Sunday Ride – Risby to Thetford Forest

Posted: January 5, 2011 in 2011, Rides
Tags: , ,

Cold, cloudy and a bit damp underfoot but relatively warm (about 2 degrees). The chance to get out without hitting ice, snow or simply getting soaked (no mudguards on this bike) was too strong and I had a sort of rushed breakfast, kitted up and headed out to the shed. For one reason or another, my MTBs are all out of commission so it was another excuse to ride the new CX bike. Undecided about where to go but with firm ideas about where not to go, I headed off to Risby from where this ride starts.

The idea was to put a gentle, short, ride together that would take in some road riding, fire road and a few sections of singletrack and deliver you Thetford forest where the delights of the forest can unfold before you. You can do this on an MTB and a CX bike but it is not really suitable for dedicated road machines.

Risby to Cavenham and then West Stow (Ramparts Field) is a warm up and then you get to the off road part. A gentle climb from the road on a combination of sand and flints brings you to an opening on the right and a long sandy fire road. Firm in the summer, this was heavy going but dry lines helped with speed. At the end is a T junction. Ignore this and head straight over onto a small “path”, it isn’t quite single track but follow it to the end and head left, round the fallen tree (I can never clean this for some reason) and a short section of singletrack unfolds. Narrow, fast and twisting it is over too soon and you hit another fire road. Take a left up the gentle climb (which always seems hard work) and turn right at the junction when you crest the rise. Follow the fire road until you come to some houses (another T junction) where you turn right. Just before you hit the road there is a large oak tree on the left with a small trail leading off to the left. Follow this to the next (sandy) fire road. If you are following the gps file, this is where you turn right then take to the road until the Elveden Lights. I would normally take a right over the road to hook up with other trails to take you north to the forest or indeed left to the monument but it was too gloopy. I will cover these another time. Over at the lights past Centre Parcs and then keep your eyes open. Leave CP behind by maybe 250 yards, pass a small gate on your left and slow down. You will cross the road here and hook up with some single track via a very indistinct gap in the vegetation. Once on the singletrack turn left and you will soon hit the “Washing Machine” a small off camber bombhole. Follow the trail to FR7 and turn right. Just before the cross roads/junction turn left into the last decent section of singletrack in the forest. You will know you are on course when you hit the devastation that was left behind at Dusk 2 Dawn 2010. the trail transforms from sublime to a vision of hell. It looks as though the army have been undertaking wholesale exercises with squadrons of tanks. Take a right here and join FR8. I decided to hop up to FR9 via the fire road, just to deliver riders to a more central point before turning back. You can take the Black Route to Mayday/FR10 or just dive off and explore.

Turning for home I rejoined the fire road where I had left it at North Stow, headed up the yellow/orange road, crossed the main trail and then left onto one of my favourite rides. There is nothing technical in it but it is quiet with gently rolling tracks which take you to the “Orange Hill” venue for many a duel with my normal riding mates. (For anyone used to a hill denoting a section of terrain where significant elevation plays a part this is not a hill, just a tiny climb so don’t expect an epic struggle – it is the venue for a sprint session which we “enjoy” from time to time.) Take a left at the house then turn right at the cross roads. Follow the trail to the road and retrace your steps via Ramparts Field. Ride through Lackford and turn right by the church in Flempton. The road will return you to your starting point in Risby. As described, this is a 28 mile bimble. Quite enjoyable but easy enough to be ridden by anyone who has the miles in their legs.

Risby To Thetford Forest by slowjo61 at Garmin Connect – Details

You can export the file to your gps by using the “export” button above the map.

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Comments
  1. Peterh says:

    Thanks! I’ll look forward to more routes like this!

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