Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)
  • Your thoughts on MTB short breaks in the UK….
  • Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    I am hoping this thread will turn into a discussion what you do and don’t like about MTB short breaks in the UK?

    Have you been on one?

    Where was it?

    Did you like it/ not like it & why?

    What would it take to make it a ‘memory‘?

    Just give me your best thoughts……

    In the meantime if you wouldn’t mind taking a short survey (6 questions) – it would be much appreciated.

    Link to Survey

    (Note: I have checked with STW and they have agreed this thread – thanks STW!)

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    I think I’d struggle to see the benefit in the UK. If I wanted a weekend somewhere there are plenty of accommodation options and lots of routes available either on-line, in mags or by asking the locals. I’m not sure how guided riding or an organised break could add value.

    Premier Icon Bazz
    Free Member

    Me and a mate went away with Saddle skedaddle to the peaks a couple of years ago and our overall impressions were favorable. We reckon for the cost it would have been hard for us just to feed ourselves and get accommodation, the fact that we also got guides and lunch bought out to us on the trails were a bonus.

    In fact the only down side was having to wait for slower riders to catch up (and i’m no whippet!).

    Would reccomend and will probably go again one day.

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    nickjb – Member

    I think I’d struggle to see the benefit in the UK. If I wanted a weekend somewhere there are plenty of accommodation options and lots of routes available either on-line, in mags or by asking the locals. I’m not sure how guided riding or an organised break could add value.

    Thanks – some valid points there.

    What about those weekends you just want to go away and ride somewhere different?

    Maybe not guided, but how about shuttles to the best riding stops, maps of routes (or GPX etc.), accommodation sorted (with riding from the doorstep) & grub served in the morning and the evening.

    Maybe looking at it as a ‘riding weekend’ rather than an MTB short break? What do you think?

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    Me and a mate went away with Saddle skedaddle to the peaks a couple of years ago and our overall impressions were favorable. We reckon for the cost it would have been hard for us just to feed ourselves and get accommodation, the fact that we also got guides and lunch bought out to us on the trails were a bonus.

    In fact the only down side was having to wait for slower riders to catch up (and i’m no whippet!).

    Would reccomend and will probably go again one day.

    Excellent – thanks for the feedback.

    Premier Icon TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    I have left some comments on the survey but basically I do not want to pay for guiding.

    I like to read a map and explore and its entertaining to ask on here for routes / riding buddies. You might get better riding from a paid guide but its less predictable and more entertaining to take a more random option IMO

    Premier Icon TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    Maybe not guided, but how about shuttles to the best riding stops, maps of routes (or GPX etc.), accommodation sorted (with riding from the doorstep) & grub served in the morning and the evening.

    Maybe looking at it as a ‘riding weekend’ rather than an MTB short break? What do you think?

    More like it I think – accommodation for MTBers with guiding as a possible extra

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    Thanks for the feedback TJ – I added those comments, because it extremely difficult to describe how I would want you to feel. I just want MTB’ers to have fun somewhere different!

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Full Member

    I left some comments on the survey, but don’t mind the idea of being guided by someone who knows the land in an area that he/she calls home. Frankly, the social opportunities presented by a guided ride are interesting to me. A bit like ‘City Slickers’!

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Sometimes it’s nice to be guided and not to worry about planning routes with unfamiliar terrain.

    Definitely would want food included but wouldn’t object if there was a pub within walking distance, provided it wasn’t nouveau cuisine!

    No way would I want camping or bunkhouse accommodation – I’m old so like some home comforts – and that includes a decent shower. 🙂

    Edit: yes, the idea of being dropped off at the trail could be good. My big concern would be ability cos everyone is bound to be quicker than me. 🙁

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Full Member

    I doubt you’ll find my comment of ‘no guide’ very helpful! 😀 But hey I filled it out regardless.

