You might’ve read the first part I wrote a little while back. If you haven’t, it probably makes sense to read that first, although the list itself is in no particular order. Here’s the other 6 places I opted to stick on the list for 2017.
6. Dalby Forest
Of course, this had to be on the list. I’ve been already and I’ll definitely be back, I’ve got a discovery pass after all. The demo route is a firm favourite for a quick blast, and the red is good for those longer rides. Why is it on the list at all? This year I want to get out with some locals and ride some of the off-piste and learn some new routes. Apparently there’s plenty to be found.
7. Sutton Bank
Having only tackled the blue here on what was the coldest day I’ve ever been out on a bike, I’m itching to get back to conquer the whole thing. The riding was tame from what I remember, and there was plenty of flat so maybe I’ll take the Camber instead of the Bronson, but the views are amazing. I’ll have to save this one for a good day so I can get some epic photos of the views.
8. Peak District
You’re probably getting the idea that this is a trail centre list, right? Well you’d be right except for this one. I don’t have a trail picked out yet but I hear there’s loads of awesome riding in the Peaks. George, who I usually ride with, is actually from round these parts and so he’s quite confident his Dad knows some decent routes. A natural epic is definitely on the cards.
9. Fort William
If there’s a world cup race there it must be good. I’m not sure the downhill run from the top (the world class one) is for me. I don’t think I’m terrible on a bike, but I’m not sure I’m that good either. But Fort Bill is high on the dream list. With it being so far north though, this is the one place that I’m dubious I’ll actually get to. We’ll have to see.
10. Any of the 7 Stanes
After spending two weeks in Peebles (one in winter and one in summer) and walking around many of the forests where the 7 Stanes are found, this is a must. The trails look unreal and I remember spotting one heck of a wooden wall ride at one of the centres. Honestly, I’d love to ride all 7 but I’m not sure my fitness is up to it, at least not at the moment, so as many as I can fit in is the goal.
11. Cannock Chase
It’s a little way away from here but it’s a place that keeps popping up again and again on my Twitter feed. Purely for that reason, I need to get out here to check it out. Honestly, I’m not sure it’ll be the best trail of the lot (I’ve heard mixed reviews) but I do know a couple of people will no doubt come and ride it with me. That’s part of the fun – social rides. It’s one I’m really looking forward to for that very reason.
12. Homegrown trail
Any rider should eventually give something back, right? Well, earlier in the year I got confirmation that a friend of my Dad’s has given permission to build a small trail in a wood he owns. The last place on my list goes to the place where it’ll be the hardest to ride. I don’t mean in terms of technical riding; I mean we’ll actually have to build the trail first. I do think this will be the most rewarding ride of the lot though.
2017 should be one heck of a year if I can get to all these places, and I’m really excited for it. Of course, there’s other places I’d love to ride and if you’ve got any recommendations please do comment. Who knows, they may well make the 2018 list… or even bump out one of these.