I Rode My Bike Today (UK edition)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Lost Kiwi, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    UK (for now)
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Thought you guys may be interested in seeing what riding is like on the other side of the pond.
    *Note: Riding in Coventry is not representative of the rest of the UK (Its pretty shite round here off road)

    First a bit of geography/ history. Coventry is in the Midlands, called the midlands cos its in the middle innit.
    Capture.JPG
    I'm the blue dot just south of Coventry, Birmingham is the UKs 2nd biggest city and about 4o minutes to the west and the edge of London (M25 ring road) is about 1.5 hours south east down the M40 - commonly referred to round these parts as the english autobahn, you can comfortably cruise @ 90 without to much hassle from the fuzz. I was hoping to head to Cannock Chase (the red pin) which has a dedicated bike park as around here its easiest the best riding but the missus had stolen the chariot for the little man so I had to make do with a local run I have found. Anywhere on the map you see a big green splodge is generally a good spot to go riding, note the very obvious exception of any sizeable green splodge near me :(

    Coventry actually has a pretty big bike history, bike manufacturing started here when sewing machine manufacturers diversified in the late 1800s (https://oldbike.wordpress.com/7-bicycles-manufactured-in-coventry/)
    The local transport museum has a cool collection of some of this old stuff. I have an illogical want to get an early 1900s machine to park in the garage and play with but anything that comes up locally usually gets snapped up by the museum for restoration and display...

    Anyway onto the ride, the weather was a barmy 6 degrees (43f for you lot) up from the overnight low of -3 (26f) whilst we hadn't got any snownear us places within an hour had. I'd managed to patch up my leaking brake MC so rugged up and headed out. First stop is the woods at the top of my street, probably the best single track on the whole ride.
    IMG_0219.jpg
    IMG_0220.jpg
    From there its a pretty cruise up the local bike/dog walking path beside a stream (round here they call it a river :cautious:)
    IMG_0222.jpg
    crossing to the wrong side of the tracks
    IMG_0221.jpg
    Out past the hospital and along a local bridleway through some farmers fields
    IMG_0225.jpg
    From there I can get into the back of Coombe Abbey, its a Downton Abbey abbey rather than a churchie one. Probably the most scenic part of the ride.
    IMG_0226.jpg IMG_0227.jpg
    After dodging some angry swans (I kid not, seen one of those fiesty buggars take on a Bull Terrier!) its back onto more bridleway for the run home....
    IMG_0228.jpg
    There is one more wood for some more singletrack along the way
    IMG_0230.jpg
    Dodging mole holes heading across the park
    IMG_0231.jpg
    If you've been left with the distinct impression that things are rather flat around here then give yourself a gold star, nearly 14 miles of riding and less than 500 feet of elevation!

    Anyway, hope you enjoyed, time to start packing my bags for a return to the OC on Monday for another 9 days. Looking forward to some warmer weather and a decent climb / descent or three :)

    IMG_0229.jpg
     
  2. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara Ford
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    That was a fun jaunt! Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Very cool. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. SingleTrackJB

    SingleTrackJB Member

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    Name:
    SingleTrackRider
    Great ride report! Love the greenery.

    Spent 10+ years of my life in the UK and the one thing i truly miss is actually the road biking. I had outfits for every temperature. I miss the small country lanes, it surely beats biking Jamboree. Yes weather is not that good, but i could bike for so long and loved it.

    Some cool pictures! Have you been MTB-ing in the Lakes District too? That is the MTB-ing i did do (rental bikes). That was fun..
     
  5. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    UK (for now)
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Road is 100x more popular than MTB round here, purely because anything decent off-road is a car ride away. In my younger years I despised the road as it was so bloody boring compared to off road but I've come to realise that living in NZ meant I was truly spoilt for choice. For example this place was at the bottom of my suburb https://makarapeak.bike/

    However a few years back I got given an old hybrid from a friend (wahoo, free bike, spend a stupid amount of money on it) and turned it into a mongrel flat bar hybrid/roadie creation thats really comfortable. Over this summer I spent more time on that out on the local country roads than on the Marin. 5 minutes of riding and I'm out in the countryside riding quiet back lanes barely seeing a car. Its actually really enjoyable and for the most part (ignoring TdF wannabes) the others out riding are friendly and up for a chat.

    Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to go further afield with bike in tow. Places like the Lakes district, Peak district and North Wales are all on the wish list. However my work travel schedule can be punishing - my record this year was 7 days @ home in a 2.5 month period - so when I am actually home I tend not to stray far so I can spend as much time with the family as possible.
     
    Mikie, littlewave, mike and 8 others like this.
  6. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Outstanding!! Someday I want to check out my origins around Warwickshire (my surname originated there roughly 1,000 yrs ago) and if possible check out the riding conditions. :whistling: Maybe even pay a courtesy call on the Bard since Stratford-on-Avon is just down the road.

    Wife will make me go to Spain first.:rolleyes:
     
  7. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Ride report of the day, that's for sure! Probably better than what those hooligans will bring us from Palm Canyon! :p:D
     
  8. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Nomad CC 27.5
    @Lost Kiwi great report and thanks for sharing Simon. Always interesting to read of other riding locales especially when they’re in a foreign land.
     
  9. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Thanks for sharing. That was fabulous!
     
    Mikie, Tom the Bomb and Danmtchl like this.
  10. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    UK (for now)
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    I did that! Its actually quite humbling to trace back your history, I'm a bit further north, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyland,_Lancashire (I'm so famous they named a town after me :p)

    BTW I hate to say this but listen to your wife and go to Spain first. That place rocks! Awesome food, sweet lifestyle, great weather and Mondraker bikes. I would live there in a heartbeat.
     
    Mikie, Cyclotourist, herzalot and 4 others like this.
  11. konakc

    konakc Well-Known Member

    Name:
    kc
    Brilliant! Lost kiwi..love ur ride report! We dont get too much carpet wet track round here.. but recent rains has made things good.. once a year!
     
    Mikie and Tom the Bomb like this.
  12. ULEWZ

    ULEWZ Member

    Location:
    Northridge, Ca
    Name:
    Lew
    Current Bike:
    2015 Intense Tracer Pro Carbon
    I was in your country back in the 80's as a strapping young lad. Was in Cambridge for 2 months doing contractor field service work at Marshall's of Cambridge (British Airways Sunset III mod), and have actually been to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Thanks for sharing the pictures and please, keep them coming.
     
  13. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    UUUhh maybe!
     
    Mikie, DangerDirtyD, rossage and 2 others like this.
  14. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    UK (for now)
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Thought I'd chuck this ride report up here to show how diametrically opposed my last two rides have been! Took a month of work over Christmas / New Years to head to the antipodes and catch up with the whanau (family) on both sides of the Tasman sea. Notable achievements were drinking beer everyday for a month and actually managing to go on a bike ride. My NZ family are located in a place called Whangarei (Fong - a - ray) about a 2.5 hour drive north of Auckland on the coast.

    Anyway my older bro had been regaling his boy with tales of my awesomeness as a rider in my younger years so he decided he needed to take me on a bike ride. My niece took great delight in telling me I was going to get buried. :laugh:
    I duly borrowed my bro's bike, which looked like it had last been serviced sometime when jesus was a baby and headed out with my nephew to a local place called Parihaka.
    IMG_0313.jpg
    We tried to set of early before it got to hot. temp was still well north of 30 degrees and humid though. We made quite a sight as well, my bro's 6'5 and 250+lbs, I'm only 6,0 and 175 so I looked like a little kid on a bike 5 sizes to big. My nephew takes after my bro and even though hes only 10 still looked like a dog trying to root a tennis ball on a bike that was clearly to small for him.
    Anyway we started from the parking lot top right in the trail map and headed up white tail (a type of spider) then onto spider junction before coming down McKenzie. I stopped halfway down to capture the view.
    IMG_0312.jpg
    We headed back up the fire road to spider junction before I got a bit lost and ended up at the very top of the mountain before coming back down Rainbow Warrior - A little bit of history there, The Rainbow Warrior was a greenpeace ship that the frenchies decided to blow up in Auckland harbour once upon a time so we reference it every now and then to wind them up a bit - Anyway this bit of track was a wicked downhill pump run making me wish I had something with functioning suspension and not the emphysemic sounding rock shox on the steed I had been so generously lent!
    From there it was a quick run down the French Connection (I did say us kiwis love a bit of wind up:laugh:) and out the Exit Track for a fun hour and a half playing around in the forest. Impressive place considering its all volunteer maintained. In my opinion one of the best bits about it.... Its a stones throw from the city!
    Here is the view from the top looking back over the city. Literally 10 minutes away tops.
    IMG_0315.jpg
    Maori rock carving at the top.
    IMG_0314.jpg
     