    Premier Icon spacemonkey
    Free Member

    Not sure I agree with it being preferable to simply explore freestyle as opposed to pay for a guide. I’ve not been on a guided break, but I have been away to places around Wales and Scotland where a couple of mates who know the trails have basically done the ‘guiding’. That’s similar enough to me in that they know where to go and the rest of us don’t. Hence it makes sense to ‘follow’ them for a few hours a day and get the most out of the time/trails instead of faffing around.

    Having said that, if I had the oppt to head to say the Lakes or the Peaks or the Alps or Moab for a week starting Monday, and there’d be no guide, I’d be there in a shot. But I’d also pay for someone else’s experience/knowledge/awareness/patter/etc on said trails.

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    Some more great feedback – thank you.

    It seems that some want guiding, some don’t.

    I am also hearing that – transport (i.e. shuttle), decent accommodation & food is a big plus?

    When I talk about a bunkhouse, this one will have all the facilities that I would want when mountain biking – i.e. On the doorstep to Dartmoor (able to ride out the door straight onto Dartmoor), Secure bike storage, Central Heating (for the less warm days in the UK), a drying room for all kit, hot showers (there are plenty of them and they are designed to take the grim & muck of MTB’ers), you will get a full english breakfast (all with local Westcountry produce!), a ‘homecooked’ evening meal (again all with local produce) & finally a packed lunch can be provided.

    The price will be very attractive and will include either: Guiding or shuttle & maps (inc. GPX) – so the price won’t vary, just your choice of how you want to do it?

    Also thinking of doing a ‘Green Plan’ – we have excellent transport links via train that comes within 1 & 1/2 miles of said destination and within this option, collection & drop off at the local station (trains stop here from all major locations) will be included – so if you want to leave the car behind, then you can!

    Please take the survey and leave as many comments on here as you can – the more I get filling in the survey, the better I can make the experience!

    Thanks All.

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Free Member

    Regarding the showers – can they cope with the whole group coming back from a ride with typically British weather, and all heading for the showers en masse?

    Or will those at the back of the queue find there’s no hot water left?

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    offthebrakes – Member

    Regarding the showers – can they cope with the whole group coming back from a ride with typically British weather, and all heading for the showers en masse?

    Or will those at the back of the queue find there’s no hot water left?

    There are 6 showers all designed specifically for walkers/bikers etc. (i.e. can take the mud without need to ‘hose’ down first) and say if it’s a group of 8 for instance, two might have to wait a little longer (maybe allowing for those that faff about with their bikes etc. – I have riding buddies like that??). There is constant hot water, so it would never run short!

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Would you like to deal with an awkward customer? 😉

    I would not stay anywhere without an en suite. You may well find that other girlies feel the same. Maybe some blokes do. Maybe it’s an age thing! Naturally one expects to pay more for this.

    The ‘green plan’ sounds commendable and obviously offers flexibility and more scope for exploring.

    Looking forward to hearing more about this. 🙂

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    cinnamon_girl – Member

    Would you like to deal with an awkward customer?

    I would not stay anywhere without an en suite. You may well find that other girlies feel the same. Maybe some blokes do. Maybe it’s an age thing! Naturally one expects to pay more for this.

    The ‘green plan’ sounds commendable and obviously offers flexibility and more scope for exploring.

    Looking forward to hearing more about this.

    Awkward customers always welcome! 😉

    There are a few choices of accommodation available – one of the bunkhouses has 6 beds ( max 8 ) with it’s own ensuite & small kitchen? So this might suit a group? (and you?).

    Premier Icon jedi
    Free Member

    i regularly go oop norf to scotland and places. 🙂

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    There are a few choices of accommodation available – one of the bunkhouses has 6 beds ( max 8 ) with it’s own ensuite & small kitchen? So this might suit a group? (and you?).

    At the risk of receiving abuse, there’s no way I would want to share a bathroom with any blokes!

    It would be useful nevertheless to mention any alternative B & B accommodation that’s close by.

