So with the training for the Scotland trip in full swing, todays ride was something a little different. Me and Matt decided to ditch the road and head out on the mountain bikes. Now I’m no expert in off roading but I tell you what, I bloody love it!
My mtb is nothing special, a Voodoo Bantu. It’s a honest little hard tail that’s a little weighty but nether the less fun to ride. Recently I managed to acquire a single speed mtb – an On One Inbred (running tubeless) so thought as I’ve not done any rides on this yet, that would be the one to choose.
The ride was planned for Sunday 3rd May but due to the forecast of the weather both me and Matt decided that the following day (Bank Holiday Monday) would be best. What a decision that was, it chucked it down on the Sunday and was glorious on the Monday! (Honestly we’re not fair weather riders but the option or avoiding the rain was one not to be missed!)
So Monday 4th May rolled round and I met Matt on the Toll Bridge. After his obligatory jump on my new bike (commenting on how light it is) we were off.
The first leg followed the south side of the Trent, through Wilford and out towards Clifton via the river path. At Clifton grove we went past Beeston weir and joined back up on the path through Brandshill Wood towards Barton (where we walked through the village as there was a car boot sale on through the main road! The things you see eh?). Next picking up the bridleway from Barton to Thrumpton we turned away from the River and up towards the A453 and the famers bridge over the main road.
Next up is the climb up to Gotham Hill Wood, a great leg burner that really ramps up at the top (so much so the last time on the Voodoo I was unable to get the traction needed to climb all the way to the top). Being on the single speed I managed to get as high as I could before jumping off and hike-a-bike to the top (not a bad effort considering!). Gotham Hill Wood has some nice little trails that we explored (nothing technical but fun nether the less).
Now for the fun part, the descent from the woods – over the main road and up the bridleway on the other side. This time the climb was completed by standing on the pedals and grinding it out.
We emerge at the top between Crownend Wood and Leake New Wood and are rewarded with one of my favourite views of South Notts / North Leics. As you get to the top the view just opens up and you can see for miles! Another descent to negotiate before picking up the road briefly to West Leake. From West Leake there’s a bridleway linking it with… East Leake! Another up and down, past the Rushcliffe Golf course we’re in East Leake. Only 15 miles in but time for a stop. I say to Matt, “There’s a café just along…. Oh. It’s closed. Crap. There’s a Co-op around the corner – let’s just grab something from there”. Second breakfast consisted of a Chicken and Bacon Sarnie and Millionaire Shortbread – all washed down with Irn Bru (getting ready for Scotland you see!). We found a Bench near the centre and sat in the sun enjoying our snap.
Setting off now we pick up a few cheeky footpaths out of East Leake. Lifting the bikes over the styles we ride through the farmers’ fields, past the grazing sheep and again uphill towards Bunny Hill.
When we eventually pick up an access road towards the main road, we pass some of the largest, most stunning houses with fantastic views from the top. What It must be like to have this right on your doorstep! After 300 yards on the A60 we turn off through Old Wood in Bunny. Again not technical but a lovely Wood with the Bluebells out in force here!
Out of the woods and it’s on the road towards Keyworth. Bridleway past Stanton golf course and over the A606 towards Cotgrave Forest and Blackberry Wood. Some nice little spots around here for future wild camping are noted! Out up to Clipston and downhill down the field (great downhill here!). On the road briefly to Tollerton and off again down a farm track and along the edge of a field, over the A52 and through Edwalton golf course.
Next up is Sharphill Wood and a few runs around the tracks here. Great for your novice rider here we didn’t see a soul as we blasted along the trails! Home straight now, through West Bridgford and back to Wilford where we started and a couple of jars in the Ferry Inn. The weather has been so nice today, the beer garden is overflowing with people and bikes – certainly a great day to be out riding!
Map of the route below…