nice, I’ve been here for 3 years without a jot of bother.

    Hyde park is oKayish

    Headingley, Meanwood, Cookridge, Chapel Allerton, Moortown, Roundhay, and almost anything along the A65 (not so much the closest part to the city) are nice.

    Same with the A61, anything north of Potternewton Lane is pretty nice.

    toxicsoks
    Member

    CHB – yeah, I did miss out the Woodhouse Moor area (and Chapeltown, CPT!!) – my mind tends to blank these places out! πŸ˜‰

    As with a few others, I was born and raised in Gipton but managed to escape via an education and decent job to the gentrified, detatched snobfest that is Roundhay, donchaknow!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    mark_b
    Member

    I rate the inner-city woodsy singletrack higher than anything outside the immediate city vicinity

    sounds like someone confined to the city centre (and by that i mean within the outer ring road).

    Once you get out the city you are surrounded by great riding. NW of Leeds has hills with the Chevin being plenty high enough to have a decent amount of up and down.

    And Leeds Uni is great 8)

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