    Premier Icon bonj
    Free Member

    If you are in, or are thinking of getting into, the business of selling short MTB breaks, then your best bet is to market it to foreigners.
    British people think nothing of paying for a “package” MTB holiday and/or guiding in the pyrennees or alps but most wouldn’t for the UK – they’d just take to the trails off their own bat, on a shoestring. But people who don’t necessarily know the UK as well, probably would.

    Premier Icon TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    I am with CG here – proper ensuite or I stay elsewhere 🙂

    However I doubt that would actually put of many of your core custonmers

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    cinnamon_girl – Member

    At the risk of receiving abuse, there’s no way I would want to share a bathroom with any blokes!

    It would be useful nevertheless to mention any alternative B & B accommodation that’s close by.

    B&B could arranged. The showers are separate, i.e. Disabled (anyone can use)/ Women/ Men – and that is aside from the ensuite – so you wouldn’t have to share. Built just for you! 😉

    Premier Icon yunki
    Free Member

    will you be employing locally..?

    I’d make a useful [part-time] second guide for bringing up the rear and shepherding stragglers.. ( I can’t lead cos I’m way too slow )

    🙂

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Free Member

    Done your survey…

    I did a short break to Wales with a mate a few years back – I’m in central Spain so it was a trip abroad for me 🙂 I really enjoyed the trip, B&B accommodation which was pretty reasonable, great riding around Afan and Coed, it even rained on the last day which made a pleasant change from the usual dust-fest I get here.

    So would I consider it? Yes. Although it’d be a right pain to get to Devon from Madrid!

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    yunki – Member

    will you be employing locally..?

    I’d make a useful [part-time] second guide for bringing up the rear and shepherding stragglers.. ( I can’t lead cos I’m way too slow )

    Yes, Yunki – that is full intention! If you are serious, you never know…

    Done your survey…

    I did a short break to Wales with a mate a few years back – I’m in central Spain so it was a trip abroad for me I really enjoyed the trip, B&B accommodation which was pretty reasonable, great riding around Afan and Coed, it even rained on the last day which made a pleasant change from the usual dust-fest I get here.

    So would I consider it? Yes. Although it’d be a right pain to get to Devon from Madrid!

    Thanks for the feedback. I have considered, but not confirmed that for overseas visitors – there may be airport transfers available, but this will come at at an extra cost? 🙁

    Premier Icon bigthunder
    Free Member

    I do a few weekend away type jaunts(the last one was Skye) and would always stay in Scotland. Guided rides are ok but expensive – we were quoted 35quid each for a borders ride! – So I wouldnt go for that. Skye was excellant but what was interesting was how different our opinions ended up. I didnt think much of the Sligachan riding for example but my mate loved it. A lot of riding up here is weather dependant as well and a run to Torridon which I didnt fancy turned horrible. The ratio of driving to distance rideable is very important and trail centres are good for that. Thats a good w/end. Glencoe sat then FW sunday – ace!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I prefer a bit of googling, find a bunch of locals and ask if I can tag allong on the back of the group.

    Never had a problem (apart from SFB who sent me to the wrong car park by accident!)

    Accomodation = quiet car park + car boot + sleeping bag.

    Premier Icon Ecky-Thump
    Free Member

    Also done survey.
    Just to balance things up a bit re accomodation preferences, I’d go for bunkhouse if going as a group. Near a pub!

    I think you’ll possibly struggle to identify what people would see as added value unless you can be more specific about the type of riding that would be on offer. eg, lots of rocky, techy (think pass-storming) stuff… then I’d see an uplift as something worth paying for… but I don’t naturally associate Devon with that type of riding (I may be wrong!)
    I’d not want to pay for guiding along cross country moorland plods on legit’ trails but I’d maybe pay to be guided around the secret challenging cheeky stuff. I fear though that you might get your house torched by the locals if you start building a business model around that. 😉

    Premier Icon trailmonkey
    Free Member

    I used to run a mtb holiday company on dartmoor called bike-dartmoor.com. i’d be glad to pass on any info that i can.

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    trailmonkey – Member

    I used to run a mtb holiday company on dartmoor called bike-dartmoor.com. i’d be glad to pass on any info that i can.

