Go OffRoad

GO OFFROAD NEWS  11th October …  Item 1 – The ‘Go Offroad’ page has been updated – Take a look below and let Alan know your thoughts ! …. Item 2 – We are back from a fantastic trip cycling in the New Forest and the Isle of Wight – Click here to see the  photos.

King Alfred's Way by Guy Kesterven by Cycling UK, the cyclists'champion ...Take a look at the recent Cycling UK magazines and you must become aware of the momentum there is building with doing more Offroad riding, in all its various guises and flavours. See all the articles and letters about the King Alfreds Way, the West Kernow Way, and now the Rebellion Way. 

 

 

Baggage check: bikepacking bags or panniers? | Cycling UKRead all the editorial with the increasing talk of ‘gravel’ bikes  and bike packing.  Listen to people talk about the opportunities to use the canal towpaths and disused train tracks for day rides and long distance routes. Even the National Trust is looking to open up their places for more offroad cycling in the grounds of their stately homes. 

 

And if you do happen to go along to a one of the ever expanding number of trail centres you’ll be stunned by the number of people, the energy and the enthusiasm across all the age groups, and even seeing whole families riding together.  Potentially very importantly for us to consider is to look at the teenagers on their mountain bikes enthralled by this aspect of the cycling world and who now see it as their primary route into ‘cycling’ rather than previous generations wanting a drop handlebar lightweight racer to use on the road.

And don’t forget the growing desire of cyclists, even in our club, who are seeking sometimes to get away from the noise, intimidation and risks of cycling on the road to routes  that are scenic, in harmony with nature, peaceful and car-free !

It is also interesting to observe that as Offroad riding expands exponentially as a major component of the cycling ‘scene’ in the UK, there appears to be a very open approach to it across genders and cultures.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all of the previous as a background this page outlines the way that CTC Coventry is looking to develop opportunities to get engaged with more Offroad Riding as part of our ever increasing  involvement in the wider spectrum of recreational cycling. 

It covers …

Introduction

If you’ve never ridden Offroad before

Join a Ride

Where we ride

Winter 2022/23 Offroad Schedule

2022 Offroad Trips

2023 Trips Programme

Advice on Long Distance Trails

Library of Countryside Routes

 

INTRODUCTION

Historically the club has primarily been focused on Road cycling, both day rides and tours. However, there has also been some ‘informal’ interest in getting offroad – we are always happy to include the odd section of bridleway, railway line and canal towpath in our rides and these undoubtedly are throughly enjoyed, Bob Tinley has always championed doing some adventurous offoad routes, and there has been the occasional ‘Rough Rides’ in the past.

Recently, building on the enthusiasm of a couple of club members, and a sense of real enjoyment from our riders when our day rides do come across the occasional routes through woods and along old railway lines, we have started to plan and schedule in some more regular offroad countryside rides, go to country parks, see what trail centres have to offer, and to do some offroad tour riding. 

We are in a bit of a ‘suck it and see’ stage …riding a range of different routes and styles to work out exactly what our members want to do – ranging from the tracks around Sutton Park, the bridleways and farm tracks in the surrounding countryside, and the fun routes at trail centres such as Hicks Lodge and Cannock Chase.

 

For you it is a chance to experience riding offroad in a number of different situations and in a safe and enjoyable manner to work out if you enjoy it, and if it is likely to be part of your cycling CV that you would like to expand. Especially important for most of our members is having the opportunity to get closer to scenic nature by cycling through woods, across heathland and fields,  and on the tracks and bridleways in the countryside. Another key interest area is to experience the fun and challenge of trying out some of the Trail Centres where we we focus on the easier Green and Blue routes. As we build up our skills and stamina this also opens up the possibility of members doing Offroad Tours and Long Distance Trails.

And a common message that come up time and time is the sheer pleasure of riding away from the pressure and threat of other road users !!

