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Relocating to UK/looking for locations to ride

georgelzageorgelza Posts: 26
edited December 2012 in MTB general
Hi all

A relocation to the UK is in the plans. Office location will be Reading/TVP

Still need to decide where we will look to stay, so want to find out the different riding locations in say 100km of Reading.

might decide to stay mid way between some good riding locations and the office.

From South Africa, normal rides atm are some trail riding (12-18km loops) and cross country (30-80km) rides once a month.

G
Primary ride:
Merida 1-20 500:
XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

Secondary ride in making:
Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
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Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Reading, but TVP?

    Go a bit west and you have access to all the south wales centres, Forest of Dean, Llandegla, Coed Y Brenin will all be within 100km (just), heading northwest and Cannock Chase will be just on 100km, also Chicksands *north and slightly east).

    Head south and you'll have the south downs way.

    So the Reading area will give you loads of rides within 100km.
  • TVP => Thames Valley Park, Corporate office park.

    if we changed the radius to say 20km and 50km, what riding locations are there,

    50km being a day trip, 20km being easy enough for a morning/quick out and back before family gets restless.

    Thanks.

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I'm not local to that area so can't really say.....

    Cooldad I know is in your area (Berkshire)..... check out "london calling" on facebook, he posts a link in his signature.
  • hi

    cooldad does not seem to be wanted to be found.

    found the profile, no contact details, no message me, and the face book link does not work anymore either.

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Will you be going to TVP every day? For good riding I'd say look somewhere around Guildford - gives you Swinley Forest, Tunnel Hill and the Surrey Hills. You can put together 100 mile routes 99% off road if you're so inclined!

    Not the greatest commute though - only 30 miles or so, but tends to be very congested in rush hour. If you want to be closer to the office Wokingham still puts you at the northern end of the riding areas, but closer to TVP.
  • Hi njee

    in the beginning, probably, but my client base is EMEA (so travelling.... ALLOT), with a fair amount of work from home also when possible.
    plan not to go to office if i don't have to... :)
    and when i just have an office meeting will try and use the public transport as much as possible, of course depends where we stay and how close to a station we are.

    here where I stay there is allot of open, public land still where we can ride across, how does it look that side, as far as I know 99% is private owned, don't want to come home with buck shot in my behind.

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    You won't believe how horrible commuting/traveling is here. When njee says congested you can't comprehend just how bad it is. But at least there are no 'taxis'. Plan where you live so you do the least driving during the week as it's much easier to get around on weekends.

    Wokingham is probably not a bad idea though - quick ride to Swinley and they're busy building it into a bit of a trail centre. Avoid Bracknell, which is a censored .

    Plenty of places to ride though - lots of land is owned by the crown, the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Defence etc and you can ride on most of it - actually much easier to ride here than in SA. Even private land often has rights of way.

    You can only pm once you have 10 posts I think, so post some random garbage like everyone else and you'll soon get there.

    Facebook link below works fine for me though.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Depends on what you want from a location to live, and whether you plan to drive. My suggestion is either Caversham in Reading (if you want to live in the big town) or Wokingham / Crowthorne if you want more rural. Both are linked to reading by train, Wokingham has more than twice the number of trains going to Reading though. Drive to TVP is about the same from either, 15mins in good traffic, 30 in bad. TVP is handily at the end of the A329M main road, which links Reading to Wokingham/Bracknell. Best riding within easy reach of reading is around Crowthorne, which includes Swinley, which is getting a big revamp for 2013, and has a very active riding scene, and Minley (both rideable from Crowthorne/Wokingham, or easy on the train from Reading). As CD says, Bracknell looks good on paper for location and proximity to riding, but is a bit of a hole. Some good bits though, but lots of crud too. Other riding further south from Wokingham/Crowthorne by car you've got Caesar's Camp and Tunnel hill (~10 miles from Crowthorne) and even further again (~30 miles) is Surrey hills; which is amazing riding, but no good as a location to live for TVP. Guildford would be ok which is nearer TVP than surrey hills, but the commute to TVP would really grind after a while. On a normal day its an hour by car or train. Surrey Hills is reason enough to get a car therefore and live closer to work and just drive there when you want to ride it.

    So in summary, I would head to either Wokingham or Crowthorne if you want Swinley as your base, for all weather XC loops (25km's worth opening in March 2013), with some easy DH and freeride thrown in on your doorstep. I live in Crowthorne and its a pretty relaxed, quiet location with good quality of life, and very safe. Wokingham just up the road is bigger and lots more to do in the evening, but still fairly small town feel. When you get here, be sure to lookup CD and myself, either here or on the London Calling and Swinley Forest Mountain Biker's groups on FaceBook.

    See you soon!
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Oh, and one other thing, if you want to ride the wider area, worth checking out the race scene, as that travels around the best spots, and leaves nicely bedded in trails afterwards, so even if you don't race, its a good way to find your way around by turning up the weekend after. Look at www.gorrick.com for XC racing, and www.enduro1.co.uk for Enduro racing.

    If you were to base yourself in the Wokingham/Crowthorne area, you'd be able to satisfy the urge for 80km XC rides (Neither CD or myself will join you on those I think its fair to say) by joining together all the aforementioned areas, as there's a decent enough bridleway (public right of way open to bikes) network round here that you can use to link the areas together.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    One final thing... How old are the kids? I take it there's kids from the mention of the 'family'. That always influences things a lot I guess.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • ok, let get that post count up :)

    CD, you sound as if you know the local Taxi's, sorry bout that :)

    CD and Benpinick, thanks for the comment, appreciated.

