On Saturday the 13th June, 3 riders from BDCC decided to ride their mountain bikes from Clumber Park to Sherwood Pines on the trail known as NCN6. This route had been discussed numerous times but never achieved. It had forecast heavy rain all day however enthusiasm wasn’t dampened. The journey from Brigg takes an hour from the M180 to M18, then A1 South, alternatively an hour from Caistor via Gainsborough and Retford.
On arrival we parked past the cricket pitches, easily accessible for facilities such as bicycle hire. The weather forecast for once was correct and torrential rain was the order of the day. We got togged up with our schoolboy grins and set out for the day down towards the lake. We soon found and followed the first sign for the NCN6 route into the unknown where the route is well sign posted and takes in some scenic woodland.
We eventually arrived at Sherwood Pines , which coincidentally joined in the half way point of the Red Route (also known as the Kitchner Trail), so at signpost 12 we decided to jump on to it and head around the back half of the red route heading towards the visitors centre. The red route can be challenging especially when conditions are wet, with short, sharp, undulating terrain, having to navigate tree roots and rocks throughout this short course. If you wanted to start the route from signpost 1, you could carry on straight to the visitors centre to commence the loop, completing the sections from start to finish, making it approximately 9 miles.
Finishing the back half of the red route we headed straight for the cafe for well earned refreshments which went down a treat. After a short pit stop and peruse around the Bike Barn (had to be done), we headed out on our way back. We entered the front section of the Kitchner Trail, heading back towards marker 12 where we initially entered the Red Route. Even though the trail was wet, it can be a fast, flowing and exciting MTB ride. All three riders remained shiny side up, which is always a bonus with their child like smiles remaining on their faces!
We decided to head back on the NCN6 trail and by now we were all soaked to the skin and with the fish tails coming off the back of the tyres, we all resembled jet skis rather than MTB riders! Back at Clumber Park, we were all really happy with the days riding, smiling and laughing like Cheshire cats.
The entire route taken including the red route was 34 miles, broken down into sections; Clumber Park to Sherwood Pines being 12 miles each way, with the additional red route option being approximately 9 miles. There is however the flexibility to add sections depending on your enthusiasm and ability. There are also other less challenging routes at Sherwood for those that want a more laid back ride.
We hope to partake in other trips there in the future, keep your eyes peeled for dates.
- Stuart Dixon
- Ian Morwood
- Ian Smith