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MuddyGoose – The Mountain Bike

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Trails, Rides and Routes

I always find myself in deep water

On went the urban wheels, up went the tyre pressures and off I went into the local lanes of Cambridgeshire. For an on-road ride – that was the plan! Continue reading “I always find myself in deep water”

Riding the roads from the Exeter Premier Inn

My job takes me far and wide and when I have to stay over somewhere, I like to take my bike with me. Nothing better than having a ride in the evening and then following up with another ride before breakfast! Continue reading “Riding the roads from the Exeter Premier Inn”

A watery visit to the hills

You know you’ve had a good wet ride when you sit at your car wringing the water out of your socks. My ride today in the Pentland Hills was just one of those. Continue reading “A watery visit to the hills”

A tale of two rides

First off, I’d like to just write a disclaimer – I never regret a ride and I enjoy them all in at least part. And even the less enjoyable parts are at least ‘character building’. It’s just that, sometimes there are better rides and sometimes there are ‘don’t think I’ll do that one again’ rides.

The Ride Details
The Ride Details

Well last week I had one of those ‘won’t go there again’ rides. I had arranged to be home late from work and to go riding ‘somewhere’ between work and home. The area around work is more fun as home doesn’t have any hills, so I have ridden a lot near work. On this occasion I decided to park in a familiar location but head off in a different direction to check out the bridleways north-west of Luton. Continue reading “A tale of two rides”

Exploring the Pentland Hills

Another work visit up to Scotland took me to Dundee this time rather than Glasgow. So having heard about the Pentland Hills and finding an old pull out route from MBR I decided to base myself on the edge of Edinburgh for my trip, rather than going all the way up to Dundee.

The Pentland Hills
The Pentland Hills

I had to visit another customer in Redcar first so I got a good chance to ride in Guisborough Forest and the North York Moors again earlier in the week on my way up the British Isles. Then I drove up to Edinburgh and had my first ride in the Pentland Hills that evening. My second ride was on the following evening after completing my Dundee visit. Continue reading “Exploring the Pentland Hills”

Little work trip to Scotland – 101.33 km of riding fitted in.

A lot of riders head off to their favourite trails at the weekend. Not me, weekend riding is pretty much limited to family rides around the park or short late evening blasts around the village, so I try to fit in whatever trails I can at other times. Fortunately my job takes me all around the country and I can piggyback some riding around my work quite easily.

The West Highland Way
The West Highland Way

So this week I’ve been up in Scotland. Tuesday and Wednesday in Glasgow to be more precise. With this already planned I decided to add a day off on Thursday to my itinerary. So with MuddyGoose packed into the car, I set off to Glasgow. Continue reading “Little work trip to Scotland – 101.33 km of riding fitted in.”

More Moors… Riding in the North York Moors from Lastingham

As opportunity should have it I got the chance to ride out into the southern side of the North York Moors on Tuesday afternoon last week. So I picked Lastingham as my start and finish location and headed north.

The Endomondo Route
The Endomondo Route

Lastingham is a small village so you shouldn’t really have any issues picking up my route. The bridleway out north into the moors is an extension of High Street, you simply ride up High Street and keep going, through the gate and onward up onto Spaunton Moor. Continue reading “More Moors… Riding in the North York Moors from Lastingham”

Off-road through the Chilterns near Barton

After completing my 75 km ride from Chicksands down to Luton and back in July earlier this year I decided to re-plan the route taking just the best bits and creating a smaller but better loop.

The ride on Endomondo
The ride on Endomondo

Even though I managed this challenge several weeks ago in theory on the OS getamap site, it still needed riding as a final check and to see how long it would take. My opportunity came after work on Friday evening. Continue reading “Off-road through the Chilterns near Barton”

Ventured out up onto the moors.

On previous trips up to the North East I’ve taken my bike up with me and ridden Dalby Forest and around some of Guisborough Forest but I’ve never had the chance or the organisation to venture out onto the moors. So this time a quick ride in the North York Moors with some printed OS maps stuffed in my pockets was definitely on the cards.