    That would be great! My email is in my profile if you have any pearls of wisdom? How come you don’t do it anymore?

    Premier Icon trailmonkey
    Free Member

    a combination of losing a whole spring (the busiest period) due to injury, doing an ou degree and falling out of love with cycling for a living did it for me in the end. as i wasn’t providing the lodgings myself, the only profit in the business came from guiding.

    you’re going to get a very distorted picture of things from the stw audience most of whom are more than happy to either do things for themselves or hook up with another forum member to show them around. advertising in mbr and what mtb provided the core of my punters although i ran ads on here and got a few results from it. i’d put the same questionaire on the mbr and bikeradar forums if i were you to get a more balanced view.

    ygm

    Premier Icon hilldodger
    Free Member

    Guiding seems a good way to get to know a new area and adds value to a short break. You can often use up a weekend following ‘promising looking’ routes on an OS map only to find yourself dead ended and having to retrace your route.

    Lack of ‘en suite facilities’ isn’t even vaguely important IMO – as long as there’s working hot showers, a good communal eating/drinking/chatting area and somewhere dry/warm to kip that’s fine – it is an “adventure sports activity” after all and personally I wouldn’t want to share a biking weekend with a bunch of fussy bathroomers 😆

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    trailmonkey – Member

    a combination of losing a whole spring (the busiest period) due to injury, doing an ou degree and falling out of love with cycling for a living did it for me in the end. as i wasn’t providing the lodgings myself, the only profit in the business came from guiding.

    you’re going to get a very distorted picture of things from the stw audience most of whom are more than happy to either do things for themselves or hook up with another forum member to show them around. advertising in mbr and what mtb provided the core of my punters although i ran ads on here and got a few results from it. i’d put the same questionaire on the mbr and bikeradar forums if i were you to get a more balanced view.

    ygm

    Thanks – YGM back.

    Premier Icon ltheisinger
    Free Member

    Thanks everyone for the feedback so far – it has been very useful! Keep it coming….

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    TandemJeremy – Member

    I am with CG here – proper ensuite or I stay elsewhere

    Phew! Glad it’s not just me. 😆

    Lack of ‘en suite facilities’ isn’t even vaguely important IMO – as long as there’s working hot showers, a good communal eating/drinking/chatting area and somewhere dry/warm to kip that’s fine – it is an “adventure sports activity” after all and personally I wouldn’t want to share a biking weekend with a bunch of fussy bathroomers

    I beg to differ! As does TJ! It could be argued that it’s the more ‘mature’ clientele who consider this imperative. Frankly, at the end of a rad and gnar-filled day, I just want to jump in a shower without having to clean the bathroom first and/or queue.

    Also, after a few beers, the last thing I would want is for folk to be disturbed during the night. 😳

    Premier Icon hilldodger
    Free Member

    cinnamon_girl – Member
    It could be argued that it’s the more ‘mature’ clientele who consider this imperative.

    Well I’m at least as old as TJ (if that’s what you mean by mature 😉 ) and I certainly appreciate my creature comforts, it’s just that to be honest, with anything more than a good sleeping bag and a bivvy I feel quite ‘over accommodated’ – but then I do live/ride in the balmy south so don’t encounter such harsh terrain/weather as some……

    ……my ideal bike holiday site would certainly include secure bike storage, decent showers and a cookhouse/eating area with double bonus points for any workshop facilities, but I’d happily camp 😀

    Premier Icon druidh
    Free Member

    When I first opened this thread, I hadn’t expected it to be a free advert for a new business in Devon.

    Premier Icon trailmonkey
    Free Member

    good because it clearly isn’t.

    Premier Icon druidh
    Free Member

    Ha ha. It’s like one of those phone calls designed to get around the TPS.

    Hello. We’re not selling anything, just conducting a survey. If you had £10,000 to spend on home improvements……..

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    hilldodger – I’m a Southern Softie with a reputation to uphold! As for camping … no bloomin’ way. 😯

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