• Oh, I see. So if I walk to Waterloo station from the hotel, then take the rail to Bracknell and cab from there it's a more reasonable commute; that sounds doable.

    re @Howard, I found a few spots up near Epping where I could pick up a trail bike; but it sounds to me like Swinley may be a better choice all things considered. Even if I find someone to ride with I'd likely want to stay out all day without imposing on anyone.

    What's the ride at Swinley like compared to Epping Forest?

  • What's the ride at Swinley like compared to Epping Forest

    Epping is all natural and there is no ‘sanctioned’ trail building. A good portion of the trails there are undulating flowy XC. You pedal a lot :) in contrast there are some mini downhill trail lines around Claypit hill where there are some purpose built jumps built by kids with spades. I’m surprised by how these seem to be tolerated as there are wardens who used to destroy this stuff on sight. They are fun with a light trail bike - the climb back up is testing.

    Swinley used to be a similar set up until people started getting hurt and suing the land owner - so the Crown Estate that owns the land built sanctioned trails on existing lines and put insurance in place. It’s pedally trail stuff on a purpose built surface with a lot of burms and some switchback climbs that lead to longer descents than you see at Epping. It’s easy to ride but it takes skill to ride it fast. There are a few trickier technical bits on natural lines deeper in to the red trail. There are no black runs only red and blue, but there are still unsanctioned hidden features deeper in the forest.

    It’s next door to crowthorn wood which is pretty similar to Epping and has a whole load of unsanctioned light XC trails. You can hook the two up.


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