Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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BikeRadar Demo Day at Bedgebury, March 28

Posted by Dandy | February 26, 2010 | 14 comments so far

I needed change today for the parking meter to allow me to nip into Starbucks for a coffee and a cinnamon roll (highly recommended), so I bought a copy of MBUK. Amongst the various articles was a mention of the BikeRadar.com ‘Demo Days’.

The nearest Demo Day to us is at Bedgebury in Kent on Sunday, 28 March. The day is split into 9 x 45 minutes slots, starting at 09.30 and finishing at 4pm (i.e. last slot starts at 3.15pm).

Many of the bikes (Lapierre, Tomac, Ragley, Ghost etc.) are only available to book on the day, but I was able to book as my first 3 rides a Lynskey Ti Ridgeline 26LT, a Norco LT6.1 and a Lynskey Ti Ridgeline 29er which will keep me busy from 0930 to 1145. I would like to try a Tomac or two and a Ragley as well, so I’d best get there early.

Bedgebury Forest is at Goudhurst in Kent (Postcode TN17 2SL for satnav) and is fast becoming one of South East England’s premier mountain biking destinations, according to BikeRadar. Apparently the 800 hectare forest boasts 10 miles of singletrack and a professionally designed freeride area. Also a mini northshore section and new dirt jump course are now also open – so that’s where I will be found then!

Facilities include a visitor centre, cafe, bike wash and bike shop run by Quench Cycles. See Dave’s Bedgebury article on the quality of the flapjack, the strength of the hand dryers, and maybe the riding gets a mention somewhere too.

Any other Moles care to join me?

Filed under 2010, News in February 2010

Dandy

About the author

Having been mountain biking since 1996, you might have expected Dandy to have learnt to ride a bike by now. Several broken bones in the last few years prove the maxim that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

In between hospital visits, Dandy rides a brace of much-blinged Pace RCs, the 'green themed' 405 and the silver & gold 506. His winter hack is the Moles' favourite, an On-One 456 hardtail, now converted to an Alfine hub He also dabbles in 'the dark arts', keeping 2 road bikes in one of his seven sheds.

There are 14 comments on ‘BikeRadar Demo Day at Bedgebury, March 28’

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  1. Matt says:

    I’d love to go but unfortunately it coincides with my wife’s birthday. I was quite taken by the line-up of bikes when they first announced this and disappointed when I realised the date.

    The Lapierre, Lynskey and Ragleys all interest me.

    Considering it’ll be late March you have an outside chance of it just being waterlogged at Bedgebury. Should be a good chance to test them in mud conditions…

    In fairness, it’s been a while since I visited so maybe the drainage is improved? And there’s plenty of good riding there with the chance to try somewhere different.

    But LOL at BikeRadar claiming it’s ‘one of South East England’s premier mountain biking destinations’!

  2. James says:

    Sounds like fun, will check diary(wife).

    Silly question but do you need a new bike?

  3. tony says:

    I’m off on a birthday treat weekend for other half on this weekend. Which is a real pity since it sounds like they are going to have a really interesting range of bikes.

    Hope it stops raining before then, Bedgebury is meant to be a mudpit at the best of times.

  4. Matt says:

    Meant to say Andy – couldn’t agree more about the cinnamon swirls in Starbucks. A lovely saturated-fat-laden treat which almost makes it worth buying their coffee.

    Personally I’m a Nero man for flavour but their food offering is weaker (mumbo marketing words there…). Which makes Costa the default. Ahh, the great smell of caffeine.

    I wonder if we can get some of those catering style thermos coffee pots that you get in meetings sometimes for the D2D port ‘n’ stilton soiree? Pre-ride coffee, post ride port?

    Oh and I can’t do capuccino in mugs!!

  5. Andy C says:

    For once I agree with you, Matt ! Thread hijack alert – Caffe Nero for the coffee, and Starbucks for the cinnamon swirls and almond croissants. Always go for the extra shot in Starbucks, only 15pence or free with a Starbucks card. The chcoclate twists in Costa always make it worth a visit.

