At Beyond the Mud we want to enable as much riding as possible! Which is why we started guest blog posts, these blog posts let you hear about riding in new places from other passionate mountain bikers and hopefully give you some ideas on where you could go on your next mountain bike adventure. This latest blog post is by mountain biker Carrianne, we hope you enjoy reading and thank you Carianne for sharing your adventure with us.
I don’t manage to get out on my mountain bike as much as I would like, and opportunities to ride anything other then local trails are even rarer! So when I had a child free day on the same day that some friends were heading to the Quantocks I was there!
Parking in the lay-by on the A39 just before entering the village of Holford, the first climb of the day was a bit of a challenge for legs still stiff from the car journey! It was 5km and about 320m up to the main ridge of the Quantocks. The reward was the descent down Hodders Combe, 4km of swoopy singletrack heaven and a big smile on my face! It had been a long time since I’d done such a long, natural descent and I was pretty nervous at the start – but I quickly got into the flow and it was a real confidence boost with nothing too steep or technical.
The Hodders Combe descent dropped us almost back to where we started in the village of Holford and from there it was a 3km, 300m climb back up to the ridge where we stopped for a quick refuel before the descent into Weacombe. This was another lovely flowing trail, starting in the open moorland before dropping down into the wood – again nothing too technical or steep just 2km super flowy fun.
The third climb of the day was 2km and 100m to near the top of West Hill and the descent into Smith’s Combe. Smith’s Combe was the shortest, at just over 1.5km, and most technical downhill of the day with a tricky loose rock section in the middle which I was super proud of myself for making it down – it wasn’t pretty but I didn’t walk!
The next section was a bit of a slog, with tiring legs, we followed the contour around the northern edge of the Quantocks before heading up a drag of a fire road climb back up to the open ridge and past Bicknoller Post for the final time. Crossing across the whole of the top of the Quantocks gives you a chance to admire the spectacular views – out towards the Bristol Channel and for miles inland.
The 5km final descent, Lady’s Combe, back to the car was super fun, starting in the woods dropping down to follow the path of a stream – making line choice all important! The trail zig-zagged the stream, taking a right-hand turn, up the final little uphill of the day, before popping out back where we started.
Loved getting out, doing a proper ride on some fantastic singletrack. The Quantocks offer a lot of quality riding in a small area, hopefully won’t leave it so long until we return!
TOP TIP: Take a packed lunch – there isn’t anywhere to buy food on the route.
RIDE STATS: 30.74km | 3:20:22 | 863m
Check out the route on Strava.
Written by Carrianne Priddy