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Sherwood Pines - Kitchener Trail | My Recent Visit

oxocube1oxocube1 Posts: 651
edited February 2013 in Routes
I was up at Sherwood Pines this past Saturday and was not really sure what to expect as i had read a lot about it being very flat/almost boring. When i first arrived I figured the trail was going to be heaving with cyclists as the car park was over 3/4 full and there was people everywhere.

However once i actually got onto the red trail, I passed 2 groups people in the first section then did not see anyone else the entire time and i really enjoyed it! No it's definitely not your standard 'red' trail where you climb 300m+ up then descend in half the time. It is all generally flat with very small ups and downs but it flows pretty well and is quite nice to ride it after riding only the likes of Cwmcarn and Afan before moving up to Leicester. After completing it once i had way to much energy and decided on doing it again. The second time round only took 1hr 10mins so you can blast around it if you want to.

The part that not many people seem to ever mention is that 2/3 of the way round they have a Dirt Jump area and a Downhill/Bike Park section with a few 'Northshore' features. Both of which you can ride and walk back up to repeat. The DJ area is really, really well progressed between the 1, 2, and 3 graded jumps. And the Downhill section, although it is short, is nicely laid out and there are at least 3 options you can take at the top which lead to different jumps, drops and features. It's definitely worth having a few runs on either section on your way round the Kitchener.

Personally I think the guys who have made the trail have done really well with the area of woods they can build on especially considering it is rather flat. I'm certain that riders of any ability would find it fun and I can see it being very beneficial to those who are new to MTBing and want to learn/hone some basic riding skills. And for those who are more experienced, it's a good test to see how fast you can get round and whether you can hit the big jumps and features in the bike park/DJ area!

In terms of trail conditions, I went on a dry day with the previous day also being dry but with rain before then. There was roughly 3 large puddles from what i can remember and probably 4 sections that were sloppy mud but it never lasted for more than 30m or so. I can see though how it could get rather messy after days of rain and/or riding whilst it was raining so avoid that situation if possible.

Finally to address the discussion being made in a few other threads, I think the reason why it is graded a Red trail is simply because the whole of Sherwood Pines is a family orientated activity area, and they already have the green and blue trails looping around the woods. So logically the next step up from a blue trail is a red one. They would want to make sure that families with 5 year old kids riding stabilisers aren't tempted to go onto the Kinchener trail!

Just incase anyone is looking to go there, parking is £1 for an hour or £4 for the whole day and they also have a bike shop and Cafe.

Posts

  • ben11ben11 Posts: 103
    Good post - it is a lot better than some people give it credit for, as a local(ish) for me, i cant complain.
  • phzphz Posts: 478
  • I like always say ill never go back there but always do and do enjoy the trails and the "downhill" sections. Had to chuckle a few weeks back though when I passed a woman with a tag along going round the red.
  • I think the trail builders have done superb job given the flat nature of the land, a lot of it has sprung up or been improved over the last two years or so. It flows really well, keeps you pedalling and there's a reasonable amount of 'off piste' stuff you can pull in once get to know the area. If you plan to ride it regular consider a discovery pass @ £40 for a year, mine has more than paid for itself.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    edited October 2012
    Another thing people don't often mention is that it is almost 100% singletrack - there is only one short fire road climb. Other than this about 2/3s around, it's just twisty flowy all the way home right from the point of leaving and there's no other trail centre that can boast that.
    By the by, the woodwork that is has doesn't really qualify as Northshore - people going looking for Northshore will be bitterly dissapointed. There's some wood-wall rides and two ladder drops. But I whole heartedly agree, it's a good place to visit at least once (I go there quite regularly).
  • Another "plus" here for Sherwood Pines, i really enjoy it down there, take my son with me and usually ride the red twice with a break in the very good cafe after the first .... As said its not a red route as you would get at the likes of Dalby etc but it is a really great ride ...

    Been twice but will definatly visit again even though its a fair trek from West Yorkshire ... :)
  • MacdoryMacdory Posts: 113
    I've just done this for the first time today - really enjoyed myself. The rain through the week made it fairly challenging (lots of standing water and mud - one section was over 30 feet of water), but most of the switch backs with the man made cambers were fantastic. The climbs aren't too hard and the speed you pick up through a few sections is fantastic fun!

