Tag Archives: leigh woods

Ed’s Ashton Court Adventure

Gary Palmer’s ride report: –

This ride came about after Ed led a certain rough bunch of mountain bikers called the DirtySaddles around 50 acre wood on a cold wet spring night earlier in the year, I thought this would be great for the MB Swindon guys, but the chance of me finding my way around those dark woods again were pretty remote, any way Ed came to the rescue and agreed to show us around. Brilliant.

Date was set

Picked Ed up early-ish Saturday morning and off we went, Ed told me he hadn’t been on the bike for a few months so was going to be a bit rusty, brilliant I thought, I’ll be able to keep up with him at least to the end of the car park.

Arrived at North road a bit early, wasn’t long before Rich and Caroline joined us, nearly ready to go and then Henry turned up, fair play to his commitment, got the train from Swindon to Bristol and then rode to the start.

Small briefing of what to expect and off we went, straight into some tasty single track, this went on for about 10 minutes and it bought us out on to the Yer Tiz trail which we did a lap of, from here we shot of into Bluebell woods (I think), I got left behind a little bit here, when I caught up everybody was waiting on top of this ridge, I thought Ed said lets go down here, so of I went, luckily the old brakes were working well today, no Ed hadn’t said lets go down here he was just pointing out a right gnarly decent full of wheel grabbing roots, there was young people present so I declined the opportunity to go down there.

Off we went again, more rooty single track, few bends ahead I managed not to stop and drove my head into an impenetrable hedge, man that hurt and put the glasses at a strange angle, never mind, I think I convinced Caroline that those drops of water on my cheeks weren’t tears J

Another great decent, I went around the corner and the traffic was stopped, Rich was on the floor and not moving, bloody hell I thought, I haven’t bought the chewing tobacco to spit in his wounds, There was life there, after a bit of Mickey taking Rich was back on his bike, fair play I couldn’t compete with those grazes, they were proper.

On we went to 50 acres (nearly said 50 shades then), a big well done to Caroline for doing this, this was well out of her comfort zone and it was completed without one sit down, not that I saw anyway, 50 acres is a great natural section full of roots and rocks that need to be ridden fast and hard, rode it a couple of weeks before and it was totally overgrown, got whipped heavily with the old brambles. Bristol trails group had been in there and cut it all back, its big thanks for them for giving up their spare time to keep these trails clear so we can all enjoy them.

Ed and Henry flew through this section and made it look pretty easy.

Back towards Ashton court now, Ed took us through what I think is called snaked head woods (well it’s something to do with snakes). Another great section of woods to ride which bought back into Ashton Court where we rode up past the café to start our lap of the Nova Trail, although there’s nothing to testing on the Nova trail if you put maximum effort in you’ll get maximum enjoyment out, we all regrouped at the top of the red section and decided to go down it, I’ve never known so much uphill in a downhill section, after us all getting a bit lost at the bottom and we made different ways back up to the top took a few pictures and headed back to the cars.

A big thanks for turning up and a big thanks to Ed for leading us around this great route

Cheers all



Ed and Henry

Our glorious leader
Our glorious leader


Ladies ride – Ashton Court and Leigh Woods

Picnic in the park at Ashton Court when biking.

Sharon will be leading this ride round the purpose built trails at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods. They’re all graded blue with options for trickier bits. This means that they offer something to everyone.

Meet at the main car park (Google map) for 10am for a 10:15am start.

The Nova trail in Ashton Court was rebuilt and opened for October 2011 whilst the Yer Tiz trail in neighbouring Leigh Woods was opened in late December 2011.

Trail plans plus Bristol Trails Group website.

Photos from ladies ride at Ashton Court in Feb 2012. See also Oct 2011 (inc video).

Facebook event page.

Ride report: women’s ride at Ashton Court + Leigh Woods

By Sarah Selwood

“Waiting for Sarah ….”

The sun was shining, the trails were dry and Phil Mayger, Club Chairman was joining us as an honorary lady!

The ride was led by myself, Sarah Selwood, with Sharon Bassindale, newly appointed Ladies Officer, helping me along on my maiden voyage; and help I certainly needed! We were joined by Kate Bevan, Fay Tocknell, Kerry Davison, Bridget Cooke, Hana La Porte, Natasha Lincoln, Sarah Bailey, Sarah Carrigan and Wendy Matthews. What a turnout.

Due to the parking situation at Ashton Court, I chose Leigh Woods Car Park as a meeting point. This worked very well with copious space and only a short distance from Ashton Court.