Up on the moor
Up on the moor

So I pulled out my pile of MBR pull-out routes and flicked through until I came to the ‘Roseberry Topping’ route but not wanting to just follow an MBR route I also printed a couple of pages of OS map off to take as well. Then after work around 6pm I headed out to a car park just a little further up the road from Great Ayton station. Continue reading “Ventured out up onto the moors.”

The big ride through the Chilterns, north of Luton.

A while back I decided to take off a day in July to match a mate’s days off in his shift pattern. The purpose of course was to hit the hills somewhere and ride for the entire day. Having had a similar very enjoyable day at the Forest of Dean trail centre riding around the Verderer’s Trail back in March we considered another trail centre but as I’ve ridden most of the ones that are within easy reach we eventually decided to ride some bridleways, roads, tracks etc that could be mapped out on the OS maps. Somewhere close(ish), with hills but not too big, that I hadn’t already ridden.

The route on the OS Getamap site
The route on the OS Getamap site

So I got onto getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk and came up with a ~50 mile route through the Chiltern Hills to the north of Luton. Taking in South Bedfordshire and parts of Hertfordshire around Hitchin. The parts closest to Luton I had ridden before during my lunchbreaks and as part of my multi-mode commute so I was quite familiar with them and which way to ride them for the best descents and most challenging climbs. I was also familiar with the Rowney Warren woods near Shefford and that we could happily park the car there, so all I did was be adventurous about plotting a route to join the two together, trying to avoid roads wherever possible and creating a loop so we never had to double back on ourselves. Continue reading “The big ride through the Chilterns, north of Luton.”

From Fineshade Wood to the Royal Oak

It’s always a good feeling when you discover a trail that links things together. That missing piece that connects your favourite two singletrack sections or a techy climb to take back to the top of a downhill run. Or in this case a bridleway that connects the woods to a nearby pub!

I can see the pub from here!
I can see the pub from here!

On my way to Fineshade Woods I’ve passed the Royal Oak at Duddington on the A43 many times and often thought that it’d make a nice post-ride stop off. And indeed it does. In fact the last time I stopped there with some mates the pub’s clientele was made up entirely of mountain bikers! Continue reading “From Fineshade Wood to the Royal Oak”

Trail riding before work, the other 6 o’clock.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog, I take my bike with me almost everywhere I go. Especially when staying away for work purposes. So being in Bristol yesterday and today I made no exception and brought the MuddyGoose along.

20120515-090650.jpg

I decided that I’d get up early this morning and head off before breakfast to Leigh Woods for another ride of the blue graded ‘Yer Tiz’ trail. So I set the alarm for 6AM and was in the car park putting my front wheel and saddle back on by 6:25. At this time of day, as you can tell from the photo, the woods aren’t especially busy and I had the entire woods to myself. Well almost to myself, I did come across a deer part way round.

Continue reading “Trail riding before work, the other 6 o’clock.”

Wye, Wye, Wye go riding in the Peaks

As much as I enjoy a blast around one of the UK’s great trail centres, I wouldn’t want to solely ride way-marked, man-made trails all the time. And so when the opportunity arises to get out on some natural trails in the peak district like it did yesterday I just can’t refuse.

Stopped for a rest or just for the view?
Stopped for a rest or just for the view?

I’d been working up in Liverpool during the day and with the longer, lighter evenings that we get now that we’ve reached May, the opportunity was there to go home via the Peaks and stop for a ride around the Buxton area. So the day before I took the time to search the internet and find a good route to follow and this is what I came up with. Continue reading “Wye, Wye, Wye go riding in the Peaks”

Wet, Wet, Wet @ Wakerley Wood

Even though the title may suggest it I’m not reporting news of an upcoming concert at Wakerley Wood with a once popular 80s band. And hopefully you won’t ‘feel it in your fingers or feels it in your toes’!

Stuck in the mud
Stuck in the mud

So I’d better own up straight off the bat. The photo is not mine, it’s borrowed from Rutland Cycling from their Facebook page. But I thought it ought to be on here as a good indicator of current conditions at Wakerley Wood.