 

So where are we in 2022 ?  We have done a number of local offroad day rides, for example from Ryton Pools to Frankton, and from Napton to Hellidon; have been on the tracks around Sutton Park; and have  been to Cannock Chase a couple of times, especially to prepare for this year’s Tours… and we have done the highly success tour to the Peak District, and have just completed a brilliand long weekend in the New Forest and Isle of Wight. 

We are starting to build up a set of riders who have a reasonable background in Offroad riding who can help with planning routes, leading rides, leading tours, and importantly helping members to developing skills and experience.

 

 

The success of these initials steps into Offroad Riding have given us the confidence to start to build a Schedule for Winter 2022/23 and to start to build a Programme of Trips for 2023.

This is a report on a recent day ride we did between Napton and Hellidon, from Marina Friend

“We set off from Napton on the Hill towards Hellidon via bridleways and farm tracks. After a breath-taking (literally) climb to the top of Hellidon Hill, we appreciated stunning panoramic views on a beautiful sunny day. This was followed by a long exhilarating, slightly bumpy, downhill making all the climbing well worthwhile. Blackberries and Damson plums along the way kept us well energised.”

 

And this is one of our members having her first tentative experience on a Blue Route at Cannock Chase to help develop her skills

If you’ve never ridden offroad before ?

There are a number of different interpretations of what ‘Offroad’ riding is, and this can can lead to confusion and  apprehension as to what you are getting yourself into !  Our take on ‘Offroad’ is that it is primarily for getting out into the Countryside on tracks and bridleways on standard mountain bikes or wide tyred gravel bikes- we are not hardcore, adrenaline-junkie MTB trail riders doing huge jumps and bouncing over huge rocks … although some of us do like to try some of the simpler routes at Trail Centres to increase our skills, our stamina, and our heart-rates !

As a follow-on point that constantly comes up – you do not need to have a mountain bike or gravel bike … if you are strong and skilled enough you could do it on a Raleigh Chopper!  –  but generally a MTB of or wide-tyred Gravel bike will make it easier and more accessible for most of us.

We are always looking to open up to new riders and offer options to ‘dip-a-toe’ in the water of Offroad Riding .. we can do some simple short Countryside routes or Country Park tracks as introductory sessions, or take you for an easy fun ride on a ‘Green’ route at one of the Trail Centres. Please let us know if you’d like to give something a go.

We also know that there can be some small barriers to getting into this. Firstly, you might not have a suitable bike – we can help with that by finding a simple gentle introductory route you can do on your current bike, or by maybe loaning you a mountain bike bike to join a simple offroad day ride. Secondly, most of the rides are away from Coventry – again we could try to arrange transport for you to and from the start point. Thirdly, you might think its just for the ruffty-tuffty technical riders – it is not, this is NOT technical mountain biking and if you are a competent road cyclists you will be able to do these rides – you will be knackered because it uses your muscles differently but you WILL be able to do it !  

Join a Ride

The Offroad section of the Club does not have any separate rides planner, or diary or booking mechanism – it all works alongside the Road cycling rides.

So to see what’s in plan have a look at our Ride & Tour Diary … the Offroad rides are normally highlighted in Green … or keep an eye open for Offroad Rides appearing in our Weekly Bulletin.

We also have a WhatsApp Group ‘CTC Coventy Offroad‘ that you could ask to join

Contact Alan Jelley is you want more information or would like to have an introductory ride.

 

Where we Ride

We have a three different options for rides and routes – Countryside Rides, Country Parks and Trail Centres

1. Countryside rides

We have a selection of local rides in the countryside around Coventry… see our Library of Countryside Routes at the bottom of the page for our growing choice of routes. These tend to be a combination of Bridleways and quiet country lanes. Generally they will involve a drive to the start point then a few hours enjoying the scenery and the challenge of riding through it ! There are a number we haven’t done for a while which we will be investigating with your help in the near future.

2. Country Parks

We do have a couple of Country Parks – Sutton Park and the Lickey Hills – which have tracks around them which are suitable for informal offroad riding, and soon we will be investigating what the Clent Hills have to offer.

