Cam MTB - the Cambridge Mountain Bikers' Forum

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  • Wear a helmet. Despite recent advances in medical science, brains still cannot be mended nor replaced.
  • Wear gloves or mitts. Hands often hit the ground first. Cuts and grazes invite infection and a hospital visit.
  • Wear eye protection, it only takes a twig or thorn to lose an eye. Crud catchers are a good idea in mucky weather.
  • When downhilling, for your own protection, allow plenty of space behind the rider in front.
  • Bring a bare minimum emergency tool kit and a spare inner tube.
  • Breakdowns are a bore. Plan not to have any by ensuring your bike is in perfect working order.
  • Punctures are also tedious. You can minimise them by fitting latex tubes, slime tubes or running tubeless tyres.

Photo: CAMMTB rides have restarted with social distancing - bring a beer and or join us for our virtual pub sessions afterwards.

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New Rider in the Area

Hey all, my name is Matt and I recently moved to the Cambridgeshire area. I started hitting trails in November for just a month and got hooked. After that, I was busy moving to the UK. I vowed to get a bike after I settled in.

So I got settled and got a bike. Since I'm new I got a starter- Cannondale F8 hardtail. I'm itching to get on the trails to tear it up and would love to join you guys/gals. I have limited night riding experience and do not know the trails. I looked on this site for a map of the trails but couldn't find it. Can I get some help with this? I'd like to familiarize myself with the trail during the day first before a night ride.

I have read the FAQ and understand I need a way above average light front and rear, pump, spare tube, and tools. I just need to pickup a spare tube and light. Hope to join you soon!

Re: New Rider in the Area

Hi Matt,

I just went for the first time with these guys the other day. I was the same as you, I've not been night riding before and I didn't know the trail.

In terms of night riding, the lights only really needed to come on at around 9.30-10pm at which point we were just on roads heading back to Cambridge.

In terms of the trail, it's as easy as 'follow-my-leader'. Even if you end up being a little more cautious, the group stops often to wait for everyone to catch up so it's not a problem.

I would say one thing, make sure you can do 30 miles in around 3 hours ok.

Hope that's some help!

Re: New Rider in the Area

Hi Matt

I think Frazer has got it about right. I'd make a couple of points, though.

Firstly, unless the government moves British Summer Time another hour forward, it's light as late as it's going to get at this time of year. It will only be a month or so before it starts getting darker earlier, and a good light really will matter! You'll need to assume that you will be riding on the trail in the dark, rather than only on the road.

Secondly, partly because of the long evenings, rides at this time of year tend to be a bit longer, and it sounds as though Frazer hit one of the longest! 25 miles, including the ride back after the pub stop, is more normal.

In terms of routes, here are a couple of fairly typical evening rides: a pretty long one and a more normal one

If you're going to ride them during the day, please be a little circumspect - riding at night means that we don't necessarily limit ourselves to bridleways, if you get my drift...

Hope this helps - see you soon

Re: New Rider in the Area

Wow, I'm excited. I ordered a 200 lumen headlight and it wont be here until next week. I'm going to try to go to Woburn Sands sometime this week to see where I'm at physically. I'm fit but haven't been on a bike in a while.

Also, thanks for the information Frazer and Dom.

Dom, pardon my ignorance, but do you mean at night you guys go nuts and make your own trail?

Re: New Rider in the Area

Hi Matt,
Welcome to the group.
While I wouldn't presume to speak for Dom, I think that the connotation was that as the law stands at the moment mountain biker's are only legally able to cycle on bridleways and roads. There are many paths, trails, footpaths etc. around the area that do not fall into this category. At night, there are very few, if any, walkers on these other paths. Just an observation, that's all.
Hope to see you soon.

Re: New Rider in the Area

Ah, I see now, Adam. Thanks, I'm still unfamiliar with most of the laws here but that makes sense. I'm all for 'bending' the rules.

Re: New Rider in the Area

I want to ride tonight but my light isn't in yet.