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afan vs fod

CqcCqc Posts: 951
edited August 2014 in Routes
Hi all,
I'm planning a day trip for next week, and was wondering which one was a better prospect to go to. Afan is 3hrs and 5 mins away from my house and fod is 2hrs 25 away. I was wondering which one was a better option, as I have been to afan a year ago and survived the black trail, and I have improved loads over this year and so would not find it difficult now. However, I'm not an incredible rider who can do enormous gap jumps, etc. And so for the DH at fod, I was wondering how hard the trails there are ; which are the hardest or easiest, and whether there are chicken lines, etc. I ride a trail bike. Which would you recommend?


  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Fod is where I would go if I want to 'play'. The XC is pretty easy but a blast, and the DH runs can be ridden by anyone on anything, but you don't get long before its all over and your pushing back up (or on the bus). Afan is far more 'epic' but often leaves me wishing I had a bit more time for another lap, whereas FoD is efficient like that - you can ride right up until you _must_ leave.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    That's a tough question.

    I live in the middle of both and tend to go to FoD more. If it was purely xc I'd go to Afan. For playing on the dh trails and xc FoD is superb - I went twice last week :)

    The dh trails aren't that technical, the roots can be very slippery in the wet though.
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    I would go for FoD. There's more variety than the endless, smooth singletrack at Afan which I find a bit boring after the first lap.
    The blue at FoD is pretty entertaining, I prefer it to the red. The DH tracks are fairly tame by downhill standards, I can't think of anything there you can't roll other than two very small drops on GBU with perfect landings. The pedal back up to the top of the DH tracks is ten minutes max. I can push my DH bike up in 15 minutes.
    All the DH tracks can be ridden fairly hard on a trail bike, I will happily push myself on my Mega TR.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Afan sucks hairy dogs balls.
    FTFY I believe.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    Ok then, FOD it is then. AS for the DH tracks which ones are the easiest/ hardest/ most fun, and how big are those drops you speak of rockmonkey? So there is a chicken line to the road gap jump then? Thanks for the speedy replies
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Those drops RM is on about aren't small. They may be small for his god like riding but I don't hit them and I'm fairly competent. There are chicken lines around them anyway.

    All the dh trails are superb, do them all :) there are no road gaps that can't be rolled.
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    Thank you very much welshkev, all is fine then, how big are the drops then roughly out of interest, and yes I know that few of us have his godlike mad skills
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    See here. My mate niel is hitting one of them. The drop is only about 3ft, but the sloped landing is pretty steep so the total drop is around 8ft

  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774

    The drops are two foot! Thats hardly big by any standard. The Pro Ride Guides use the for teaching xc riders to ride drops. They look bigger as you ride up to them because the landing slope is quite high but they are ideal to learn on.
    There are alternative (chicken) lines.

    The easiest dh tracks are Sheepskull and Corkscrew. Ski Run is a bit more technical. Endo and Mr Rooty can be very tricky to get right but both are all about getting lines right.
    The road gaps (there are four) can all be rolled. The Ski Run road gap is smallest with about a 3 foot drop and 15 foot gap. The jump lines on the bottom of Endo, GBU and Mr Rooty can all be rolled.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    That's exactly as I described them RM. not a big drop, but the slope makes them bigger
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    welshkev wrote:
    The drop is only about 3ft, but the sloped landing is pretty steep so the total drop is around 8ft

    8ft is a huge exaggeration. If your going fast enough to clear that far then you're some sort of god. I have seen Elite downhill racers not even get close to that, maybe 5ft at race speed and 3ft for most riders. The wooden part of the drop is just over knee height for me so around 2-2.5ft
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Look at the pic I posted, it's higher than the rear wheel. So yeah, 2.5-3ft

    I was stood taking a pic down where my mate was landing and the drop was way above my head height.

    EDIT: I've just watched the video back. 5-6ft would be a more accurate assessment.
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    I have seen 10-12 (ripper category in races) year old kids ride off it and lots of people on xc bikes. It's as friendly as drops get, a perfect landing.
    Drops are usually measured in the height of the vertical part not the height to where you could possibly land. And they aren't measured in gentleman sausage inches.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    I know in the grand scheme of things it's small. but it's not a "small drop" is that makes any sense? :lol:

    I've hit bigger stuff else where and think nothing of flying over the road gaps, but for some reason I have a mental block on that drop :?
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Man up and ride it. It gives you so much more speed for the next section. Still tricky to get the speed for the next hip.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Man up and ride it. It gives you so much more speed for the next section. Still tricky to get the speed for the next hip.

    Yeah I do like that hip but I've never managed to clear it, that's probably ly why.

    I like the 2 little jumps after aswell. Apart from the pedal to the jump section that's a pretty perfect section :)
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    So is there a centre where all the trails start from that is accessible by car, as the forest of Dean is a rather large area?
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Yep: viewtopic.php?f=10013&t=12712311

    All trails can be accessed from there.

    However the bottom of the dh trails are here so you'll have to push up the 'push up' path, which starts just out of the car park, it catch the uplift from there.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Cqc wrote:
    So is there a centre where all the trails start from that is accessible by car, as the forest of Dean is a rather large area?

    Yes - you park in the carpark by "Pedalabikeaway", and all the trails are waymarked from there.

    It's £3 or so to park
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    £3.50 in summer jim
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    Thanks very much for all the help everybody! Looks like it's going to be a fun day out, and I'm really looking forward to riding here as its a pretty famous location.
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    I wouldn't get too excited. It's not exactly Whistler :-)
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    I wouldn't get too excited. It's not exactly Whistler :-)

    That depends, if he lives somewhere flat then it'll feel like it :lol:
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    North downs so yeah, very good, technical riding, but not much elevation and I don't get to ride new stuff too often so am definitely looking forward to it. One last question: what's the elevation change if the push up is only 10 mins? It can't be too much. And can you ride up the push up?
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Yes, you can ride up the push up.

    Not too sure but I'd guess its about 200m
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    10 minutes ride up, 15 minutes push up. 200 metres elevation is about right.
    Don't forget cash for the decent coffee and excellent pies.
    If you have a garmin look up a gpx file for the 2014 661 mini enduro route. Stages 2 and 3 are cracking trails and not marked. Stage 2 is particularly fun.
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    Cheers lads for the help but sadly I don't have a Garmin. Tbh I'll only be there for a day though, so 8 dh trails and 2 xc trails will probably be enough
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    Well I went there today and got there at about 10:30, did the blue loop, was feeling ripped off as there was like no descent until the final descent which was awesome and then I did the red trail which was fun. Had lunch and then started the. DH. Trails, did corkscrew and sheepskull, but Then it started to properly pour so that was it. Thanks for all the help and I'll Definately be back to finish the DH trails.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    yeah, as I said in my first post, if you want purely xc then afan is a much better bet.

    pity you didn't get chance to do the other dh trails, they're awesome. the new end to mr rooty, GBU and endo are superb. but I do like the top section of flatlands too....Hell I like all of them :lol:
  • stir88stir88 Posts: 124
    Hi, sorry to but in on this thread. Most of you who have replied to the OP must be regular riders of the FOD.
    Please could anybody let me know if there are any small table top jumps on any of the runs, by small i mean about 3' run in and out and about 6'- 8' table as i would like to practice my jumping technique.
    Also, earlier in the thread there was a drop off, what run is that on and are there some smaller ones to practice on.
    I wont be able to reply tonight as i'm out so would like to thank anyone who replies in advance.
    Cheers for any help.
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