Black Trail

I looked at the skull and crossbones then bravely ventured on alone.

I had not been here before but I had an old map with various treasure points so I was hoping for a treat ride. Dry, twisty trails that were reminiscent of the Surrey Hills in years gone bye and pine trees shading the sun. Bumpy though. Really bumpy and as it was relatively flat it encouraged you to pedal all the time. I sat in the middle gear and pedalled and pedalled and pedalled. Even with full suspension it bumped and bumped. I think it may have been easier on a light hardtail where although the bumps would have been worse the constant need to re-accelerate may have been less.

I came to one of the treasure points and had a quick play on the bombhole obstacles. Bit tame really but I thought it would get better.

The main route was easily followed but I ventured down some smaller side trails and these were a little tighter and with a touch more twist and therefore much more fun. I did not find any logs or obstacles or anything to make this more than an intermediate trail so I would be happy to drag an inexperienced group around. Our Thursday trails would be at least a couple of colours harder.

It was a nice ride though in a pleasant place, open trails without brambles, shaded mostly due to the trees, dry sandy soil mostly firm but a few places to catch you out perhaps. No hills so nice for some but less challenging for others. The treasure map highlighted about eight points of hope but turned out to be small bombholes of much less difficulty than Pitch Hill, but safer, so maybe that is the reason.

I felt that there may be other more difficult parts nearby but local knowledge may be required to find that so it ended up a couple of hours of a nice, but not really a treat, ride.

There are a couple of bigger trails to follow to make this worth a day out perhaps however local knowledge may be needed to ride the best stuff.

At the end I had bashed my back by pedalling constantly over the bumps so it was a little more tiring that a hill-less ride might seem and I would happily ride there again if I was in the area but it is not worth a repeat solo venture.

It may be offered up as a day out ride, albeit with a three hour drive each way, and with more people probably a lot more fun than it was for me on my own on a summer’s evening.

I watched the locals arriving at the carpark as I packed to leave and drive back. A surprising mix of old and young and Thetford is a place where lycra still reigns supreme for all ages. I hastily put my camera away rather than take a photo of the embarrassing fashion faux pas.

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