I’ve done the red route a couple of times this year, its a really nice ride, and contrary to the Forestry Commissions comment of it being “taxing and difficult”, its actually quite tame.
The route itself is about 6 miles, or 11 miles if you decide to take the extra loop. I did the full 11 miles in just under 2 hours, but that was a pretty casual ride with several stops for water.
The route, as do all routes, start from the High Lodge center. The start of the route is slightly confusing, follow the red posts away from the High Lodge, and towards the car park and the road you came in on, thats where the route starts (for some reason, there are red posts pointing towards the back of the High Lodge center, you don’t want to go that way)
There are some patches of sand at the start (or end, since the route is a loop), you’ll need to watch out for these as your wheels can slip out from under you if you hit it too fast, and make sure you’re going straight. If you hit sand on a corner or a turn it could be interesting ;)
After about a mile, you’ll enter the first technical part. You’re directed into a section of close trees, the path is very windy so you’ll need to take it slow. After a quarter of a mile or so you’ll come back out into the open, and to single lane track again. You’ll come across a few patches on the route that are like this.
About half way through, you’ll cross over the green route, and enter some trees. This is probably the hardest part of the route, its very windy and downhill, there are also a few minor drops. The track was created with some logs underneath in certain places to elevate the track, but some have become exposed so there is a 1 foot drop in certain places. Its nothing particulary difficult, just hold tight!