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thetford - black or red route?

Chalky76Chalky76 Posts: 260
edited March 2008 in Routes
Hi,

A few of us are heading to Thetford this weekend for the first time and need a bit of advice. Looking at the FC's website it says the red route is 11 miles and the black is 10 miles. Can anyone tell me what one is best - I'd rather do the longer route but if it is not too technical then the black route it is? Also, its obviously dependent on trail condition and our condition!, but how long (roughly) does either one take?

Are there opening times as we were thinking of an early start?

Cheers
ride your bike like a kid whilst you still can

Transition Blindside = http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceychalk/5335403095/

Posts

  • BeardedDaveBeardedDave Posts: 1,977
    I wouldn't read too much into black meaning harder than red, it's mostly just a way of distinguishing between the two trails. Neither are especially technical but with it being quite tight singletrack, the faster you ride the harder it gets to avoid the trees!

    Both routes have their plus and minus points but my personal preference is the red route. It's a newer route (or at least had signposts put up on it more recently than the black) so isn't as eroded as the black route, plus there's the entertaining new man-made section with the 'Tightrope' - you'll know what I mean when you get there! :)

    I don't know how long they're likely to take as I can't remember the last time I rode either from start to finish. I just tend to ride my favourite bits and link them up with other, unmarked trails. Bearing in mind that there aren't any real climbs at Thetford both are easily doable in a day, perhaps even a morning, depending on your level of fitness.

    Be warned, if the weather continues being wet for the rest of the week, you may well find quite a lot of standing water - particularly on the black route.
    East Anglia Biking Collective!
    http://www.easternbikemonkeys.co.uk/forum/
  • BeardedDaveBeardedDave Posts: 1,977
    Forgot to mention, there are opening times for the car park at High Lodge but I'm not sure what they are. I'd suggest parking at Brandon Country Park as it's free (opposed to £6 at High Lodge) , once on your bike, cross the road and follow the signs to High Lodge, where you'll find the start of both the red and black routes.
    East Anglia Biking Collective!
    http://www.easternbikemonkeys.co.uk/forum/
  • tobhtobh Posts: 103
    I have been to Thetford a couple of times in the last month. I have been scheduling a work meeting nearby and putting in a couple of hours riding before the meet..

    I did half of the Red Run by accident, as the Black Run was not that well marked, and then the Black Run on my first visit. The Red Run was faster and less technical. The Black Run was very churned up. I did this in 2 hours.

    I went back last week and did the Black Run twice in 1 hour 50 mins (I didn't want to be too late for the meet).

    The Black Run is not difficult. The Beast, is not that scarey. I want to go back and do the Red Red Run properly.

    Parking is a problem for me as I have wanted to start riding before the park opens at 0900. So have been parking by May Day Farm on the B106 (I think). It is very easy to pick up the Black Run from there; that part of the trail runs parallel to the road. It means you do
    the Beast at the start of your ride, but that's ok.

    More details on these rides can be found on my rubbish blog at www.strengthofstrings.blogspot.com

    I'd be keen to learn of other riders times on these routes. Is there any kind of online list of peoples honest trail times ?

    T
  • Chalky76Chalky76 Posts: 260
    cheers guys
    ride your bike like a kid whilst you still can

    Transition Blindside = http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceychalk/5335403095/
  • djr2110djr2110 Posts: 74
    Chalky
    Just to let you know the forest was closed today because of the high winds, so I would contact them on Friday to check they are open.
    If you are going on Saturday, myself and the rest of the TIMBER group will hopefully be working on the red route so feel free to stop and have a chat if you want, as we are a friendly bunch.
    Hopefully you will have a good days riding.

    http://www.timbermtb.org/

    Dave
    Dave
  • scott79scott79 Posts: 42
    Mr Reynolds, is that you?

    Got that bike finished yet?

    Scott
  • Chalky76Chalky76 Posts: 260
    Thanks Dave, we'll keep an eye out for you, there will be 3 of us and we are looking forward to it as we are normally restricted to our local trails (and in Essex as the whole world now knows, its pretty flat!).

    Does anyone have a post code I can punch into the GPS unti that is best, and is there a time restrictin as we are looking at an early start, and by the sounds of it ideally for the Red Route?

    Chalky
    ride your bike like a kid whilst you still can

    Transition Blindside = http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceychalk/5335403095/
  • djr2110djr2110 Posts: 74
    Chalky

    As you are starting early (before 9am I guess) try Brandon Country Park IP27 0SU.
    It is open before 9 unlike High lodge.
    Look it up on google map first to get an idea of where it is.

    I think brandon country park is open all the time (BeardedDave can probably confirm this), if not you can park at the bottom of the Beast which is on the same road as the country park. If you are coming from Elveden A11 then it is approx 400 yds before the country park on the right, you will see a small parking area next to a barrier gate. But no security so you have been warned.

    As Dave said head towards the signs for high lodge and take the red route from there.

    What time are you thinking of coming over?

    Scott yes it is Mr Reynolds, picking the bike up Saturday so should be able to take it on a blast on the build day.

    Dave
    Dave
  • Chalky76Chalky76 Posts: 260
    Thanks Dave for all your help - might see you tomorrow. We are aiming to start around 8am but depends on all three of us being ready to leave Chelmsford at 6 in the morning!

    Cheers

    Chalky
    ride your bike like a kid whilst you still can

    Transition Blindside = http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceychalk/5335403095/
  • BeardedDaveBeardedDave Posts: 1,977
    Yeah, pretty sure the car park at BCP will be open at that time - I don't tend to get there that early, as I like sleep too much! :lol: I have parked there for a night ride though and it wasn't closed off then. The visitor centre and cafe won't be open at that time though - I highly recommend the soup in the cafe!
    East Anglia Biking Collective!
    http://www.easternbikemonkeys.co.uk/forum/
  • nonnac85nonnac85 Posts: 1,608
    just wondering how far it is from brandon cp to the high lodge and is it on/off road to get from A-B as i might have a 10year old in tow who will not be best pleased if it is miles from the "proper" trails!

    thanks
    My Website - Trail Centre info for the UK: MTB Trail Time
  • Chalky76Chalky76 Posts: 260
    from my only trip I would guess a mile, but a local / regular might know better. It is a fairly easy, flat ride to get to the lodge from the car park and is easy enough to do (follow the blue markers)
    ride your bike like a kid whilst you still can

    Transition Blindside = http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceychalk/5335403095/
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