Secret, secret singletrack.

I'm not even going to hint at where I went today. Riding there is illegal, and the landowner or his representative has taken steps to stop mountain bikers before. I'm guessing that very few local riders know of it, and if more than five people ride it in any week I'd be surprised. It's not in an area that has a high proportion of mountain bikers, or one that attracts the Leith Hill crowd. In the summer, if you'd not been shown where it is, you'd have real trouble finding it even if I gave you the general location. It's one of those "gap in a bush" type things.

So why bother? To be honest if you lived outside of the area, and had to travel in, the answer would be don't. Much better places to go. But if you live here, the answer would be to give it a go. It has two long runs - the same length as China Pig over on Box Hill. If you know that trail, then if I said the whole of these two runs comprises singletrack the same switchback, close through the trees nature as the top section of China Pig, then you may well see the attraction. Add in a third, legal run that takes you downhill fast through a series of lose turns over flinty gravel, and you have an area that is well worth a visit. Providing that you are a local.

But I'm never going to tell you where it is. Of course a lot of other people know of it, but you'll not find the actual location on any forums. People keep it quiet. I found it after a bit of internet research, a lot of looking, and a bit of luck. Even then the first time I rode it I wasn't sure it was the place. The trails aren't that clear. I've taken two people there and both got lost, riding off piste. I'm pretty sure neither of them could find it again. I've ridden the area countless times, yet if I leave it for six months I have no idea where the trails are, or which is which. The trails can be whispy, vague indications on the ground. This week they were clearly defined, but next week they may just be the slightest indentations, the merest hints in the leaf mulch.

It's a place that I reserve for those days I don't feel like going anywhere really. To get there isn't so interesting a deal. A route that appeals to endorphin rather than adrenalin riders. The ride up can be dispiriting, and one climb psychologically defeating - an easy climb in reality; one that I've taken in the middle ring only once; most of the time you churn up in the granny ring even though if it were anywhere else you'd probably not even notice it. Yet at the same time, hit this climb as a downhill and it is a lovely, drifty blured vision of a thing that can spit you off. I've seen one rider hit a corner in full two wheel drift, only for the corner to throw him up into the air laughing.

So today I went nowhere for a few hours. Yet I came back sweaty, and at one point had that inane, thousand yard stare you get after completing a trail right on the edge of reason.