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Newbie from just outside Portsmouth

McBandyMcBandy Posts: 2
edited October 2013 in MTB beginners
Hello everybody,

I'm Chris, I'm 30 (for a few days) and I'm just getting back into biking, currently commute to work (mainly road :cry:) on whichever bike is less broken. Was previously into MTB's before i learned to drive and then it kinda fell by the wayside - familiar story i'm sure.

Currently have 8 bikes/frames in my posession :oops: and an understanding missus, most recent acquisition is a 2012 (apparently, haven't got round to confirming this yet) Carrera Vengeance Ltd, seems like a good bike, need to bleed the worryingly poor rear brake, works fine when pumped! but other than that and the odd mark here and there, some scary Double Fighter II's and a creaking bottom bracket it's good and i might stick with this one for a while!

Anyhoo I'm new to the area, live in Purbrook and looking to find some good places to ride and people to ride with, anyone know how to bleed?!

Sorry if that's a ramble.



  • I come from Portsmouth and though I haven't lived there for 20 years, I used to ride as a kid with all my mates and explore in the way that only kids do. There are plenty of great trails in easy reach of Purbrook - I used to live in Cosham so its pretty much the same area.

    At the top of the road that QA Hospital is on, you can go off road back on yourself at the roundabout so that you are going above the hospital. There are loads of chalk trails there along the top of the hill back towards the fort and lots of bowls for jumps and tricks etc. This side of the road I mentioned is mostly a play area is where we used to hang as kids and see how much air we could get out of various jumps we found.

    If you go up the road with QA on and turn left instead at the roundabout you can access the old chalk pits and there is one particularly fine downhill that we christened 'The Pylon Run' as it goes from the top of Portsdown Hill rapidly down to the pylon at at the bottom. I remember it being pretty crazy, fast and technical and ended up on my backside more than once.

    Also from that roundabout at the top of Portsdown Hill you can go towards Wickham and Southwick. After about 5 or 6 miles on this road there is a right turn to a place called Hundred Acres. This is a forest and there are miles and miles of singletrack there. Not much in the way of elevation, but some great trails none the less. It gets muddy this time of year, so be prepared for that!

    Further afield but still easy to reach by car there is some truly outstanding riding at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, this is up the A3 towards Petersfield. We used to ride there from Portsmouth most weekends on the backroads, there is a great pub on the way called the Bat and Ball near East Meon I think. We used to stop here to take on water (not beer, we were 15), its apparently where cricket was invented if I remember correctly. Anyway, QE country park has great riding, up to the top of Butser Hill and a massive open moor style downhill where you can hit 40+mph, or there is all the forest trails in the park proper with plenty of up and downs. From here you can also hit the Southdowns Way which is excellent. We used to head from here to a place called Kingley Vale, I think this in Sussex and nearer to Chichester so this is a pretty monster route, about 60 or 70 miles I think overall and, unsurprisingly, used to take literally all day to do.

    Anyway, hope that helps, it was 20 odd years ago so apologies if any of this has changed or been closed off etc etc!
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    You are lucky to live in a great area for Mountain Biking... join up at Kingley Vale Mountain Bikers and you will find plenty of other locals, and ideas on where to ride. I'm the other side of the A3 to you - as you can see:
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • Queen Elizabeth country park just up the road from you. Something more long distance is the Shipwrights Way, a 40 mile mostly off road/traffic free route from Bentley Station to Gun Wharf - we rode this last month and really enjoyed it.
    1999 Scott Vail - Work commute
    2015 Giant Anthem 27.5 SX - Weekend riding

    East Hants MTB on Facebook:
  • hello!

    can second recommending QE country park, been on red trail few times now and its great fun!
  • Check out they have loads of information on nearby trails! :)
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    Hi Chris, I used to live in Southsea (just moved to Scum) but I work in Liss. I ride every Tuesday with a group of lads all over the area. Usual format is meet at a pub, ride for 15-20 miles/2.5 hours then back to pub for a pint and a meal.

    Very laid back lads, no one takes themselves seriously at all and the group has a great combined knowledge of natural trails all over. We ride from pubs all over, places like Petersfield, Horndean, Rogate, Funtington, Elstead, Devils Punchbowl (awesome riding up there), Selbourne, Denmead etc etc. People just turn up for whichever rides suit them. You'd be welcome to join one night if you wanted to get out. PM me if your interested and I'll throw some digits your way.

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