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Swinley Forest ride guidance

UK2004UK2004 Posts: 137
edited June 2010 in Routes
Went for first time today and managed to get in a right pickle! Started following people form the look out to a main fireroad type thing then forked off it to a lake then back up then went right to the top of a hill to a closed off reservoir then dropped down some hills then back off them onto more fire road and all way back to the look out then started following the red mtb trail sign went through that all way until the signs disappeared then did some single track from there, the bits I did were really good fun but feel I missed out on most that is on offer, was my biggest mistake getting back on the fireroad after having gone into some of the fun descents?!

Posts

  • popstarpopstar Posts: 1,392
    Where are you based? There are few groups around on these MTB Rides forums, and Facebook (Swinley forest Mountain Bikers -The Lookout)
    too. During week I/we usually squeeze some rides around in Swinley too.
    What could have been (Video)

    I'll choose not put too much stake into someone's opinion who is admittingly terrible though
  • riddleriddle Posts: 41
    I ride there on a regular basis.

    Have a couple of great circuits, hill session, hot laps and single track. All have been shown to me or I have been shown by following others. If you are looking for someone to ride with I'm only a few miles away!
    Blue Skies Always
    Roger H-Smith
    07807 031797
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,155
    don't get to hung up on missing good bits, with it's network of trails you will get lost and find different/new bits every time.

    It's where I tend to go as it's 30 mins away and has cafe.
  • Hi

    Dont worry about getting in a pickle cos thats part of the fun of it, I'm a civilian instructor for Bracknell air cadets and we take cadets around there for there skills module for the D of E awards. have been going there several times with them and we never seem to repeat a route, all part of the fun getting lost or ending up at a track with no end, at some point you will always end up at a main track with a sign nearby

    i get over there 3-4 times aweek without cadets as i only live across the road :D
  • UK2004UK2004 Posts: 137
    Many thanks for the replies, I've joined that fb group, I'm in north west London, have found myself wanting to go back there already more than any other place I've ridden, was planning on Watlington area ride this weekend but may go back to Swinley, I think I'll have to take your advice of just experimenting and finding my way back to the lookout whereever i end up!

    What would you guys classify the riding as, is it cross country mostly? I noticed some serious looking machines there with very long travel forks!
  • riddleriddle Posts: 41
    The best way is to dive off the main routes, get really lost and then ask which way the Lookout is... worked for me!

    I am away to mid Wales for some biking this weekend, but hope to be there during the week if the weather and work allows me. If you are looking for people to ride with give me an email.
    Blue Skies Always
    Roger H-Smith
    07807 031797
  • popstarpopstar Posts: 1,392
    UK2004, Swinley forest is a very good place to start as a beginner. The big bikes you have seen most probably were ridden in -Surrey Hills- or -Labyrinth- ... there is also other jump area near -Surry Hills- where many Dirt Jumpers practise and brake their bones.

    Swinley suits all tastes of riding, XC - Downhill - Jumps and just some boring fireroads if its miles you are after. However, after you had enough in Swinley I would recommend joining group rides in Surrey Hills.

    This Saturday there is small group of 5 going to warm up around in Surrey Hills, if interested for more details check -London Calling- thread in MTB Rides.
    What could have been (Video)

    I'll choose not put too much stake into someone's opinion who is admittingly terrible though
  • UK2004 wrote:
    the bits I did were really good fun but feel I missed out on most that is on offer

    I left Swinley Forest with exactly the same feeling..."surely I have missed something here?" Spent a whole afternoon there and must have explored the whole area. There were some fun bits, but they were short lived and I just found myself going up short sharp hills a lot. Not much fun.

    Best bits I found were the runs down from up near the resevoir down towards the jump track.

    All in all, very disappointed by Swinley and won't be going back.
  • anjsanjs Posts: 486
    Sounds like you did indeed miss all the good bits
  • frogstompfrogstomp Posts: 412
    We've been going to Swinley for several months now and still seem to find new stuff.. only just recently started to explore the stuff off to the west (corkscrew etc.)..

    Check out this thread for some maps and GPS data.. there's also more info and GPS data in IMB Issue 4
  • UK2004UK2004 Posts: 137
    Went againt today, started off riding the red mtb trail route from the lookout until the signs disappeared, I dropped on to a trail to the right of the junction that was an absolute beauty, I think we did it in reverse as a few people came the other way, it seemed to bring us out to some dirt jumps below the hill at the reservoir, headed up to the reservoir and carried straight on to the high up section where the downhill type stuff is, headed down a trail eventually that was ok but didn't seem to connect to anything at the bottom, ended up doing a loop back to the junction at the reservoir and headed down to the dirt jumps up to the fence alongside the firing range then eventually joined the original trail again hehe!

    Anyone know approximately from my description what this original trail is? I was convinced from memory of the maps last night I looked at that the west part of the forest near the firing range fence had several trails but just ended up in the wrong places. The first bit of single track was fantastic though really enjoyed that, hoping covered enough distance overall to burn some calories too!

    One thing I noticed up at the downhill bit I think roughly around deerstalker?? there was one bit that started with a drop off looked about 3 feet perhaps off almost a ledge then straight downward was worried that me or the bike wouldn't take it, are 1000mm travel forks ok with that kind of thing, frame is xc alu, wanna try it but dont want to break myself haha.
  • popstarpopstar Posts: 1,392
    Sounds as if you were riding tank-traps, then went off to Downhill area ... did you visit Labyrinth yet?

    You don't need a big bike for riding around here. I easily breeze on my 80mm Hardrock with shaity forks, ...
    What could have been (Video)

    I'll choose not put too much stake into someone's opinion who is admittingly terrible though
  • anjsanjs Posts: 486
    the red route you followed in was the full nine yards.
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