Good PLUSHmtb roadtrip on Sat to Blessingbourne trails with in attendance, Rab, Stevie D, Gar McKee, Davy Brown & me….plus a dose a boys from Pedalhedz & a wheen o’ randoms!
Easy found just off main street in Fivemiletown, Id say an hour from Sprucefield?!
Entry is via an automatic gate which should take 4no. nuggets but only took 2 of ours, spat the rest out a couple of times, then openned anyway! Carpark is quite small but right beside the sweet pump track which is built in around the trees.
The majority of trails, all hardpacked gravel, are Blue routes, twisty with loadsa rollers, woops & sharp corners – all fun at speed! A few easy climbs lead to some fun gradual descents….but even on the Blue route you are constantly working. Off shoots from the Blue are a few Red routes giving more varying technical sections & switchback berms all of which flow well. There is a section of chainsaw cut trees to ride over with a couple of drops followed by a couple unecessarily very sharp corners which kill your speed! This is immediately before a small jump section again with a couple of tight cornes, before the Red route joins the Blue for a brief interlude. Watch out for a couple of left-handers that send you very close to the edge of the track & drop into a sheugh!!
If you max the Red routes (1 of which doubles you back a bit), the lap turns into about 20mins of a decent work out. We did 2 laps, lunch, bit of a play on the pump track & 2 more laps.
When you go to the likes of Ballinastoe, you park on the side of the road, its free & you expect nothing. As this is the countrys first ‘Trail Centre’ , its well funded & supported & you pay in & it was the first weekend…..I expected someone around from the Trail Centre, better facilities that 2 portaloos, a bike wash, simple loos & maybe even a shower. A bonus would be a simple cafe, with outside seats to watch over the pump track & the 1 staff to cover all. Seeing as Im on a nit-picking roll…more signage & interpretation & a one-way system for traffic!
All in, A WELL WORTH VISIT & HATS OFF TO THEM FOR GETTING IT UP & RUNNING NOW, WHEN ITS NEEDED……theres been so much chat & publicity for the trail centres in Rostrevor & Castlewellan & still nothing!
Its well worth the trip & I’ll be back, not every week but regularly…..next time with loads more members?!?!