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MTB Corfe Castle, Purbeck Isle

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The Isle of Purbeck is not an island, its just called the Isle of Purbeck. Apparently its popular for mountain biking with some disused quarries for freeride/downhillers and plenty of other trails for the more XC inclined. With the Saracen I am firmly in the XC world, not sure I would trust the rim brakes on any really steep terrain and the lack of any suspension makes rock gardens, jumps, roots etc a little more painful than on a full suspension brand new bike…..hmmmm maybe if I save some money!

After the somewhat successful South Downs ride I searched online for some trails around Corfe Castle, there are plenty of options on the Ordnance Survey map but getting trails that are reasonable for riding can be hit and miss. I found two routes that could be joined together on a local site Virtual Swanage. Everything was set for a 6am leave time, but I wasn’t expecting the typical UK weather – rain showers in the morning just as I was crawling out of bed. I gave it half an hour and decided to head out, if I stayed in I would have gone crazy pacing around the house.

Luckily the rain eased off just as I parked in the empty Corfe Castle parking lot. I headed out on the gravel tracks and up through the usual fields and mud soaked public right of way. The scenery was good looking out over the hills in the mist, and then looking over Kimmeridge Bay. Some of the better riding was around the golf course through the scrubby gorse and avoiding the flying golf balls!

I sustained one flat and a very muddy shoe after I put my foot in a puddle that happened to be a foot deep. There was a road cycling event happening and when I hit the roads I cycled with a few other people until everyone slowed down where a lady had fallen and it looked like a clavicle break but you could hear the ambulance in the background and the race marshals were out so I was able to carry on and finish the ride off along a small piece of singletrack that I had ridden earlier in the day.


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