This event was open to families or riders, young riders, and newbie or novice mountain bikers of whom could be club members of visitor riders. The ride was led by three of our staff ride leaders of whom all are qualified mountain bike leaders and coaches and are all insured and CRB checked.
Our group for the day totaled twelve including four juniors, four seniors, three senior (debatable!?) BucksMTB staff members and one extra local rider we found out on the trails who was keen to find out about the club and join in with the ride games.
After a pre-ride bike check and introductions (plus tea and cake) outside the Cafe in the Woods in Wendover Woods main car park we headed off in the direction of the Firecrest Trail to find one of the large grass areas to start the ride off with a riding game.
Once at the picnic area we started the day with some granny ring racing; all riders riding in granny ring up front and the largest cog at the back as to choose the easiest gear on everyone's bike - the aim now was to race! This is funny to watch with everyone's legs spinning like Speedy Gonzalez but its a great fun way to get everyone warmed up. After some open category racing, some senior only rounds and some junior only rounds the winners were award hot chocolate and jelly babies before we headed off into the woods to pick up one of the main Bridleways heading down the hill to start our main ride.
We took in some of the bridleways and singletrack that Wendover has to offer, taking in around five miles or so before we came to a clearing down towards the Hale where we decided to run some more riding games.
The next game was another race, but with a difference - the slowest rider wins. This game was simple, a point to point race where the slowest riders wins but you are not allowed to put your feet down, track-stand or weave. Yet more hot chocolate and jelly babies for the winner and everyone decided they wanted to play another game.
The third ride game of the day was the box game. A box is made up on four bags and the group rides round in the boxed area kind of like dodgems. The game is referred and people are moved for putting a foot down, leaving the extremities of the box or for foul play. Riders can weave, track-stand, ride round and use whatever tactics they like to win over their opponents as long as there is no foul play or bodily contact. After two rounds and the winners were showered with praise (and jelly babies) we headed off for some more riding back towards the car park.
Our ride was designed to be fun yet challenging with it easy for us to shorten or lengthen the route as per the group wished. Our ride was led at the pace of the slowest riders (however we still made a really good pace). After around six miles everyone still wanted to keep going, with us all mainly pushed on by the eagerness of the youngsters to continue! Our ride totaled around ten miles at the end by the time we fought our way back through the melting snow back to the Cafe for yet more tea and cake.
A full series of photos are available to view on our public Facebook Page Gallery here
BucksMTB Club Chairman & Ride Leader