    herzalot, Faust29, Danimal and 9 others like this.
  15. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    UK (for now)
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    So my next ride less than a week later was about 11,250 miles away. Its that far away google maps can't show you all in one picture :Roflmao
    Capture2.JPG
    Capture1.JPG
    (and no they aren't lying when they say 1 day 6 hours to make the trip - flight time alone is a good 26 hours not including stop overs)
    The UK has enjoyed a relatively mild winter so far this year but everyone is saying its coming to an end soon with snow and ice on its way. So I decided to sod the jet lag and head out whilst I still can! Finally made the trip to Cannock Chase, the midlands premier spot for riding.
    CC Map.JPG
    Weather was pretty typical for this time of year, wet, grey and gloomy. Only nice bit was it was relatively speaking warm at 10ish degrees. I'd decided I would just start on Follow the Dog and see how I got on before committing to doing the monkey trail as well. Cannock Chase is a working forest but they still take care to not wreck trails when they are felling which is cool to see. The track is odd considering where you are, its a mix of dirt and smooth rounded stones. Makes for some interesting times especially in the wet! Some of the track has been laid in big stone slabs as well to give you something to focus the mind. Also the fact that its a one way trail is pretty much a necessity the amount of people out riding it is insane. In saying that though the riders are all pretty good at either getting out of the way or asking to be let past. You get a real mix to, saw people on single speeds, cyclocross, old clunkers, electrics etc etc.
    One thing to note if you are thinking of coming here, leave your 800mm bars at home! I run about 720mm width on the Marin and even I was struggling to fit though some of the gaps. Quite a few trees were bearing the scars from bar strikes.
    I managed to make it round both Follow the Dog and Monkey Trail before the jet lag and lack of riding over the month caught up with the legs.
    Anyway here some pics (I couldn't get many in the forest because it was so dark and gloomy in there!)
    IMG_0318.jpg
    This is the bottom of the devils staircase looking back up (you can barely make out another rider coming down) Its a switchback decent through the trees with some evil 1ft man made drop offs on the way down.
    IMG_0319.jpg
    One of the few areas where you aren't in the trees on Monkey Trail (Over the Rainbow)
    IMG_0320.jpg
    Part of Monkey Trail, can't remember where, gives you an idea of the flowing nature of the single track though.

    I'll be returning for sure. Will try and get better pics for you all next time.
     
    herzalot, Faust29, UPSed and 10 others like this.
  16. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Tallboy Upgrade
    Yeah, this will work...
     
    Mikie and DangerDirtyD like this.
  17. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Nomad CC 27.5
    thats awesome! thanks for posting Simon @Lost Kiwi
     
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    I'm liking this international feel!
    Good stuff @Lost Kiwi !!!
     
    Lost Kiwi and DangerDirtyD like this.
  19. CBone

    CBone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Antelope Valley
    Name:
    Tucker
    Current Bike:
    Intense Primer
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    Mikie and DangerDirtyD like this.
  20. Danimal

    Danimal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    Good stuff! Thanks for posting it.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  21. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I like this guy. Can we keep him?
     