    Thanks for the Bedgebury mud alert, obviously I will have to stick with the dirt jump play area, assuming my hand has recovered.

  6. JasonS says:

    Hello

    As someone who grew up in Surrey and rode regulalry around Pitch/Holmbury/Leith Hills for years, then moved to E Sussex, I know a fair bit about Bedgebury and how it compares to where you guys ride regularly.

    To claim Bedgebury is “fast becoming one of South East England’s premier mountain biking destinations” (and I know BikeRadar said that, not you) is going to leave some people more than a little underwhelmed when they get there.

    It’s flat, boggy and deathly boring compared to the Hills in Surrey. The singletrack has its moments, in places it can be fun if ridden quickly, but if you’re used to BKB and the like, don’t expect to be wowed by Bedgeburys singletrack.

    Look out for lots of braking bumps, ridiculously placed 90 degree turns and people on Hybrids doing 6mph.

    The DJ track is good fun but will take you around 90 seconds to ride down and a couple of the jumps are “interesting” shall we say.

    I’m nowhere near skillfull enough to ride the North Shore bits there either, but I’m used to seeing NS stuff covered in something grippy like chicken wire. Bedgeburys stuff is bare wood and slippery.

    PS £7.50 to park at Bedgebury too so take some cash…

  7. Andy C says:

    Other than that, it’s a great place to ride! Thanks for managing my expectations, Jason. As I have some interesting (to me) bikes lined up to ride, and as it’s somewhere different, I’m sure I will have a fun day. There’s always the powerful hand dryers in the gents to look forward to!

  8. Matt says:

    I think James is on the money but would still say Bedgebury was worth a visit.

    Surrey Hills it ain’t but it’s still a different bit of woodland to try. Once you get into a rythmn and keep the flow going rather than stopping at every fireroad I think it’ll give you a decent idea of each bike.

  9. Jason Stubbs says:

    One other tip for anyone going to Bedgebury.

    The best bit of singletrack there, isn’t on the Red route. When you arrive, riding away from the Bike shop/car park, you start off on fire roads, a short way out you’ll come to a long-ish, gradual climb with woods on either side of you. At the top of the climb the fire road turns left and you roll down to the start of the red route. Just before that lefthand bend there’s a little route into the woods on the right of the climb. This is a lovely little twisty singletrack trail that is very nice if it’s dry enough to ride it quickly. It’s not steep but it’s gently downhill with lots of twists and turns with trees right on each shoulder. Its better than anything on the Red Route just be wary of people riding up it ; )

    The only downside is it spits you back out in the car park and you have to do all the fireroad again to start the red.

    If I were testing a new bike at Bedgebury, that’s where I’d go…

  10. Andy C says:

    Excellent tip, Jason. Thanks

  11. DaveW says:

    Hi Andy

    I have booked 3 bikes in the first 3 slots of the day at the Bikeradar (Spicy, norco LT and blue pig) and Cycleworks (orange alpine, blood and whyte 19 carbon) demo days. Not certain I’ll go through with the bedgebury one yet – see how I get on on the 14th.

  12. PIJ says:

    If you lot fancy a local change, when I used to live in Sutton the best place to go for a bit of off-road fun was the area known as Track 40 just off the A217 “Mad Mile” at Banstead. So close you don’t even have to drive there. OK demo days are none existent…. and I’ve not ridden it for 6 years….

  13. tony says:

    Thats a blast from the past. I lived in Sutton for 13years and I rdoe track 40 countless times – usually far too fast!

  14. PIJ says:

    It’s still there…. I drive past it now and then, with a quick sideways glance and an inward sigh. It was always brilliant for those days when you just had an hour or so to spare – which invariably stretched to 3 or 4 hours and a big grin! Unfortunately it’s not worth driving to, yet at the same time utterly brilliant if you live nearby.

    Sigh. Times past. Where are my rose tinteds….

    PIJ

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