We rode over to Ashton Court, where we due to meet Sarah C, who was joining us from Reading (on the train!). Sadly, Sarah got a little lost on the journey from the Station to AC, so after waiting for a short while we decided to head off and meet up with her at the end of our first lap. Natasha and Sarah B, following a minor fall, then left to head home. They had arrived at the trail early and had managed to put in a sneaky lap before everyone arrived.

The group then headed off for a second lap, once Sarah C had emerged from the ladies. A theme was building here! The second lap was approached with a little more speed and most of the girls tackled the red loop with great gusto!

It was then time for the customary tea and cake, kindly provided by Sharon and Sheffords Bakery in Faringdon.

Hana, Wendy and Fay had to leave us at this point, so now there were only 6. We headed over to Leigh Woods, but not before we had to wait for Sarah C, once again! Oh, and did we give her some stick.

We accessed Leigh Woods via North Road and did a lap around the Yer Tiz trail, including the Skills Area, where much whooping could be heard!

Bridget then very kindly escorted Sarah C back to the railway station where a sneaky pint was consumed on the way.

Sharon, Kate, Kerry and I finally left the Car Park at 4pm ish after meeting up with the HAB’s (Husband’s and Boyfriend’s) for a post ride chat.

In my short time of being an MB Swindon club member (6 months), I have met some lovely people and ridden on some great rides. I was very flattered to be asked to lead a ride and hope that I made the grade. Sharon is going to make a great Ladies Officer and hope that we can build on the ladies only rides and give the men a run for their money.

Thank you to everyone today for a totally wicked time.

Women rider at Ashton Court trails.
Women mountain biker on berm at Ashton Court.
Women riders in Bristol.

Look out for more ladies rides in our events calendar.

See previous ride reports.

See more photos of Ashton Court and route map.

Group of women mountain bikers in Bristol.

Ladies: Ashton Court and Leigh Woods

Updated meeting point! See google map for Leigh Woods car park.

Sarah Selwood will be leading this ride round the purpose built trails at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods. They’re all graded blue with options for trickier bits. This means that they offer something to everyone.

The Nova trail in Ashton Court was rebuilt and opened for October 2011 whilst the Yer Tiz trail in neighbouring Leigh Woods was opened in late December 2011.

Trail plans plus Bristol Trails Group website.

Photos from ladies ride January 2012. See also Yer Tiz Dec 2011 and club ride Oct 2011 (inc video).

View Bikefest Ashton Court + 50 Acre + Leigh Woods in a larger map

Ride report: Ashton Court Nova + Leigh Woods Yer Tiz Jan 2012

Useful map of of the Bristol trails (Ashton Court Nova trail and Leigh Woods “Yer Tiz” trail).

See previous ride reports: Jan 2012, Oct 2011 (with video), Oct 2010 plus race reports Oktoberfest 2011, Bikefest 2011, Oktoberfest 2010.

Route map: OS | Google| Mapmyride | GPX.

By Chris Hopkinson

Ever since the trails around Ashton Court were given a makeover last year we’ve been looking forward to the unveiling of the revamped trails over the road in Leigh Woods. After waiting for what felt like forever the announcement came just before Christmas that the “Yer Tiz” trail was ready to ride and a date for a club visit was added to the calendar.

Our club rides at Ashton Court have always been popular and this one was no exception. Antony from Bristol Trails Group joined us for the day. After some initial hanging around for people to find alternative parking the decision was made to split into two groups. As Tom and I had been for a cheeky ride round Yer Tiz over Christmas we chose to lead a group each. We started with a lap of Ashton Court, now known as the Nova trail.

It wasn’t long before we had the first unscheduled dismount of the day courtesy of Rafe. As nobody witnessed it we’re not exactly sure what happened and Rafe denies it. The mud and scuff marks up the side of his shorts were evidence enough. Not long after and a lack of friction between rubber and rock saw me taking an impromptu sit down mid trail.

A lap of the Nova trail done and with everyone still smiling we crossed the road and carried on to Leigh Woods. Much like the Nova, Yer Tiz follows the line of the original trails in the woods. Having been heavily armoured and surfaced is now rideable all year round instead of the mud bath it became in previous winters. Opinions always differ when existing trails get this treatment with some saying they’ve become too “sanitized”. Whatever your opinion on the matter there’s no denying something needed to be done as the area is so popular the trails were becoming increasingly eroded.

Rock steps on the Nova Trail at Ashton Court.
Red loop at Ashton Court.
Steps down from Ashton Court towards Leigh Woods.
Gulley section at Yer Tiz trail in Bristol.Rock ramp at Yer Tiz trails in Bristol.
Rock drop at Leigh Woods skills loop.

