retro trail centres?


Gold Trader
MacRetro Rider
Is there a trail centre that is retro?

What's a retro trail then? Mr K's peak ride is retro to me and I was out earlier in the week on some old school xc trails up the road from me, we ended up wet, lost and yomping across field/bogs/rivers, reminiscent of the riding I did before the advent of trail centres. I had a blast but there is something very appealing about heading off to a trail centre and getting a guaranteed adrenaline rush on some kick ass trails- if in doubt get yourselves to Glentress in October and see what I mean.

In scotchland we are very lucky to have an abundance of hills and indeed trail centres are pretty thick on the ground however IMHO most of them don't get the best out of the older early nineties bikes that I like and are set up for a more modern bike. I would say that Drumlanrigg is an exception but wondered if you had any thoughts on the trail centre/mt bike mecca's in your area- retro friendly or not?

On a seperate point, would/could we get a sticky with reviews of trail centres/rides across the country as a reference point and spur to get out and ride them? The five flaming chillies model?
Marin trail is prettry retro, hasn't changed much in nearly 2 decades. Originally build with the help of Marin.
where is that exactly and how long would it take me to drive there? :LOL: :LOL:

do fancy a trip out west one day but wife a 3 kids mean it will be a long time coming :cry:
It's in Betws y Coed, Snowdonia, North Wales.
The venue for the OWMTBC this year too :D
When I first visited Coed-y-Brenin back in late 1996 it was not long after the first purpose built trails had opened.
Although it did rain all day, it was a lot of fun and my newly fitted V-brakes were a great reassurance on the descents.
The following day we rode up and then back down Mount Snowdon. It was November and it got really quite cold.

Generally though I don't really associate trail centres with 'retro'. I think they first came about at a time when lots of changes were happening in Mountain Biking. This was at about 1996/7 I guess. A significant milestone.

However you're definitely right that the Peaks ride is a very good example of a proper 'old school' ride. I remember riding a very similar route back in the summer of 1992. I've even got some photos somewhere...
I have only ever visited ywo of these things, both over 10 years ago, both in the South East, and both very dissapointing.
Queen Liz park, nr Petersfield- made for family riding.
Penshurst, Kent. Mud F*cking central! Nuff said.
Having said that, where I am, on the North Downs, offers all an old fart and his jalopy could ever need. Should I need more, France is nearer, and the foods better. ;)
I'd say Dalby too, but not neccesary the marked routes. I first rode in there in winter 86/87 and it was criss-crossed with trails and bridles- some of those sections now form parts of the red and black loops. Many of the original trails still remain and are not used in the official routes but can be hard to find. Gil is your man, everytime we ride there he reveals another hidden gem. Our next outing in Dalby will be the now traditional Christmas Pudding Run on Dec 27th.
righto, I have seen this term used here enough now that I have to risk sounding like a nonce and ask... what's a Trail Centre?
I get that it's a place to ride your bike but what kind of facilities are we talking, a coke machine and a portable loo at the top of a hill? or something more substantial? fees involved?

I am curious as the closest thing to a trail center out here is a brightly coloured jam jar lid nailed to a tree every 100mtrs or so.
Essentially a trail centre in the UK usually comprises a 'Trailhead' which could be anything from a small car park to an all-singing all-dancing cafe, showers and bike shop affair.

Trails are often purpose built or will combine pre-existing or natural sections.
Most will be one way, and limit access to just bikes to avoid incidents with other trail users. The trials will also be waymarked and you'll be able to get hold of a nice map which shows to names of various sections and trail features. You'll also get a choice of green (family), blue (beginner), red (intermediate) and black (expert) level trails. There may also be 'freeride' areas akin to a big BMX track, and/or dedicated downhill trails, perhaps with an uplift service.

While trail centres are generally pretty good for some no-brainer biking fun, some can get very busy and processional on weekends, while everyone follows the same route on the big full suspension bike the magazines told them to buy.

I suspect you're jam jar trails are along the same sort of lines but without all the frills and nonsense.