Friday, September 23, 2005

Hopton Woods - Shropshire

Spent a couple of days over at Hopton Woods at the weekend while David practiced and took part in a Downhill race there.

Hopton is a compact site mostly about the downhill course, but there are some waymarked trails and nice, if short, singletrack. It is worth getting a map before you go - contact Pearce Cycles in Ludlow who were involved with developing the trails here. Or here. Rule seems to be use the greens and ambers to work your way up and then down the reds.

The Downhill course is rideable on an XC bike - it was interesting to see all abilities on the course, some taking 'big air' and others taking the 'chicken' lines. There is probably not enough here to keep you busy for the day. However, you are not far from the Mortimer Forest and Bringwood areas, (Near Ludlow), which offer loads more riding, though local knowledge is helpful here. There are also bridleways running away from Hopton which could make an extended ride. Ludlow is also a fab place for the family to visit with loads of shops, cafes, the castle and so on. One of my favourite parts of the country.

This weekend arrived about 2 days after my 5 Spot frame arrived in the Uk and I was still putting the final touches to it on the saturday morning. It performed brilliantly over the two days, only problem I found was the seatpost chosen had too much layback and so the front wheel tended to lift on sharp climbs - since changed this and the stem and this tendancy has gone.

David felt he did well in the race, but was exhausted by all the practice runs - despite having the luxury of an uplift - he certainly looked impressive over the jumps!

More Pictures


Farqui said...

Good pic's, looks like a decent place to get the knobblies rolling.

An uplift - no wonder David struggles when we drag him out on an XC ride, the poor lad.

Dan Howell said...

Just some comments from a recent trip to Hopton Titterhill. Pretty much all the marked trails on the map are fireroad with the exception of the black runs (obviously) and a few choice bits. The place is very small and it takes you no time at all to get round it, as Geoff said, there's not much to keep you here for the day.

Forget the loops round Bedstone and Bucknell hills - just fireroad.

The run from post 9 to 44 is singletrack.

We had an MTB 'newbie' which kept us away from the DH run. However he did admirably on the day and, in hindsight, we shouldn't have wasted our time around the green/amber/red trails and just headed for the black. We didn't do every trail marked but the ones we did do we fairly boring fireroad interspersed with not-very-challenging singletrack. The good news is with the steep ups comes the steep downs, so there was the chance to get the old speed up here and there :) the aforementioned 9 to 44 would be good for this.

If I return I think I'll just head straight for the black runs and do those all day :( the term 'black' and 'downhill course' put us off but I think we were overly cautious.