Graffham sussex camping
I didn't have time for the full version, so planned a 19 miler which turned into 21 due to my messing up the route start by getting the GPS start point wrong. Easy surfaces unless it's been raining, when some of the field paths - such as the Portway Roman road section - can be heavy going. In summer though, I could see where I was going and happily bounced my way through all obstacles. I love the New Forest, but I have to say it doesn't offer much to MTB enthusiasts. Although not too hilly, there were some short sharp climbs and some good singletrack-like sections here and there. This ride uses the back half of the HCC Horndean ride, which I did pre-GPS.
I was trying to find some unridden bridleways over hilly open land to avoid mud dragging, so I joined the gaps from various other rides starting at Cheesfoot Head.It felt tougher than the stats suggest, probably due to dragging though mud. But it was very muddy in parts today which sapped the stamina and enjoyment somewhat - I had to push a few times.The start point is shown as a car park on the OS map but is actually a layby. The less popular bridleways were heavily overgrown, so my arms and legs were well and truly slashed by brambles and stung by nettles while forcing my way through. I did this one last year before I had a GPS, so I tried it in the reverse direction this time. Nothing vaguely technical on this one - all the bridleways were clear and easy going - but very pleasant nonetheless. This is loosely based on the HCC Danebury ride which I did last last year before I had a GPS. More roads than I'd have ideally liked, but we were staying at Morn Hill camp site (there is free parking for non-campers on the road by the pub) and I wanted a circular route centred on the campsite. They claim 17 miles off-road, but it's more like 13 - the roads bits are very quiet, though. Some good hills at the start with some quite testing climbs.This page hosts a collection of GPS tracklogs from my off-road mountain bike rides. The range is widening as I run out of bridleways near home, so some rides stray into West Sussex and Dorset. It is a cracker, and well worth the initial off-road hellish hill (more pushing! Some of the bridleways and tracks were very narrowed down with growth, but it's not a real ride unless you draw a bit of blood from a few brambles. But there was plenty of rocky singletrack action and some great climbs and near-vertical drops so I'll definitely be back for more around here. During planning, I hadn't noticed that the permissive bridleway near Testcombe doesn't quite join the road.
I compiled this page for my own amusement, mainly so that I could record my rides in order to avoid routes I have already done. Getting to it requires walking down a few yards of footpath with a nip across the corner of the Radio Telescope field to a handy hole in the hedge. I'd intended to do about 27 miles, but it was a serious mudfest today.
I generally avoid the New Forest cycle paths as they are too uniform and flat to be of interest to MTBers - but as this was a wet misty day, I thought the Frogham to Fritham path would make a welcome change from fighting boggy bridleways.
Not many hills, but still plenty of boggy mud on the non-Forest bridleways.
More road work than usual, but it was hard to get a circular loop. It was freezing fog so I missed the great views, and there was a lot of ice which did at least keep the gloopy bits manageable as they were frozen solid in places.
I wouldn't do this on a wet day as many of the trails would be unrideable. This route was very clear with no obstacles or tricky bits of any sort.
The track through the hills at Hippenscombe felt truly ancient - the kind of vibe you get at places like Glastonbury. B: the published ride is about 22.5 miles, but I missed a few turns so did a little longer. The views are as good as the Purbeck ride and there is virtually zero traffic off the main roads. I'd planned a second ride but did my back in once again, so one ride had to do for this trip. Met up with with Jon again for a very pleasant XC ride with a good mix of terrain.