Thordon Country Park, Brentwood, Essex

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markbrosnan78
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Thordon Country Park, Brentwood, Essex

Post by markbrosnan78 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:04 am

Heard about this place from a local mountain bike forum. About ten minutes off the M25 on the A127. Bit of a mistake going today after weeks of torrential rain but there looks to be only a two day dry window so it had to be done.

Easy to get to and plenty of parking with a small fee of £2.50 for the whole day. The car park is next to the visitors centre that does hot and cold refreshments. The park is mainly forest with trails for bikes, horses and walkers. Trails are clearly marked and signposted where bikes and horses are prohibited. A trail map is available for 50p or can be downloaded from the internet for free.

Most trails are a mixture of mud, pebbles and stones and despite the recent rain are still quite hard. Some of the bike tracks are large gravel as well. There are a variety of differing trails from gentle rolls to all out maniac runs. However bikes are not allowed on some of the steeper narrower ones. I didn't try any of these as they are beyond my ability and I did not want to get into an argument if mountain boards should be allowed on them or not.

There are also plenty of areas you can ride that are not marked as trails for the more ambitious. I started out on the main bike gravel trail which was pretty steep and wide. As I hit the bottom it became muddy and with the recent rain there was about an inch of slimy mud and water. Hitting this induced speed wobble and it was so loose the rear of my board began to fishtail. Despite forgetting everything I know in a state of panic I managed to hit the left hand turn at the bottom.

This lead into more muddy trails most of which had waterlogged areas or puddles across them so where not really rideable today. I guess having to share a trail with bikes and horses churns it up too much in all this rain.

There is another gravel trail that links the north and south parts of the park that has a wicked dip in the middle. It was a bit like riding a half pipe. You speed down one side and part way up and then roll back in again. I just rode back switch but you could 180 to come down again.

All in all it looks like a pretty god place. No real long runs but enough to keep you entertained especially if you like to cross country ride.

The only down side was the mud and the wet but it was a lot better than my local trails. I'm definitely heading back if it ever dries out.

4/5 - The best place to ride I have found so far in Essex.

Thorndon Country Park

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Post by walker » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:40 pm

Hey mark good description ,I used to go to school over that way many moons ago and have often thought about it .
Inlive in Norwich now but a few of us said about finding some where in Essex so when it does dry out I'm up for meeting up there if ya fancy but if not no worries but you have made me think I need to go there

Nice one

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markbrosnan78
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Post by markbrosnan78 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:12 pm

That would be cool. It would be great to hook up with some other boarders. I keep threatening to hop over the water to join up with the Kent ATB guys but haven't found the time.

I live in Southend, the flattest part of a flat county. I've yet to find many places to ride. What's around you? I'm thinking it is going to be Wales or the Lake District to find some decent two mile runs. Give me a shout if you are ever heading over this way.
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[align=center]Allowing even fat blokes to ride since 2000...[/align]

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Post by Ian@KentATB » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:10 pm

Sounds promising. I might be up for a trip over if we ever get a summer to dry the place out.
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Post by markbrosnan78 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:49 pm

I only covered about 30% of the place. I will go back when it's drier and have a proper look around, take some photos and work out runs.

They were all pretty short but some of the non biking ones were fairly steep and mental if you've got better skills and bigger balls than me. Which shouldn't be too hard...
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[align=center]Allowing even fat blokes to ride since 2000...[/align]

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Post by walker » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:52 am

Sounds good , sunny south end I've had loads of good time s there. It would be good if afew of us could meet up and put faces to names.There is loads to ride in Essex I'm from tilbury originally And remember loads of places a lot of them around the Brentwood area any ways we ll have to organise something soon

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Post by leapb4ulook » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:29 am

markbrosnan78 wrote:I'm thinking it is going to be Wales or the Lake District to find some decent two mile runs..


Hint hint
Mutley wrote:Dude you are an inspiration, and a nut job all rolled into one.

Brennig wrote:Trees are where the party's at.

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Post by GoofyMark » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:52 am

leapb4ulook wrote:Hint hint


Ha ha, on my wedding aniversary, I can't see that going down well!!! However we are planning our annual Freeride pilgrimage to the lakes in September;-)
Bring on the night!

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Post by markbrosnan78 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:44 am

I'd live to join you Leap but that's my long weekend on at work. It's a paradox I'm noticing more with both boarding and kiting. You need a decent job to afford the gear but that job stops you having time to use the gear you can now afford.

Chuck in the added complication of having a family and the fact I only get about 12 work free weekends a year and it gets tough to do anything.

The family are even getting suspicious of my family weekends away that always happen to be at the same time and location as a kiting event or at top spots around the country.

Even our October holiday is free at my aunts caravan in Pettycur Bay, Fife. It hasn't gone unnoticed by the wife that there is a massive flat beach ideal for kiting on the doorstep and that it is surrounded by massive hills all around.

This weekend is the biggest land kiting meet of the year and it's 10 minutes away. You wouldn't believe the aggro it is trying to get there and getting to spend the whole weekend there. Factor in a 300 mile plus trip and weekends away are nigh on impossible.

Next year I will commit to one ATBA event even if it's not as a rider. I'm trying to sneak in a weekend to Camber or Greatstone this year in Kent. Two massive great kiting beaches and even if there is no wind just a short drive to the South Downs for some gravity powered fun.

If there was only some way I could sneak the Trampa in the car before we set off I might get away with it a bit more but they are a bit obvious. :)
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[align=center]Allowing even fat blokes to ride since 2000...[/align]

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Post by leapb4ulook » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:24 am

GoofyMark wrote:we are planning our annual Freeride pilgrimage to the lakes in September;-)

Let us know more when you've got a date in mind
Mutley wrote:Dude you are an inspiration, and a nut job all rolled into one.

Brennig wrote:Trees are where the party's at.

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leapb4ulook
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Post by leapb4ulook » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:25 am

markbrosnan78 wrote:I'd live to join you Leap but that's my long weekend on at work. It's a paradox I'm noticing more with both boarding and kiting. You need a decent job to afford the gear but that job stops you having time to use the gear you can now afford.

Ah, the old time/money paradox. We all struggle with that one.

GoofyMark wrote:we are planning our annual Freeride pilgrimage to the lakes in September;-)

Let us know more when you've got a date in mind
Mutley wrote:Dude you are an inspiration, and a nut job all rolled into one.

Brennig wrote:Trees are where the party's at.

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GoofyMark
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Post by GoofyMark » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:23 am

leapb4ulook wrote:Let us know more when you've got a date in mind


friday 21st to sunday 23rd - is the firm provisional date, aiming to avoiding comps and school hols. Planning to post details around start of July......:)
Bring on the night!

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