I want a cheap and cheerful GPS receiver to give me my OS grid reference when I get lost in difficult terrain (usually open moorland). I don’t need mapping as I use OS 1:25 000 maps. Any suggestions?
There’s quite a bit of choice at the lower end of the market, and all the units available will give you an accurate grid reference as required. Garmin offer the easiest PC compatibility, so if there’s any way you’re ever going to want to connect it to your PC, you should look at something like the Gecko 201, which you will almost certainly get for less than £100, or even the Etrex Legend, which you should be able to get for not much more. Both are very light and very robust too. If PC compatibility really isn’t so much of an issue, look at something like the iFinder Go, which is accurate, light and inexpensive; or the funky looking Magellan eXplorist 100. Both of these should be available for less than £100.
Out of Oxon
I have recently been dragged into the expensive world of mountain biking by a friend, and have in turn got my Dad and brother going as well. But we have a problem: Oxfordshire does not have any mountain biking, so therefore we will have to drive at least an hour or so to get to anywhere really good. We thought that Cheddar Gorge might be good, or the Quantocks, but we do not want to drive for an hour and still have a pretty poor day’s riding. Could you suggest any good rides which we should do and which you enjoyed greatly?
Oz, by e-mail
PS What do you think of the Spesh Enduro? I was looking at it with lust in my eyes while my wallet sobbed with fear. Would you say deal or no deal?
Firstly, although you don’t say which part of Oxfordshire you’re from, I would disagree totally with your statement that the county has no decent riding: the Chilterns are wonderful, and have provided everyone here with hours of fun. Check out the trails around Chinnor and Nettlebed to start with. Pretty much everything on the map works, or you can get our Chilterns routes from back issues (look on the route index on www.mountainbikerider.com for details). And maybe you’ll have an extra two hours riding rather than driving every time you go out.
Regarding Cheddar, the gorge itself has limited trails, but nearby Beacon Batch and Blackdown offer some superb riding. And the Quantock Hills are absolutely first class and well worth the drive. Again, check out our route index for details of rides in these areas.
As for the Spesh, it’s a great bike but there’s a lot of it for general trail riding. Unless you’re into uplifts and big terrain, it may be overkill. Check out our July 2006 issue for a review
I would like to start by saying how much I enjoy reading the various articles in the magazine.
I am not so much a mountain biker but might rise to that some time in the future. I have a hybrid bike, which is fine for commuting, forest trails and the odd easy mountain route.
I have Ordnance Survey mapping on my computer and whenever I am going on a new route I print of an A4 sheet with the route on it then laminate much like the ones you publish in the magazine. I would like to start collating cycle routes throughout my area (Tayside, Scotland). My thought is to collect routes from friends, colleagues and other sources and then to post them on a website to make them available to anyone who wants them, free of charge. Is that legal?
I know that when you buy an OS map for the computer that you are able to print of maps without infringing copyright but would that also apply if I make them available to others? There are loads of routes out there on the web but no one seems to get them altogether on one site which would make life easier for people trying to find routes in a particular area.
Can you advise me please?
This question crops up quite often and sadly there’s no simple answer. If your site offered you no financial gain — and that includes advertising etc — then you would be able to publish one or two routes free of charge, using the OS Get-a-map Service (www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getamap). Or if you wanted to publish more than this, then you’d need a Paper Map Copying License, details available from www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. If however, you were making money from the site, you would then need an Ordnance Survey Internet License, which would obviously cost you more money — details from the same place. Let us know when you get it up and running.
Hi, I have been looking through my ride guides and was wondering if you might be able to help me? I am taking three relative beginners to the North York Moors for a ride and was wondering if you could help me to choose a ride they would enjoy as I don’t want to put them off by doing something too hard. I’m looking for something that will be pretty interesting as well as fun for them. I think that 20 miles is about the furthest that they will be able to manage, so have been looking at a few rides that you have covered. Would you be able to tell me which of these you think would be best?
Unfortunately I was unable to get back to you before your ride, so I hope it went well. Anyway, for future reference, I would definitely recommend the Rosedale Round that we covered in the Rides of Passage series in January 2005. It’s a true classic, not too difficult, and stacks of fun. Enjoy.