Sutton ParkLots of trails around the park, across heathland and through woods and by ponds, for scenic non-technical offroad cycling

 

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/263866

Get .gpx File

To get a .gpx filefor navigation then go to the ‘Route Tools’ section  the Left-hand Sidebar and then Click on the ‘GPS’ icon

Lickey Hills   – A selection of short trails radiating out from the Lickey Hills https://s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/Vh7KP1Ep-ljmz7dsmB2laQ/o.jpgVisitor Centre exploring the different scenery and riding conditions.

 

 

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/276195

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/276389

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/276587

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/278156

Get .gpx File

To get a gpx filefor navigation then go to the ‘Route Tools’ section  the Left-hand Sidebar and then Click on the ‘GPS’ icon

Clent Hills This is a new one to us which we’ve only just become aware of.  Four Stones Folly - geograph.org.uk - 672193  We’ll do an investigative ride there soon and decide if it is suitable for us to ride as a group, and matches what we like to do Offroad.

Clent Hills outline and Biking on the Clent hills

 

 

3. Trail Centres

We have a couple of Trail Centres – Hicks Lodge and Cannock Chase – within an hour travel for more ‘technical’ mountain bike riding, with a range of routes and challenges from the dead easy to the pulse raising ! Additionally we’ve just done a check visit to the new Trail Centre at Northampton which we will be looking to put in our schedule at some time. And there are rumours of a small trail centre at Bedworth which we will be taking a ride out to fairly shortly.

Hicks Lodge – A couple of easy offroad routes in a lovely setting as an easy hicks lodge cycle centre - YouTubefirst step into single track riding. A real nice introduction to trail centre riding.
 
https://www.forestryengland.uk/hicks-lodge

https://www.nationalforest.org/visit/activities/hicks-lodge-national-forest-cycle-centre

Cannock Chase – Many different types of offroad cycling to be experienced from the scenic gentle Sherbrook trail, through the new Perrys Blue Route as a fun step up from Hicks Lodge and for the enhisiasts a chance to move on  to the technical challenges of ‘Follow the Dog’ and ‘Monkey Trail’ Red Routes.

https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2014/10/SM-Cannock-6038.jpg

Routes From Cannock Chase Visitor Centre

Sherbrook Trail – Gentle Blue Trail

https://www.chasetrails.co.uk/files/map_cannockchase_blue.pdf

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/278234

Green Route from Cannock Chase Visitor Centre to Birches Valley

Routes From Birches Valley Visitor Centre

Northampton Bike Park      A selection of short technical routes from simple green routes, through to some skill developing blue routes, and full on Red and Black routes for the intrepid riders, in a compact setting.

Parking Road Bike

Good for a concentrated session of skills development. 

 

 

 

Outline of what the Bike park has to offer

Winter 2022/23 Schedule

Using all these options the following is an outline of a possible structure of rides for the upcoming  months using a combination of Countryside rides from our Library, routes round Country Parks, and visits to Trail Centres to try to maintain a schedule of around 3 Offroad Rides a month over the Winter period. Please keep an eye on the Rides Diary and the Weekly Bulletin to see what actually we will be doing

Month Type of Rides for the Month
October 2022 Countryside Ride – Grandborough Bridleways – DONE !
Trip – New Forest Tour – BRILLIANTLY DONE !
Country Park – Lickey Hills ?  – CHANGED TO BEING A TRIAL RIDE SESSION AT CANNOCK
Trail Centre – Northampton Bike Park for everyone … plus optional “Ladies Social Ride at Northampton Bike Park” – https://www.moredirt.com/event/5341AFTER A VISIT DECIDED THAT THIS WAS POSSIBLY NOT SUITABLE FOR OUR GROUP AT THIS POINT IN TIME – MAYBE SPRING 2023 ?
November 2022 Countryside Ride – Baddesley Clinton

Trail Centre Intro / Improver- Hicks Lodge

Country Park – Clent Hills ?

