Ashton Court MTB Trails – Review

If you follow my Youtube Channel you will have seen this video last weekend and know that I paid a visit (with a few mates) to Ashton Court in Bristol for a revisit – been about 5 years since I was there last!

Now before we get stuck in, the trails are in a city, so there is a distinct lack of elevation and serious gravity fed fun.

Its not a hot destination for mountain bikers wishing to “shred the gnar” or if you are in search of real technical challenges (though the Super Nova Red section was particularly scary in the wet!). However, if you live in the South West and have a few hours to spare its well worth a visit.

Firstly parking is only £1.20 for the whole day – I know this is probably not high on the  your check list when visiting a trail centre but if you live in south Wales for instance, now that the Severn Bridge Tolls have been removed its a very cheap trip – and I think you should consider it.

Whats here?

Only about 7 miles in total of way marked trails. Mostly “flat” and cross country  by nature but the constant undulation will give you a proper work out.  The Bristol Bikefest is a much missed event and tested riders endurance on multiple laps up until a few years ago.

These are made up of 2 main trails at Ashton Court and in the neighbouring Leigh Woods.  Leigh Woods was less fun, but there are some off piste trails there that are worth exploring in the drier weather.

Mostly you have twisty single track, with a mix of rocky and natural (muddy) surfaces.

And don’t forget the undulation – which basically translates as you will be pedalling most of the way around.

Red Sections here bear absolutely no resemblance to “Reds” at Bike Park Wales or even the Forest of Dean.  In a nutshell, its a pretty easy and non challenging environment on the whole. However…..

Don’t dismiss it

Recently there have been some developments and new trail sections have had some work done to provide flow and jumpable features that the trail had previously lacked.

There are a few sections (as you will see in my video) that are worth lapping and sessions in these short spots can help novice riders learn some skills and provide a fun playground for even the most advanced riders.

So go and give it a visit, put a few hours aside and session the new bits (you’ll know them when you find them) and if you don’t enjoy yourself you haven’t tried hard enough.

Links

Here’s a great downloadable map of the trails including the ones in Leigh Woods and 50 Acre Woods  :

https://betterbybike.info/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/BD10784-Mountain-Bike-Trails-leaflet-WEB.pdf

For info on bike hire and skills coaching at the trails contact Pedal Progression  :

https://www.pedalprogression.com/about/

Advertisements

Where does your GoPro footage go to die?

Sometimes a blog post or a video strikes a chord, makes you (my subscribers) sit up and take notice and what starts as me simply looking to make some content turns out to be something that people actually take some notice of.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say, or video stuff just for the sake of it; everything I say or write is something I mean or believe in.  And the subject of wasted GoPro footage does bug me.

It doesn’t keep me up at night. And I don’t walk around worrying about it rotting on a microSD card in your back pack or anything, I just think why bother if you are not going to use it?

At the very least you’ve likely paid £150 for your GoPro (maybe £400!). You’ve probably stressed about charging the batteries, sorting out where you are going to mount it on your body or your helmet.  On the day of the ride you’ve probably taken the time to ask your mates, is the red light on? You’ve cursed when you pinned your fave section of trail and not pressed record.

And then you’ve got home, cleaned our bike, had a shower, had a meal, gone to bed, got up for work and its forgotten..

The first thing I do is download my footage and the second is shower, third eat and then its review and hopefully edit and upload. Eventually I go to bed!


The other reason behind this video was not just to tell you that you have wasted your money buying the camera, but was to also tell you that you should put it out there as people watch stuff of all sorts of quality and all sort of trails.  And ordinary mountain bikers make up the majority of mountain bikers and I think they want to see other normal guys riding trails like they will ride trails…

Just be honest and true and put it out there…  My mate Darren made this video (ok 9 years ago) and its had over 18000 views!

 

Might as well pump…

I really need to do this more often.

Getting to one of my “local” pump tracks and wiping myself out for an hour or two sis such good exercise.

img_0811

It also means I get to dress in skinny jeans and wear my POC lid.

img_0812

Honestly 75% of that video (not the bit with me in the car obviously) was filmed with my DJI Spark drone.  I’m pleased with how it came out and how I got some lucky shots and angles completely by accident.  For instance if you look at the sequence at 1:55 in, this was only set up to capture 1 pass, but the 3 passes on all 3 lines was such a bonus!

Any way hope you like this – if you did please leave a comment on the video, give it a thumbs up and please subscribe!

Bit of blue for the Dads

Do people still say that?

Its a bit click baity, but I have to try anything these days to get views!

If you haven’t been to BikePark Wales in a while you might not know they’ve made some new trails – 7 in all. Well I rode 5 of them on Monday and in the video above you can see montage of my day.

I’ve put a shortcut below to each trail and highlighted the 5 new ones with an asterisk. I have also colour coded the trails Blue and Red.

Please note that ACDC and Watts Occurring are graded as RED below but are a bit of a step up in some ways.  Any other trail centre and they might be considered BLACK as they have some features that require commitment and in some parts of the trail there is no obvious line choice.

Anyway, i hope you enjoy the video and your next visit to BikePark Wales

Trails in order :
Sixtapod https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=14s
Willy Waver https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=47s
Melted Welly https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=1m19s
* Off Grid https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=1m37s
* Fforest Bump https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=1m59s
* Roller Disco https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=2m17s
Blue Belle https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=2m32s
Terry’s Belly https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=2m53s
Hot Stepper https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=3m8s
Vicious Valley https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=3m33s
Surfin Bird https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=4m13s
Bushwacker https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=4m46s
* ACDC https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=5m8s
* Watts Occurring https://youtu.be/q5QcDA7MxqY?t=6m10s

All filmed using a GoPro Hero Session 4 (link for session 5) – https://amzn.to/2wnTqum

I’ve been Vlogging // Youtube

Don’t listen to them.  That’s what I tell myself.

Now is always a good time. That’s another saying I like.

Done is better than perfect. Not one of mine, but I like it and its my new blogging/vlogging moto.

Don’t wait until you have perfected it, just get the content out there and be yourself. Sometimes too polished and fancy can seem fake.  Sure I’m doing some intro’s, adding music etc but you have to make it a little interesting, there’s just no need to spend days making a slick edit, unless thats what people want. Mountain bike videos don’t have to be all from behind the bars or on top of your helmet.

Anyway – i might do a “guide to mountain bike vlogging” post at some point, but for now please head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe.

I’d love the support and encouragement and if you could hit the Like button and leaev comments that would be awesome!

Thanks

Tim