Friday, 10 April 2009

Northern Shores

A "North Shore". An extremely technical mountain bike "freeriding" course, hand made out of wood.

Originating on the North Shore of Vancouver, in the logging country heading up to Alaska, they are a common feature in mountain bike videos -but a rarity in Southern England

This could change. Here, beside a river bank within our city limits, we have all that is needed: wood, fallen trees, and enough of a height differential to let people in heavy DH bikes do the descent. Indeed, the foundation of a route is already in place.

Some people will be worried about the risk of bike/pedestrian conflict on what appears to be a flight of steps, put in to make ascending or descending the hill easier.

They have nothing to fear. The new landowners have fenced off the steps, keeping pedestrians away, and felled enough trees to provide the raw materials for the other components of a complete North Shore. For this is Grove Wood, off the River Frome, in Stapleton. Private Land, to which pedestrian access is denied. Obviously this means bicycles aren't allowed to ride down the steps either, but that has always been the case -what has changed now is that the walkers are kept at bay.

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