Continue reading “Wet, Wet, Wet @ Wakerley Wood”

It’s only water – Wet ride today

As a wise man once said “It’s only water and I’m not made of sugar”. Well I say wise man and once but actually I mean Chris Akrigg tweeted it yesterday! Anyway that was the quote that stayed with me today during my wet ride around Sherwood Pines as the rain came down and the puddles went ‘splash’.

Plenty of mud to go round - I'm taking this lot home!
Plenty of mud to go round - I'm taking this lot home!

To be honest I have a tendency as most people do to avoid riding on the wet and windy days and there’s no reason as such to avoid them. Sure it can be hard going in the rain and wind but unless you are indeed made out of sugar the worst that will happen is that you’ll get wet.

Continue reading “It’s only water – Wet ride today”

I got lucky with the rain – Guisborough Forest ride.

On Monday evening while working nearby I took my bike out into Guisborough Forest for a quick ride. Nothing too strenuous and although I spotted some of the many bits of singletrack that head into and through the forest I mostly stuck to the fire road.

The mist descends
The mist descends

However the weather forecast had been telling me that it should already be raining and being unsure of the time that dusk would arrive coupled with not actually knowing my way or which tracks join up with which, I headed out hoping for the best.

Continue reading “I got lucky with the rain – Guisborough Forest ride.”

Great biking atmosphere @ the FOD this Saturday

It’s been a quiet month, this March on my blogging front, it’s also been a slow month with regard to getting out there and getting muddy. It seems that one thing after another has stood in my way, whether it be the dreaded lurgy or important commitments.

...and that's the top!
...and that's the top!

Anyway, as an antidote to all of ‘it’, I had a ‘booked well in advance’ visit with 2 friends to the Forest of Dean planned for this Saturday just gone. My only concern organising so far in advance was that we had no idea in January what the weather would be when March 24th finally came round. Needless to say once the early morning mist had cleared this Saturday turned out to be a glorious dream of a day.

Continue reading “Great biking atmosphere @ the FOD this Saturday”

The ‘Yer Tiz’ trail @ Leigh Woods is worth a quick blast

If anyone’s been following my blog for a while, they might remember a post from my visit to Leigh Woods in Bristol, where I found that a new trail was in progress of being built. If you don’t remember that post then you can follow this link to read it – Trail Building in progress at Leigh Woods, Bristol. Well, I found myself back down in the area last week and so I decided that I just had to go back and ride the finished result.

The 'Yer Tiz' trail on my Endomondo
The 'Yer Tiz' trail on my Endomondo

It has turned out to be a 2 mile long blue graded trail with a couple of red graded ‘options’ along the way. At just 2 miles you’ll probably want to ride it a good few times to get a decent workout, but you also have Ashton Court on the other side of the road to ride too.

Continue reading “The ‘Yer Tiz’ trail @ Leigh Woods is worth a quick blast”

Recent rides from the new year

Although I’ve been pretty quiet on here of late, that certainly doesn’t mean that the MuddyGoose has been locked away in the garage! I tend to keep my bike in the back of my car, so that given the opportunity I can readily get it out and ride. This tactic works well alongside a job that regularly takes me up and down the country.

Nicely Mudded Up
Nicely Mudded Up

So during my travels this January I managed to get out and ride on the bridleways of Buckinghamshire following a trip to Oxford, to and from Durham City Centre during a stay up there and around Sherwood Pines’ red trail on my way back down. Oh and of course a few trips out locally around my usual routes.

Continue reading “Recent rides from the new year”

A night ride into the New Forest

During this week my work has taken me down to Southampton and as always I take my bike with me and try to find the time to fit in a ride. This time it was a pre-planned route from the Holiday Inn Express where I was staying, on the West side of Southampton, into the New Forest just beyond Lyndhurst and then back again via Ashurst and Totten to complete the loop.

New Forest Route
New Forest Route

I planned my route using both the Ordinate Survey’s getamap web site and also Bing maps which has an OS mapping option. I then printed off a handful of A4 maps and followed these from time to time under the glow of my lights. Of course I had my phone with me tracking my ride but that stayed in my riding pack unless really needed.

Continue reading “A night ride into the New Forest”

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