Canal path ride to Bedworth Trail Centre ?

December 2022 Countryside Ride – one from the Blue List in the Library of Routes

Trail Centre Intro & Improver – Cannock Chase

Country Park – Sutton Park

January 2023 Countryside Ride – Ryton Pools to Bourton on Dunsmore

Trail Centre Intro & Improver- Northampton Bike Park

Countryside Ride – one from the Blue List in the Library of Routes

February 2023 Countryside Ride – Napton to Hellidon Bridleways

Trail Centre Intro – Hicks Lodge

Country Park – Sutton Park

March 2023 Countryside Ride – one from the Blue List in the Library of Routes

Country Park – Lickey Hills

Countryside Ride – Coventry to Hatton Circular

Trail Centre Into & Improver- Cannock Chase

Offroad Trips in 2022

We have done / are doing a couple of Offroad Trips

In early 2022  eighteen of us went to the Peak District and had a couple of brilliant days doing circular routes from Hartington based on the Tissington + Monsal trail and then the Tissington + Carsington Water + High Peaks trail. This was the prospectus

Towards the end of this year another large group of us are going down to the New Forest to do 3 days on the tracks and trails though woodland and across heathland around Burley, then a day on the Isle of Wight going out along Compton Down and stunning Tennyson Down to the Needles. This is the prospectus

2023 OFFROAD Trips PROGRAMME

We are starting to collect ideas for a programme off Offroad Trips for 2023. These are the initial thoughts … hopefully others will be added as time moves on.

Title Concept Prospectus Tour Leader
Syfydrin Trail and Coed y Brenin 3-day Long Weekend Single Centre trip with 2 days doing the Syfydrin Trail and a day and Coedy Brenin Trail Centre.

Syfydrin Trail - Nant Yr Arian | Panorama composed with Auto… | Flickr
Syfydrin Trail – Nant Yr Arian

Accommodation at the Premier in in Aberystwyth

  Steve Davoile
Introduction to Bike Packing 3 day Introduction to Bike Packing moving on tour early in the year that will be fun to do on its own or to act as a toe-in-the-water to give people a controlled way to get usd to bike packing before committing to the all-in approach needed to have a go at the King Alfreds Way, Kernow Way or any of the other long distance expedition trails

Three of the best cycling routes in the South Downs | OS GetOutside ...
South Downs Way

There will be one day on the easy Downslink track route, one challenging day on the South Downs, and a tough day back to the start of the KAW route.

The amazing off-road cycle route that cuts through Berkshire ...

Option to stay in hotels or to camp for those preparing to do routes with wild camping?

Long Distance Routes Taster Alan Jelley
Long Weekend around Salisbury Plain
A two or three day trip to the Salisbury Plain area to ride the offroad routes in the area. Look to incorporate visits to Stonehenge/Woodhenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Avebury and Barbury Castle in the routes. Will be longer routes so something for the fitter/stonger members to aim for .
Staying in the YHA at Amesbury.
  Alan Jelley
Downhill trails at Bike Park Wales
A day trip to Merthyr Tydfil to go to Bike Park Wales to experience the exhilarating thrills of doing a range of specially designed downhill trails through beautiful woodland. A whole range of routes for all abilities…including families and novices. Honestly it is the most fun and smiles per mile you’ll have in any form of biking !
And there is an uplift to the top for you and your bike so you don’t even have to pedal uphill!    https://www.bikeparkwales.com/
  Alan Jelley

Long Distance Trails

Talking of which, if you do fancy doing any Long Distances trails then we do have members who have done them and who would be prepared to share their knowledge and experience … and riding plans !

King Alfreds Way – Alan Jelley & Nick Holloway

Kernow Way – Nick Holloway

Edinburgh to Cape Wrath – Bob Tinley

Iceland – Bob Tinley

 

 

LIBRARY OF Counryside ROUTES

This is a collection of Offroad Countryside Routes from which we can select to do Day rides. Those in the Green background have been ridden and proven, the ones in the blue background have not recently been ridden and are here as something that we can try out to see if they do really work ! If you have any to add then please let us know.

