Over the last 18 months we have been cycling the bridleways and byways of the south west for the mountain biking website www.1sw.org.uk. Our team of mountain bikers have taken on the onerous task of classifying all the cycle-legal parts of the rights of way networks with the CTC mountain biking classification system. This grades the trail with a colour depending on the severity of the riding experience. Green trails are suitable for all, black trails should only be ridden by experienced riders. So far we have completed all the trails in Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Quantocks, Mendips, North Devon, East Devon, South Devon, Dorset and the Blackdown Hills. Presently we are working in North Wessex Downs and Cornwall.
When we cycle the trails we create a track using accurate GPS receivers. We then attribute this track with the information seen on the website. We also take the photos and video footage seen on the site. This data leads to a very rich site ideal for planning an off-road cycling trip.
The latest area to go live is Dorset. There is a tremendous amount of variability suiting all types of riders. The area close to the Hardy Monument provides stunning open ridge routes with beautiful views of the Jurassic Coast, or head to Blandford Forest for steep and technical singletrack. However my personal favourite is the bridleway from the summit of Swyre Head to Kimmeridge. Extensive coastal views should only be appreciated on the easier upper section before the trail becomes steep and stony. Fantastic fun.