This was my first visit to the Spirthill Trails. I’d heard mixed opinions about the quality of the riding, so I was keen to find out for myself what it was like.
Due to hangover commitments the organisers (no, just you Tom – Phil) adopted a “just in time” policy regarding time of arrival. There were about twelve riders present, and two of them had already done a lap of the trail. That’s how keen MBSwindon riders are.
It’d been dry for a few weeks and this brought out the best in the trail. It was actually well worth the trip. There were several good jumps, a few tight bits round trees, loads of bridges and evidence of bermed corners. I had several epic fails trying to get up the bomb hole climb, though a few people managed it. We did the West loop twice mainly to get a decent run at the jump on the downhill section.
After our first lap we had a cunning plan: a pub was identified on the map in the village of Hilmarton across the valley. So we rode half the trail and then peeled off towards the village. Between us and the target were two fields of bullocks. They were pleased to see us, we weren’t sure whether we were pleased to see them. Initially they seemed quite threatening, forming a group and running towards us. They turned out to be soft in the head and just plain curious.
The Duke Hotel had a decent range of beers and cider which we felt we had to test. Some burgers, chips and portions of salad were tested too.
After our lunch we rode back to the trail. This time the bullocks knew what to expect.
We got another lap and a half in, took a load of photos and had a good social. The power of cider was proven, with more riders making it up the steep slope this time, myself included (after 6 attempts though).
Not our most strenuous day, but it was a lot of fun.
We plan on going back with the barbeque in the future.
View Spirthill (Spirithill) Trail in a larger map