Description & Distance Type of Route Start / End & Mid-Ride Stop Route map & gpx file
Contact

Ryton Pools to Bourton Offroad

 

 

A 16 mile loop using fields, tracks through woods and quiet lanes. Section after Stretton-on-Dunsmore can be very challenging after rain !
A 50/50 split between Offroad and tarmac lanes
Start at Ryton Pools Cafe. 

No stops on the way so need to bring own refreshments

Route Map

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/285041

GPX File

To get a gpx filefor navigation then go to the ‘Route Tools’ section  the Left-hand Sidebar and then Click on the ‘GPS’ icon

Alan Jelley
Hellidon Byeways Figure of Eight 

13 miles loop

Lanes out to Marston Doles then lots of Bridleways across fields, a BOAT lane, and climb up to Hellidon golf course.Unfortunately can be quite a few closed gates after the farm on the Shuckburgh estate and on the BOAT out to Hellidon.

On top of Hellidon Golf Course

Lovely archways through the woods after Priors Marston., and nice downhill back to Napton

Track from Priors Marston to Marston Doles
Park in Napton and set off from the Post Office

Nothing on the route but could divert off the main route in Hellidon to visit the Red Lion pub

Route Map

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/174391 

GPX File

To get a gpx filefor navigation then go to the ‘Route Tools’ section  the Left-hand Sidebar and then Click on the ‘GPS’ icon

Alan Jelley
Grandborough Byeways  Double Loop
16 miles loop + 10 miles loop
There are two versions of the route as the full version crosses ploughed fields.

The Summer version assumes that the fields are hard enough to be ridden. The Winter version presumes that the fields are ploughed and soft and bypasses them altogether and does hardpack tracks and grassy pasture.

Parking in layby at Lower Shuckburgh where the Willoughby Road crosses the Grand Union Canal

Googlemaps PIN – https://maps.app.goo.gl/j77A6isC8YDkM8Vf8

Picture of the layby

https://maps.app.goo.gl/WhE8ubhsX4M1EySTA

Possible Stops at Community Cafe in Braunston and at the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Granborough

Route Map – Summer Version
https://cycle.travel/map/journey/174376Route Map – Winter Versionhttps://cycle.travel/map/journey/369301 GPX FileTo get a gpx filefor navigation then go to the ‘Route Tools’ section  the Left-hand Sidebar and then Click on the ‘GPS’ icon
Alan Jelley
Coventry – Offchurch – Hatton Circular
A combination of roads getting out of Coventry, canal towpath through Leamington and Warwick, then bridleways and paths

Section from Hatton to Kenilworth can be very muddy after rain

Coventry War Memorial Park

No options for refreshments directly on the route however there are lots just off the route in Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth

Route Map

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/368411

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘Route Tools’ section  the Left-hand Sidebar and then Click on the ‘GPS’ icon

Dan Riding
 Baddesley Clinton
 Choice of two routes – a 22 mile and a 25 mile

Track through Haywood
   Route Maps

22 mile route

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/132366000

 
25 mile route
 
 Steve Davoile

Coombe Abbey-Stretton            

 

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525079

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Eathorpe-Staverton              

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525086

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley
Kenilworth-Bishops Itchington         Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525089

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Pailton-Wistow

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525092

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Brinklow-Claybrooke Magna

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525097

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Lapworth-Bearley 

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525099

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Baginton-Harbury 

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525101

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Wappenbury-Eathorpe Hotel

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525103

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

CoombeAbbey-Yelvertoft 

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525105

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Wellesbourne-Honnington 

    Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525107

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

Winwick, Northamptonshire

                                  Route Map

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1525117

GPX File

To get a gpx file for navigation then go to the ‘MENU’ and select ‘DOWNLOAD’section 

Bob Tinley

 

 

 

 

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