    It's a 40 minute drive from my house, but well worth it - definitely going back again!
  • oxocube1oxocube1 Posts: 651
    Good to see it's getting the reviews it deserves. Im heading back up there on Friday this week. Should be a barrel of laughs considering it has been raining for a week solid here and mostly the same, if not worse up there! but being from the 'black hole' of trails that is the east midlands, I need my trail centre fix so it's worth the 1.5hr drive.
    I'll let you guys know what it's like.
  • MacdoryMacdory Posts: 113
    Please do as i'm planning to go back on Saturday - forecast is dry and cold, but i'm guessing the rain/fog all week means that it will be a mud bath again :)

    Getting blathered in mud brings out the inner child , but I have done something I said I would never do and bought and fitted some Crud mudguards ... can't think of many things worse than cold black water being thrown up and down the back of your neck and shorts as I had last weekend :)
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    I agree with the OP - given the terrain Sherwood is a great set of trails - kudos to the builders. People always complain about the flatter stuff, I just say well ride faster if its not challenging enough. An extra few MPH puts the challenge into everything. I laughed at the recent article on Pink bike about the north-east DH champs at kielder, apparently lots pulled out as it was too hard, only to be won by a guy on his XC (well AM) bike. Everyone wants to think they're too good for the 'easier' trails, but forgets that its these ones that teach you the basics that are so important, and can still be great fun.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • Other than Wednesdays are there any other nights when there's likely to be quite a few about? I'm thinking car security whist out in the dark?
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    There's usually a Friday night ride with the sherwood pines cycle club which can be found on facebook if you want to go with them.
  • oxocube1oxocube1 Posts: 651
    It was good at the Pines today! The weather was kind of sunny but very cold. Winter is definitely just around the corner!
    There was puddles in the usual places and only a few more elsewhere around the trail. To be honest I was expecting it to be much worse but it was only boggy in the usual places like the tight tree sections. The Dirt jump area and Black section were absolutely fine, no boggy patches to be seen anywhere on those.
    It looked like there was quite a lot of people heading there for some night riding as I passed at least 10 cars with bikes on them on my way back home.
    So yea nothing unexpected, just the usual puddles and muddy sections. I would say though for anyone heading there this weekend that if it was like today, it might be worth wearing 2 layers because it took a bit of riding for me to be able to feel my fingers!
  • TrapperTrapper Posts: 35
    I find it really hard to agree that the Kitchener trail has any kind of "kudos". There are much better tracks off the beaten path in the Pines, Harlow wood and Blidworth woods that the so called "red route" can offer. Riding around Tesco's car park could be tricky if speed is the key to unlocking potential! As a comparison, a trip to Gisburn this weekend proved that you do not need the vertical drop of the Welsh hills to make a trail exciting. The red route at Gisburn is a proper testament to the genre of MTB - the adjoining blue sections make Kitchener's seem so dull. I enjoy a spin around the last 2/3rds of the Pines red, but i feel sorry for the people that drive there expecting something remarkable.
  • i live only 5 mins ride away from sherwood pines

    i go their 3-4 times a week, i think the green/blue/red are all great rides.

    i would do the green just to get warmed up and after a quick drink do the blue or red

    with me been a local the only thing im not into is the bike shop as i think its a bit pricy and not a massive choice.
    sherwood forest is also a good place to ride
  • It's worth a run round in the dark, gates close at 10PM on Wednesdays, 6 the rest of the week.
  • another plus is the fact there is lots for families to do, gives you an excuse to have a "family day out" which involves you having a blast out on your bike, and spend some time with the family thus earning you man points when you need a full day to travel further afield!!
    pity those who don't drink, the way they feel when they wake is the best they will feel all day


    voodoo hoodoo
  • Another thumbs up for the kitchener trail from me. I've been down there for the last 5 weekends on the trott and had a wicked time everytime i've been down. Usually thrash round the trail twice and thats me out for the count. Not ventured on to the DH section but thats deffinately next on the list. Am pretty new to scoping out new trails so recon i'll be riding the kitchener for a few weeks yet. Anyone up for meeting up for a weekend ride then i'm usually there sunday morning 10am.so drop me a message
  • MacdoryMacdory Posts: 113
    I'm thinking of going there this weekend, but given how wet it has been over the last month how is the Kitchener Trail?

    I remember going around there last November and there was a fair section through the pine trees which was just a giant puddle - feet went under the water on the downward pedal stroke. Good fun, but freezing toes ...
  • It's held up better than I'd have expected over the winter. It was ok last weekend but check out the shop or cycling club's facebook page as there's normally a report on there.
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