    These locations you've mentioned, any of them I should remove from the list, if we bring broadband into the picture, I'll need a good service since I'll be working from home as much as possible when not travelling or at the office.

    Kid's is still only one... one little gorgeous girl, 5 weeks old yesterday,

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • post count...
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • post count
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • Post count :)
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    edited December 2012
    Wokingham and Crowthorne both have Fiber to the Cabinet, which gives you about 70Mb on a not too expensive contract. Crowthorne is particularly unusual for a village to have this, but hey, its another reason its a good place to live. 70Mb Probably do you I imagine? Guildford and Reading both have cable, so no worries there either. At 5 weeks old I guess you don't need to worry about schools then! Does the wife drive/have a preference for type of location? Big city/Small town/Rural?
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • post count.
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • Hmm,

    Think something convenient for the wife will be good, ye she drives. will take control of my car when I'm not around, or maybe when I'm stuck at home and have to work.

    Don't want to be in town, in the city, coming from South Africa, we love space...
    so not in town, prob not a suburb, since the UK suburb houses, from what I've seen is pretty small.

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Other consideration is access to the motorway for Heathrow/Gatwick if you'll be travelling alot (I feel your pain, I travel tons). South side of Reading is better for this, but that creates its own issues, as South Reading is pretty crappy other than Lower Earley, and thats a bit of a giant estate with no real feel to it. Wokingham however is right on the M4 for Heathrow and 10 mins to the M3, and Crowthorne is easy to reach M3 and M4 as well. Get yourself an account with 24/7 Taxis in Wokingham (very reliable) and you'll be sorted for getting to and from the airports. Easier and often cheaper than driving and parking normally, unless you are super organised ahead of time and book really early.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Ha! Space. You're coming to Berkshire, I am afraid Space is a luxury few can afford. In that case then I would say Crowthorne for sure. Its more spacious and 'foresty' than the other options, with a good mix of housing stock, but still has a small high street with the essential shops, a couple of restaurants etc. Also in the area look at Finchampstead, and some of the villages surrounding Bracknell & Wokingham. Crowthorne is the only one you'll find that has a trail center that starts at the end of the high street though 8)
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • Ben, awesome, thanks, loads of info here.

    what you do that you also on the road allot.

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    georgelza wrote:
    Ben, awesome, thanks, loads of info here.

    what you do that you also on the road allot.

    G

    I currently, well for the next 3 days anyway, run a software company. After 10 years on the road (our customers stretch from Australia to the west coast of the US) I have decided to give myself a break from the travelling and focus a little more on being in the UK. I have a daughter too - just turned 2, and I'd like to see a little more of her and my wife TBH. I t sounds like we want the same kind of thing from where we live, so thats why I'd recommend Crowthorne, its why I moved here.

    I am guessing you work for Microsoft/Oracle/JDE or someone like that (they're all on TVP)? Have you got a relocation/ accommodation budget? If you get your post count high enough and PM me it, I will let you know what you could expect to get round here. Unfortunately its not a cheap area to live, but as you'll see in these survey http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/media ... Survey.pdf Wokingham ranks highly, as does Bracknell Forest (I think Bracknell Town itself drags it down to a lowly 19th!). Which are the two boroughs we've been discussing. Wokingham normally bounces around in the top 3, sometimes number 1 in these things. So at least you can tell the wife you're moving to a top 3 places in the UK to live area, while still getting some of the best XC in the south of England! Crowthorne itself is split 50/50 Wokingham and Bracknell Forest boroughs, but I would say find a place in the Bracknell half. Its all about the bins! In Wokingham they have this stupid blue bag bin policy that is nuts, whereas the Bracknell half have good old wheelie bins. Sounds like it shouldn't be a factor, but the blue bags will infuriate you I am sure. Google it to find out why. Number 1 on the list this year is Hart borough, which is based around Fleet, about 8 miles south-west of Crowthorne. Thats worth a look too, but the commute will be longer, and there's no direct rail link to Reading.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    ... Heres a survey where Wokingham comes top... like I said, it always bounces around the top 3. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... amily.html
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Yup, I remember taxis well. Too well.
    I think you are in for a bit of a culture shock. A big garden is something that fits some patio furniture, and I don't know anyone with a pool.
    In elk geval, dis blerrie koud en nat.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Yes it is. Especially today. When would you get to use a pool anyway? Unless of course you used it as a large water tank to store all the rainwater?
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • pm'd

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    benpinnick wrote:
    Yes it is. Especially today.
    I am suitably impressed by you interweb type translation skills.
    Try this:
    Voetsek
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Same to you.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • heheh

    wel dit verduidilik alles... hoe lank is jy al daar, van waar oorsprinklik?

    G
    cooldad wrote:
    Yup, I remember taxis well. Too well.
    I think you are in for a bit of a culture shock. A big garden is something that fits some patio furniture, and I don't know anyone with a pool.
    In elk geval, dis blerrie koud en nat.
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • kom nou ouens, play nice. :)

    G
    Primary ride:
    Merida 1-20 500:
    XT groupset, (i-spec shifters), XTR FD, Easton Haven wheels, RS SID RLT (100), Continental Mountain King:Rear, Race King:Front.

    Secondary ride in making:
    Pyga OneTwenty650b growing up

    Garmin E500, GoPro Hero 3 Black
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Its ok, CD and I are very good friends. As you will have guessed, he's a saffer too, but I try not to hold that against him ;)
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
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