For the last five weeks I’ve been cycling the 12km to work and back every few days. At first it nearly killed me as I have two stiff hills to get over but this week I was starting to feel ok. In a desire to take things a bit further on the biking front I really fancied doing some proper off road stuff and when Andy suggested going for a canter round Bedgebury Pinetum I jumped at the chance.
Bedgebury is in deepest Sussex, near the town of Flimwell and is essentially a large wood cut by tracks, paths and a few lakes. What makes it such a good outdoor venue is that caters for all levels of ability. There is a tricky (and very muddy) single track for the more serious mountain biker but also a variety of paths for family cycling or just some nice places to walk.
Despite it being our first bit of mountain biking, we of course opted for the ‘difficult’ single track route. Looking back I think we were very cautious and hesitant at first, but the longer we rode, the confidence grew and the more fun it got. By half way round I was really loving it. To start with I made a point of trying to avoid the worst mud or the deepest puddles but it wasn’t long before this just became part of the fun! The course was challenging but nothing that I thought was too bad for the average enthusiast.
We stopped a few times to take photos, trying our best to look ‘action’. Getting a good exposure was difficult as it wasn’t a bright day which made for quite a gloomy forest. Next time, I may bring the flash!
The cycling was book-ended by tea and cake in the perfectly good cafe (pineatery) that overlooks the lake and before going home we hosed down the bikes at the washing station. If you don’t have a bike or don’t want to bring one the shop here has a large range (including jump bikes and kids bikes) which looked fairly good.
Overall a really good venue for a day in the country and next time I’d like to bring the family too.