“Yer Tiz” is essentially a 2-3 mile, blue graded loop with the customary rollers, bumps and berms giving it a swoopy feel. A couple of optional red grade sections add a bit more technicality and fun to the ride and there’s an optional skills loop to further test you containing various features of increasing difficulty. It’s built as a mini loop within the main loop so can be “sessioned” as many times as required. Most of us had at least two goes at it with two or three minor tumbles between us.

The second half of the trail is basically a climb back up to the start with an optional rock causeway and a little more bermy swoopiness to keep you entertained. Everyone agreed it was a fun trail.

The group then split into three: some opting for a further lap of Yer Tiz, some heading back for another ride around the Nova and a third group going “off piste” with Antony. He took us along narrow, muddy paths in Leigh Woods, up past the fish pond in Yew Tree wood and finished with a lap of 50 Acre Wood.

Then it was back to the Ashton Court café for brews and cheesy chips, Nigel’s gingerbread men and a quick hose down before some of us headed of for the customary visit to the Nova Scotia pub for a post ride pint or two.

A lot of money has been pumped into these trails and some people are less than impressed with the result. What used to be a few trails through the woods has become a “cycling facility” and I guess if that’s not your thing then you’re not going to like it. What I do know however, is that a ride around Ashton Court, Leigh Woods and Fifty Acre Woods will never be a bad way to spend a day!

Massive thanks to everyone for turning up, Nigel for the gingerbread men and Anthony for getting us muddy.

Chris Hopkinson

Rock step climb at Yer Tiz trail in Leigh Woods, Bristol.
Steep ramp at Leigh Woods in Bristol.
Bristol Trails group at Leigh Woods. Big rock drop at Leigh Woods in Bristol.

Full resolution photos (10MP) available on request.

Club ride: Ashton Court + Leigh Woods (new trail)

Jump at Ashton Court.

The Ashton Court trails were rebuilt in 2011 and there’s a whole new trail in nearby Leigh Woods that opened in late December (trail plans plus Bristol Trails Group website). We’ll be visiting all of the trails plus maybe some old favourites in 50 Acre wood.

See ride reports from Dec 2011, Oct 2011 (inc video), Oct 2010 and Oktoberfest 2011.

View Bikefest Ashton Court + 50 Acre + Leigh Woods in a larger map

Unofficial ride report: Ashton Court “Yer Tiz” Jan 2012

This was an unofficial ride at Ashton Court (we advertise these last minute rides on Facebook or twitter).

See the ride report from October 2011 for more information about the main Nova trail loop including maps and video.

We did a loop of the existing Nova trail and then tried out the new Yer Tiz trail. We liked the skills loop so we did that twice. Then we did the whole Yer Tis loop again.

The red options add interest and the biggest drop off on the skills loop can make you think a bit.

It rained and sleeted most of the time so we didn’t hang about taking too many photos.

Rider on steep ramp at the Yer Tis skills loop at Leigh Woods.

Ashton Court update from Bristol trails group

Bristol Trails Group Logo

Ashton Court, 50 Acre woods and Leigh woods are great riding areas near the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol. We did a club ride there in 2010 and the Bristol Oktoberfest was also held at Ashton Court.

The trails in Ashton Court and Leigh woods are to be rebuilt by contractors using a lot of stone so that they are truly all weather. The claim that this is going to be finished in time for the 2011 Bristol Bikefest. Meanwhile the volunteers are going to work on 50 Acre Wood.

For an update on the plans take a look a the Bristol Trails website.

There’s a send off ride on Saturday 26th March 2011 at 11am.

View Bikefest Ashton Court + 50 Acre + Leigh Woods in a larger map

Club ride: Ashton Court (Bristol)

We’re going to recce the Bristol Oktoberfest route at Ashton Court. Whilst we’re there we’re also going to ride the singletrack in 50 Acre Wood and Leigh Woods. See Bristol Trails Group for more information.

We’ll be meeting in the Golf Club car park as shown on the Google map (red pointer) for 10:29am. There’s toilets and a small cafe there.

View Bristol Oktoberfest Recce Ride in a larger map

2010 route, slightly different from 2009.
Kona Bristol Bikefest Oktoberfest route 2010.

2009 and 2010 height profile maps overlayed, showing how the 2010 route is the same except for the big drop down into the valley.
Bristol Bikefest 2009 and 2010 height profiles.

This is the 2009 Bristol Bikefest route map:
Bikefest 2010 route