Off-road mountain biking route announced at Ashton Court
With less than three weeks to go until the trails at Ashton Court are open to the public again, Architrail, the company behind the developments, has announced details of the official route on its Facebook page.
A formal release about the opening of the trails is expected to follow from Bristol City Council at the end of July. For now though, let Architrail talk you through the twists and turns of their latest design:
"There were many factors to consider in choosing the route – including navigating the sites of special scientific interest, encroachment on highly sensitive ecology and catering for the other users of Ashton Court’s trails – but we’re pleased to report that we’ve been able to keep the direction that the majority of people asked for, which is primarily the route that Ashton Court’s Bikefest and Oktoberfest courses follow.
"The main starting point will be Clifton Lodge car park, the site of the golf hut and café (which is soon to be refurbished, opening in April 2012). From here the trail heads to the Abbots Leigh Road trail and turns right to the Clifton entrance to the park.
"The main access road takes riders through the estate to the uphill gravel road. At the top the trail turns left downhill into Redwood Avenue, close to the deer park. This section takes riders through the trees, skirts around the meadow, parallel to the firetrail and heads towards Longwood Quarry.
"The quarry trail starts at a convergence of several routes, known as ‘the roundabout’. Riders continue west at this point, into Pillgrove Wood before making a U-turn at Longwood Lane and coming back alongside the quarry. This section is open to riders at present and features lots of swooping banked corners and small jumps. Its near-flat gradient is suitable for beginner riders but also challenging for more advanced riders when ridden at speed.
"Staying on the course, riders come back to the roundabout before turning left, heading uphill in a northerly direction along a ‘green’ route. At the top of this gravel firetrail advanced riders can take the red-graded technical downhill section through New Barn Wood, ending back up at the roundabout.
"For riders preferring to stick with blue-graded routes, take a left and a right at the top of the firetrail and head towards Beggar Bush Lane. This new section of trail joins up with an existing trail near the end of the golf course, taking riders back to the café and golf hut along 1.5km of challenging, all-weather trails. The Beggar Bush Lane and New Barn Wood sections are currently closed to riders but will be open by Saturday, July 23rd.
"As well as Clifton Lodge car park, riders can also access the trails from Longwood Lane, a gap in the estate wall along Beggar Bush Lane, or via a long climb from the Ashton Court estate mansion house. Riders accessing the site from the south or the city centre can take in several new Cycling City routes including Festival Way.
"The new trail at Ashton Court takes riders on a 6.5km circuit, which can be ridden over and over again. Riders can also take in nearby trails in 50-Acre Wood, Abbots Pool Wood, West Tanpit Wood or Leigh Woods, which will also soon be undergoing development to mark out a new 5.5km trail through the ancient 490-acre wood.
"To help minimize any confusion, the new trail at Ashton Court is now marked with wayfinder signs, which are also colour-coded to show the difficulty of the course."