Destination: Chicksands, Rowney Warren Woods, Bedfordshire
Definitely one for the full face helmet and armour brigade, the four-cross, dual, dirt jump, downhill and freeride facilities at this small but perfectly formed site are well worth a visit.
How to get there
From Bedford, head south on the A600, following signs to Shefford. Chicksands is in Rowney Warren Woods, which are on your left after about 7.5 miles.
Sat Nav: CHICKSANDS or SG17 5QQ (this takes you to Dead Mans Cross next to the bike park.)
Parking and, if you’re riding on a weekend, Bubee and his Truly Thai Takeaway van. Spicy Thai delights alongside mountain biking staples such as bacon and egg sandwiches.
The good news about the two cross-country trails is that they’re free to ride and open. The bad news is that they’re awaiting repairs and the red and blue trails total less than 10km and are technically very limited. To be honest, Lycra clad racing snakes should probably head elsewhere.
The four-cross course is national standard and open to BMXers too.
The dual slalom course, Old Faithful, is the original Chicksands trail and is great for riders of all abilities wanting to hone their skills.
The two downhill runs are not as novice-friendly. Both the Bull and Snake runs are rated as severe with big gaps, drops and few chicken runs. If you like air and height beneath your tyres, there are three sets of impressively big dirt jumps and a freeride area.
An intermediate pump track, a beginners track and a new skills area are planned for October 2012 and the location of the old North Shore is being replaced with dirt runs.
The old ladder drops have now been rebuilt and are dirt drops and there is also a new jump run next to it.
There's also a mini downhill track and another two single track trails are just being finished.
Nearest bike shop
Day tickets cost £5 and Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.