Stretton Hills Biking website was launched in September 2012 as a community website for both local riders and also those from further afield, who can use this as a resource for information and knowledge about the local area.

In the Stretton Hills area there are a large group of like-minded individuals who all get a kick out of riding bikes off-road. This site has been put together by these riders.

With the increased popularity of biking in the UK, particularly as a result of hosting the 2012 Olympics, more and more people are taking to the sport. People ride the hills practically every day of the year. There are also group rides which happen sever times a week. (See the “Group Rides” page for details).

Stretton Hills Biking promotes responsible riding, and is seeks to build good relationships with local land managers, particularly the National Trust. We believe that promoting Mountain Biking as a responsible and sustainable sport through the good conduct of riders is the best way to gain greater access to the countryside to enjoy our sport.

The site forum is available to post questions and requests for information about anything to do with riding in the area.

The website is a not-for-profit site and is wholly maintained by the local riders.

An Introduction to Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking usually refers to the sport of riding bicycles possessing particular design characteristics. Mountain biking can be done almost anywhere but is mainly done off-road. The sport requires endurance, bike handling skills and self-reliance. It is an individual sport which can be performed almost anywhere. There are aspects of mountain biking that are more similar to trail running than regular bicycling. Because riders are often far from civilisation, there is a strong ethic of self-reliance in the sport. Riders must learn to repair their broken bikes or flat tires to avoid being stranded miles from help. This reliance on survival skills accounts for the group dynamics of the sport. Club rides and other forms of group rides are common, especially on longer treks.

Most mountain bikes have a similar look: knobby tires, large round frame tubing, and some sort of suspension or shock absorbers. Mountain biking can be done anywhere from a back yard to a gravel road, but the majority of mountain bikers prefer to ride singletrack trails . These are narrow trails that wind through forests or fields.

Equipment

Mountain bikes differ from road racing bicycles in several ways. They have a smaller and stronger frame, knobby, wider and higher profile tires which are mounted on a rim which is stronger than a standard bicycle rim, a larger range of gears to facilitate climbing up steep hills and over obstacles, a wider flat or upwardly-rising handlebar that allows a more upright riding position, and often some form of suspension system for either the front wheel or both wheels.

While it is estimated that only between 10 and 20% of mountain bikes are actually ridden off-road, the sport of mountain biking has seen an explosion in popularity and diversification.

Mountain bikers also carry and use a variety of equipment to help them ride or repair their bikes. These include extra inner tubes, a patch kit, a portable air pump, a water bottle or hydration pack to keep hydrated, a chain tool, and various-sized allen wrenches or other small tools to make minor repairs while on a ride. Carrying various tools is a necessity since the nature of mountain biking is to have the rider removed from civilization.