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Getting off road in Bradford area

Boy LardBoy Lard Posts: 445
edited June 2010 in Routes
Just starting to cycle to try and gain some fitness, but I want to get into some trail/off road riding. I want to try some out before I lay out for a new bike. Any and all suggestions for where/how to start in the Bradford-Leeds area would be much appreciated.


  • Whereabouts in Bradford are you based? There's lots of unofficial stuff in Esholt/Spring/Thackley/Calverley woods, although it might be a bit of a quagmire at the moment after last week's rain and therefore best avoided until it dries out again. Nothing is waymarked (or even marked on the OS map) but it's quite well used by local riders. If you stick to the most obvious tracks there's nothing too technical/terrifying - take a sense of exploration and have fun!

    The nearest trail centres are probably Stainburn, Lee Quarry and Gisburn. Awesome though the first two are, they probably aren't ideal for someone just getting into off road riding. Gisburn has a really nice blue with some lovely flowing singletrack - it's not that long but well worth a look if you're in the area.

    Tons and tons of natural stuff in the Dales, round Hebden Bridge or Nidderdale - hard to know where to begin but the mtbdales website has some good routes on it. Maybe try one of the shorter ones from there and see how you get on?

    HTH - Leeds/Bradford is a great base for biking IMO and it's not hard to get out to the Lakes, Wales or the Peak :D
    It doesn't have to be fun to be fun...
  • Boy LardBoy Lard Posts: 445
    I actually live in Thackley, about 200 yards from Buck Woods. I have walked though those woods on and off for the last 28 years. I often cycle along the canal bank around there, but I know they had a lot of trouble with motor bikes in the woods and I felt a bit unsure whether the 'Friends of Buck Woods' people would be happy about me travelling the 'footpath' routes on my MTB. Guess I'll just go out and try it.

    Thought I might try Shipley Glen area as well, but I don't know that area as well. Mind you, All Terrain Cycles is very near the bottom of it, so i could start there.
  • I think as long as you keep a low profile, don't trash anything, move out of the way for walkers etc, you shouldn't have any trouble - I've seen loads of other bikers and walkers in there and no one's ever been anything but friendly towards me. I've seen MXers in Spring Woods though and I've seen the trashed ground where they've been - the ground in those woods is soft and spinning wheels just churn it up in seconds :(

    To be honest, I just tend to ride more or less straight through Thackley on my way to Dawson Wood (you can use the permissive bridleway to do this) - the trails there are wider, a bit less overgrown and are great fun. There's a couple of green dotted lines on the 1:25,000 OS map if you have a look. Again, lots of other stuff away from these if you fancy some exploration.

    Haven't been to Shipley Glen - I'm know the area pretty well from climbing there, never occurred to me it could be ok for riding too. Will have to have a look at some point.
    It doesn't have to be fun to be fun...
  • Boy LardBoy Lard Posts: 445
    If you don't mind pootling along for an evening I'd appreciate some pointers, if you're going to be in the area anyway.
  • leeshieldsleeshields Posts: 35
    The Bingley Bash is a cracking ride and will give you a great selection of surfaces. It's about 12 miles the way we do it.

    You can do it all on Bridleway or throw in the odd short footpath section to expand it out to Flappit. ... 5&t=h&z=13

    Heres a good ride starting from the Dog & Gun near Oxenhope, some hairy bits on it though so maybe get some off road miles under your belt first. ... 9&t=h&z=14

  • pantera06pantera06 Posts: 115
    im from the odsal area in bradford i was planing to go to temple newsome today but my mates are working but still up for some riding
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