Saturday, 13 June 2015

New Bike and Some Fun at Cardinham Woods

When you're heading from Nottingham to Newquay for a holiday there's a risk that if you leave too late you'll hit all the traffic. Though if you do as we did and leave Nottingham at 2 AM there's the issue of what to do before you can check into your accommodation. I've found a great way to fill that time is to head to Cardinham Woods, 45 minutes drive from Newquay and hit the trails

Now the leg is healing it's time for me to have some fun and while I'm not up to running long distances and comfortable dealing with the trails on foot I'm fit enough now to get back onto the bike which has always been my main passion.  

Tackling the Bodmin Beast Run at Cardinham Woods

It's not every day your new bike arrives and it's just before you go away. That called for a potential opportunity to test out the bike on holiday. The question was where?

The Radon ZR Race 6.0 at Cardinham Woods, Bodmin
The joy of google meant that a few choice Internet searches drew me to Bodmin and Cardinham Woods. Home of the Bodmin Beast MTB route. Only a blue route from the information on the 1SW website but from a little further research this looked to be no ordinary blue run.

Cardinham is fortunately a short 45 minute drive from Newquay so a no brainer for anyone taking their mountain bike down to the area.

Having ridden the red Kitchener Trail at Sherwood Pines locally on my cyclocross bike my initial thoughts were that a blue route might not be particularly challenging. With a new bike and having not had a mountain bike since my teens I was looking forward to just testing my new Radon ZR Race out whether the route was mainly fire roads or rolling singletrack.

The Bodmin Beast trail at Cardinham turned out to be a real treat and definitely a challenge. I hadn't expected to be challenged as much as I was on the trail which features lots of rolling trails on rocky trails. There are few obstacles to test on the trails like the many tree routes seen at Sherwood Pines but there are loads of drop offs, berms and rollers to really test a rider. I'm surprised the route is a red personally based on the degree of challenge faced and in comparison it makes the Kitchener Trail at Sherwood Pines feel like a blue too.

The full blue circuit is around 6 miles so I did it twice for a decent workout. With 509 metres worth of climbing over 19.5 kilometres it was a pretty tough workout.

Selfie at the Whip on the Bodmin Beast, Cardinham Woods
I'd recommend a trip to Cardinham. It feels like you're almost lost getting out to the car park but once there you'll experience some fantastic riding for beginner to intermediate mountain bike skills as well as a fantastic cafe that's open from 10 AM daily and worth the trip to visit on it's own (Awesome cream teas)

Fortunately for a 5 day break we had awesome weather after the great weekend down at Bedgebury with Jemma running the Runner's World Trailblazer Half Marathon. We did a few days of touring on the bike visiting Padstow, Newquay and a lovely trip to Healy's Cyder Farm where they make Rattler Cyder. It wasn't fast riding as we were both on mountain bikes with knobbly's but my experience at Cardinham on the Bodmin Beast really helped set me up for a great holiday.

Blue skies at Harlyn Bay with the Radon ZR Race 6.0

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