Rocks and roots

Hadleigh Farm

Hadleigh Farm was the venue for the Olympic mountain biking, which 3 years later is finally open to the public. It's quite an unusual feeling trail in that it's very open (better for spectating) and it is made of hard packed stone with rock features (500 tonnes of Millstone Grit imported from the Peak District!) No mud even on a wet November day. The blue sections are typically wide and quite easy. There's some fun swoopy bits like the Blue line on Deane's Drop and the southern loop. The red graded sections (about 6km) are quite hard for red, some technical climbs and rocky, steep descents. The black sections (options off the red) are pretty intimidating - even steeper and rockier - though some become more plausible if you get off your bike to inspect them! I wished I'd brought my full suss! Watching the videos of the Olympic athletes riding these with their hardtails, lycra, high seat posts and narrow bars is pretty humbling! Parking is £1.50 per hour up to a max of £6 (it reads your numberplate and then you pay before you leave) but the cafe is good and cheap and run by the Sally Army! There's also a large bike shop which hires bikes by the hour.

Rating: 2, "Worth a ride if you are in the area".
Added: 2015-11-29 , Last updated: 2015-11-29
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