  22. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Spectacular! Now THAT's a ride report. :thumbsup: :cool: :)

    Couldn't be more opposite of my usual experience of riding no farther than 30 minutes from home. :confused:
     
  23. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    UK (for now)
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    Given the washout of my last OC trip, 1 ride in nearly 2 weeks :( I decided I needed a mental health day and headed back to Cannock Chase for another blast round there without the crowds. Last time I went was a Sunday and there were literally 100+ cars in the carpark, this time maybe 20 so my gamble paid off. Only saw a handful of people on the way round so was able to stop and get some more pictures this time :thumbsup: weather was pretty good, warm when you were in the sun, out of the sun there was still the remnants of last nights frost on the ground but it was ok if you kept moving.
    IMG_0355.jpg
    You can choose your path in a few spots, the trail splits in places as well for black sections or red sections (neither of those is black btw)
    IMG_0357.jpg
    This is the top of Devils Staircase which I had a pic of last time from the bottom, a group of young kids cruised past whilst taking the picture at the top, they had all stopped just before one of the drop offs before a switchback corner where I went sailing past got distracted and launched myself of it at full tit (normally I slow right down) the pucker factor was pretty high but I nailed it and got some words of admiration in return :whistling: yep, I meant to do that all along :Roflmao
    IMG_0359.jpgThen I headed onto the second loop which is Monkey Trail, here is why you don't bring your 800mm bars, this part of the trail is very appropriately called tight squeeze.........
    IMG_0361.jpg
    One of the best downhill sections on Monkey Trail has to be Lower Cliff, out in the open, fast and flowing with plenty of places to get air (even if you don't want to)
    IMG_0364.jpg
    I had to take a photo of this one, the name provokes images of some evil ascent to the clouds..... the reality, a 10 minute leisurely climb at best :rolleyes:
    IMG_0363.jpg
    I would have taken more photos but at this point I meet a lost American called Jim, he'd caught the train up from London and then cabbed it out from the train station, hired a bike and gone for a peddle. We ended up chatting all the way back to the car park :Roflmao so here is the bike shop at the carpark. Its a pretty sweet setup, Hope sponsor a bike wash station and theres also a Cafe that do a mean bacon sarnie (thats a sandwich) all very civilized!
    IMG_0365.jpg
    Turns out Jim is co-founder of a brewery in Minneapolis so I gave him a ride back to the train station so we could chat some more. Top bloke!
     
  24. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Yes!
    Digging this.
    Thank you!
    Mikie
     
    Lost Kiwi likes this.
  25. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    So... You're telling me that I need to tag along on my wife's next trip to London!
     
  26. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The OC, Calif
    Name:
    Andy
    Current Bike:
    Depends...
    My parents live about 90 mins away. You ride an XL don't you @Faust29 ? You can borrow my hardtail
     
    Cyclotourist and Faust29 like this.
  27. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    You have me thinking now! She has a London trip in the not too distant future.
     
    Cyclotourist, Derkderkall and Andy like this.
  28. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Tallboy Upgrade
    Make it happen!!!

    Thanks for posting these @Lost Kiwi , they're perfect!
     
    Lost Kiwi and Faust29 like this.
  29. Lost Kiwi

    Lost Kiwi Member

    Location:
    UK (for now)
    Name:
    Simon
    Current Bike:
    Nugget Proflex 657
    If your serious. You can ride closer to London as well, Hadleigh Park is out in Essex, its the old 2012 London olympics course. Free to ride, no bike hire at the park but a London shop should be able to sort you out with something. Catch the C2C train from Tower Hill in central London and ride from Benfleet station (just over 2 miles)

    Otherwise theres the Jim option, come up to Cannock Chase. £60 to hire a bike from the shop, think Jim was on a Trek Fuel. He was pretty impressed with it.

    If you do want to do Cannock let me know, if I'm in town I'll come for a ride and pick you up from the train station.
     
  30. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I am half serious... My wife has been traveling a lot lately, and it seems London will be one of the regular stops. She has been bugging me to come along.
     
    Cyclotourist and Lost Kiwi like this.
Loading...