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Just moved to maidstone
#1
Hi Guys,

My name is Ian, if you hadn't already guessed. I have just finished uni in Bath and have started a new job in Maidstone.

Where are the good places to ride, I am a technical rider but my riding fitness is very low due to not getting much biking in my final year of uni, breaking my foot, and moving house 3 times. Where are the fun places to ride in the area I don't mind driving, and having read alot of topics you all seem nice chaps I would join you for a ride but I don't want to slow you down, so until I get my fitness sorted I don't mind flying solo.

However I don't mind joining people for a bit of push up downhilling....

Just if your wondering, i have a cove handjob, and a nicolai helius st, and am about to order another bike, (probably a helius ac)

Also where are there any really good local bike shops, not interested in what they bikes they stock as I won't be buying anything like a whole bike, but looking for parts, experience and friendliness.....
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#2
Welcome Ian - you;ve come to the right place, plenty of advice, banter and the occasional ride when we're not talking about riding.

You are in a perfect location, as you are near the North Downs, and more specifically Bluebell Hill (BBH) - but plenty more further afield, Maidstone has excellent links and is central to everything.

There are regular rides around there, with some killer climbs, but therefore wicked downhills all spead out by some often sweet singletrack.

We rode BBH last night infact. http://www.sketchymtb.co.uk/Blah.pl?m-1249569585/s-0/

Your best bet as you are totally new to the area is join us for a ride, everyones of mixed abilities and we never push anyone beyond their limits - everyone waits and are polite/patient riders - we just enjoy getting out.

As for shops, I dont know many shops around there, although I think the general idea is to avoid CyclesUK.

Where abouts in Maidstone are you?
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#3
Well, at the moment i am working in gillingham, and staying in a hotel, but yesterday we put a deposit down to rent a house in boxley close in penenden heath with a garage for my bikes we move in on sept the first and then have to move all my stuff out of storage. at the mo, my bikes are under my bed in my hotel room, as i don't trust them in storage, not that the hotel room is much better.....
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#4
"ianpinder" Wrote:Well, at the moment i am working in gillingham, and staying in a hotel, but yesterday we put a deposit down to rent a house in boxley close in penenden heath with a garage for my bikes we move in on sept the first and then have to move all my stuff out of storage. at the mo, my bikes are under my bed in my hotel room, as i don't trust them in storage, not that the hotel room is much better.....

Wow, nice one, you (will be) RIGHT there then!!.

If you ride up Boxley Hill, to the woodland area - THAT's the North Downs and BBH - hours of fun up there along the top or bottom along the Pilgrims Way (inbetween is better)

My old training route went pretty much past your future road.

resim
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#5
Welcome to SketchyMTB Ian ;D

As BMJBOY has said, you're more than welcome to join us on any of our rides.  We never abandon a rider and we're all very realistic about abilities/skills.

Have fun ;D
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#6
Hey mate welcome to the fun, for really technical riding or bigger stuff you will need to drive to either surrey hills/ Swinley forest/ Porc/ Bull track. Whats your riding style, do you like to do a bit of everything? Im more of a technical rider than a pure xc whippet, i like to play with jumps/drops/dh/technical sections etc etc/. Welcome to come along with me anytime, 23rd august we might be going to aston hill to play.
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#7
I've used this shop a few times. Not the best web site but the shop is better. For bikes they only stock trek and giant but quite a good selection of everything else. It's better than being spoken down to by a 15 year old in cyclesuk anyway.

http://www.senacrecycles.co.uk/
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#8
that training route looks wicked, once i am settled i am going to get a gps and sort out some routes. what legnth rides do you guys go for.


Buzzlightyear: thanks for the offer, I won't be set up by the 23rd, 1/2 my big bike is under my bed and the other half is in storage. so its not going to be untill mid sept that i am ready for a ride, then i will come and play with you, haha no pun intended,

thanks for the info on the bike shop, i'll go check it out i need to pick up a few bits.
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#9
All our rides are different, although the more regular BBH and Blean (Near Canterbury) rides are usually about 15miles.

Some epic rides are orgnised, and some dirt jump/messing about rides are organised.

Anything and everything is available by either joining up with other members or even suggesting something yourself.

That old map I posted is a little tame now for what else lies around up there - but its a good marker for looking for other trails etc - However, as you can get easily very lost there if you dont know the area, I would suggest you ride with a local rider first.

However, that route is very easy to follow and is actually waymarked and signed throughout, so easy to navigate on your own if you wish.

I would say a good 95% of our rides are all XC, although some members are venturing into some more downhill/freeride stuff in the bigger areas of Surrey Hills etc.

I dont think there is one out and out downhiller on the forum, as we all like to ride our bikes uphill, not push them!  Wink

For more gnarly riding, you need to joing Deadpoole2e and Buzzlightyear on one of their Surrey Hills rides (Im too scared to join them!)  Tongue
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#10
You can walk down any bits you dont want to ride at Surrey, lots of us did on the last group ride, nothing to be embarassed about and trying that stuff is the only way to improve.
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