Noob after some Swinley Forest Advice re dogs

Shaggy4934 Posts: 12
edited February 2012 in MTB beginners
After several weeks reading reviews and topics I thought I would introduce myself and get the expert advice from you guys (and gals)!

Ive gotten back into MTB'ing this year after a few years break, for several reasons, and want to take my riding to the next step, i.e XC, trails, and hopefully some amatuer events. In preparation I've been cycling numerous routes locally from OS bridleway and footpaths to finding off road tracks to and from work (any excuse to get off tarmac and away from incosiderate drivers!). Ive ridden Wendover Woods a few times and always take my dog (Labrador) with me. She loves running along next to me and keeps up at a decent pace without the lead.

Now to seeking your advice. Having read loads of posts about Swinley Forest and reading Gorrick and BOB sites, I really want to go down there and check out some of the vast trails and do homework before doing it full on. But I want to take the dog for a couple of general rides.

Now, before you pro's jump at me and call me heathen Noob, I dont intend taking the dog with me on any of the specific MTB trails/singletracks (Ill do that alone without her). What I would like to know is (having never been to the forest) are there plenty of general cycle areas/paths around the forest where me and dog can go without hindering the pro's (sad to say it but "family" type routes (god I feel bad for mentioning that phrase, I'll be banished forever))??

Hopefully, after my first visit with the dog to get a feel for the Forest, Ill be back for some serious fun alone!

Please reply gently!


  • xcmad
    xcmad Posts: 110
    Mate Swinley is huge, take the dog its all good

    Prob best to take a lead in case said dog gets a bit excited and starts chasing lycra!
  • Cubic
    Cubic Posts: 594
    Hi, I found this cool video recently. This guys dog seems to have a pretty good time in Swinley Forest!!

    I've only been there once myself so far, and so only know a few of the trails. I'm a bit of a beginner also. There seems to be loads of trails of different skill levels there. There were big, wide fire roads with people out walking their dogs, little country trails that I guess are for walking or riding, some really nice singletrack and a jumpy bit in the 'expert mtb' area.

    I was there on a weekday and saw only a couple of other mtb riders on the singletrack, so I doubt your dog would cause any problems. I'm going there again tomorrow morning, so will see how busy the trails get on the weekend.

    P.s. if anyone is there tomorrow and sees a slightly nervous bloke on a Giant, say hi!
  • I can't see it being a problem really. Swinley covers a fair old area, clearly on a nice Sunday be loads out. But long as your sensible be fine.
  • benpinnick
    benpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Aah, dont worry about it. Take the dog, let it go wild. Just make sure you don't go up the downhill trails with it. Otherwise you'll be fine. Oh, and the firetrail network is vast, if you want to avoid the singletrack.
    A Flock of Birds
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  • Awesome, thanks for the advice guys. Ill be there tomorrow then doing my homework for when I return without the dog!

    Ill be the Noob with the Chocolate Lab and very clean bike! Happy riding!
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    I'm actually with the Koreans on this. Eat them.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • i go witha group of people from work most sunday mornings. always loads of people walking and with dogs. aslong as you stick to the main easy footpaths and keep out the specific biking area and off the single track it wont be any problem! took us a good 3-4 visits before we started learning the place, its big!