Every month in MBUK we go on a Big Ride on an exclusively selected route from our resident routes expert Max Darkins. Max highlights all the info you’ll need to keep you on the right track as well as a whole load of detail on the experience you can expect to have if you give it a go – which obviously you should! So far this year he’s hit some amazing spots, each offering something different in the way of challenges. See if there’s one not far from you and give it a go before the year’s out. You can order back issues here to get hold of more details on the route.
The South Downs
These are a range of chalk hills covering 627 square miles near the south coast of England. Now a National Park, they offer around 750 miles of bridleways to explore. They’re known for big, open riding with amazing views but there’s some great forest singletrack too.
Situated between the West Midlands and Welsh border, Shropshire has nearly 3,500 square kilometres of rolling rural land and forests which are great for mountain biking. For our Big Ride we chose paths less ridden and discovered a ton of hidden singletrack that’s bags of fun to ride.
Rhyd Ddu, Snowdonia
Pronounced ‘Hrreed Thee‘, this moody landscape can be found in Snowdonia National Park, which is located in north-west Wales and is home to Snowdon, the country’s highest peak. The weather round here can be very changeable, and once again it foiled us and we were unable to reach the summit. But that didn’t stop us – we still found some great riding around the base of the mountain.
Helvellyn, Lake District
The Lake District is a region and National Park in Cumbria in the north-west of England and has just been granted World Heritage status, which should tell you a lot about how beautiful it is. It’s packed with technical riding but watch out for sudden weather changes. We had a nightmare when a blizzard hit right while we were on top of the mountain and our day’s riding became a battle for survival.
Boreraig, Isle of Skye
Off the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, Skye is know for its dramatic landscapes, jagged Cuillin mountains, pretty fishing villages and historic castles. This ride in the south of Skye offered proper get-away-from-it-all riding with challenging trails and spectacular scenery, with not a soul for miles.
Yep, you heard us right, Milton Keynes. Perhaps not the first place that springs to mind for mountain biking, but just south of here there are some great new rooty trails to explore.
There are four new routes for you to try in every issue of MBUK. Subscribe here.
Danny is the Editor in Chief of Mountain Biking UK Magazine. He has been at the helm for over 10 years and in that time has seen some significant changes in the bikes we ride, the kit we use and the places we go to do it. He's a firm believer that we still all ride bikes for the same reasons we ever did - to have the most amount of fun possible.