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It had been a long build up to our Ridgeway200 Enduro Event, an event which we had put on in partnership with local long distance events company Extreme Energy. This Event also nicely marked BucksMTB's 10th Anniversary celebrations too.

The plan for the event was simple; use the Ridgeway; ride for 2 days ride 200km; and take in over 11,000ft of ascent over the two days. The route took the riders from the John Colet School in Wendover out onto the Ridgeway to the Ridgeway School at Wroughton (Swindon) and then returning again on the second day. The route was 200km in total, so 100km (60miles) per day.

Day one of the event was Saturday 31st of March, with just under seventy riders turning up to take on the challenge. There was a great mix of riders, bikes and backgrounds which was certainly going to prove to make it an entertaining event. Riders had traveled from all over the UK to take part in this event too, with the furthest riders coming from Merseyside. We opened this event up to Mountain Bikers (of course) and Cyclocross riders, of which we had a big turn out of both, and it was interesting to see such a vast range of different bikes out on the start line.

The first riders were set off in pairs or in their respective teams (of up to four) at 08:00am with the last riders going over the start line at around 09:00am.

As much of the Ridgeway was used as possible with only minor sections using the Ickneild Way, Swann's Way or Chilterns Way to connect up areas where bikes cannot go. Each rider was given a detailed route card, and complicated sections of the route were arrowed and taped to assist the riders. A few riders did manage to sneak in an extra five or so miles with a few hiccups enroute here and there, generally because one rider went the wrong way and everyone else followed!!!

Along the route we had four checkpoints on both days, of which these were staggered so they were closer together nearer the end of each day to help out with tired and energy-deprived riders! The atmosphere and banter from all the riders at the checkpoints was great, with everyone really enjoying the dry dusty trails, blue skies and the huge mix of sweet and savory snacks and energy bars at the checkpoints!!! Most riders stopped for a few minutes for a chat whilst topping up Camelbak's and water bottles before heading back off into the dusty distance to the next checkpoint.

The finish, I'm sure, couldn't have come sooner for most of the riders, of whom all had enjoyed the ride but certainly were feeling the aches and pains of riding in the saddle for many hours on harsh dry trails. The finish line at The Ridgeway School at Wroughton was an impressive affair with loads of banners, tape and flags up from us, Extreme Energy and all of the supporting sponsors.

The fastest time of day one was 04:49:30 (4hours 49mins) which is an absolutely staggering performance for a distance of sixty miles on a hardtail on such harsh dry trails. The longest time for day one came in at around 09:34:35 (9hours 34mins) which is still very good going for such a long and hard day of riding.

The atmosphere at the overnight location at the Ridgeway School was brilliant, everyone was in such high spirits with feedback from the event so far being superb. Extreme Energy organised some fantastic tasty food and catering for the riders at the end including various dishes such as pasta and meatballs, BBQ Chicken, Curry and apple pie desserts.....funnily enough nobody complained!!!! The bar was open too with a fair few riders taking in a cheeky celebratory beer or two before an early night for the ride start the next day.

Throughout the day four riders had dropped out for mechanicals or injury, these guys were all whisked back to the start to rescue their cars in the evening. A couple more riders had planned to only do day one so they packed up and headed home for a good nights well earnt sleep. Day two would mean we would start with 54 riders.

The start time for day two had been bought forward to allow more time for the riders to complete the day including fatigue which would inevitable start catching up with all the riders and make the way back more time consuming. The first riders started on day two at 07:00am with the last few crossing the start line around 07:40am.

Day two was far nicer in terms of weather, the skies were gin clear and deep blue, there was a nice tail wind for the riders back to Wendover and a chilly start in the morning warmed up into a nice Summers day. This really spurred the riders on of whom all were pushing that little bit harder to get back towards the finish in a good time. Once again checkpoint staff were kept busy and the riders reveled in a chance for a quick chin wag whilst catching their breath with a snack or two.

The first rider of the day crossed the finish line in a lightning fast 04:48:09 (4hours 48mins), which was one minute slower than his time from day one. The last few riders who were battling with aches and fatigue (but were too stubborn to get picked up) crossed the finish by 18:30 in the evening, meaning over 11hours in the saddle that day!

The fastest overall time for the two days of riding was 09:37:39 (9hours 37mins), which for covering 200km (120miles) on tough terrain is a truly remarkable result. Full results and times can be found here

The atmosphere at the finish was just epic, the sense of achievement and joy from all the riders who had completed such a huge and tough ride was amazing to see. It is really hard to describe how happy and excited some very very tired people can be!! The riders were full of banter and laughter on the finish line and were all presented with drinks (and cake) before getting presented with their completion medals and R200 t-shirts.

A big thank you has to go out to everyone at BucksMTB, Extreme Energy, the sponsors and all the volunteers that gave up so much love, sweat and tears to put on a truly remarkable milestone event. Everyone who was both involved with the organising and the riding really deserves a huge thank you and pat on the back.

To sum up this really was an epic weekend of riding, and a superb event format which will be back for 2013. If you didn't take part in this years R200 I'm afraid that you really did miss out, it was a fantastic well organised event with a great atmosphere throughout with some great technical riding on some bone dry and fast dusty trails.

Make sure this event is in your diary for next year! We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Best Wishes

Scott, BucksMTB Chairman
Written on behalf of the BucksMTB, Extreme Energy, Sponsors and Volunteers.

 


 

Photos/Videos: 

Various photos and video clips from the day can be found online our BucksMTB Facebook Page.

For non Facebook users the public photo gallery can be viewed here.

More photos can be found on Extreme Energy's Flickr Account here

A short promo video of the event can be found 


 


Results: 

Full results from the Ridgeway200 Event showing times for both day one, day two and combined timings can be downloaded here as an XLS spreadsheet - download now

 

BucksMTB Club:

For those of you interested in BucksMTB throughout the event you can find out more about the club be following the link below. The main aim of the BucksMTB club is to have fun and to enjoy and promote our sport. We have a range of regular rides suitable for reasonably fit novices through to serious racers. We also hold Club Trips throughout the UK. The best way to find out about the club is to join us on one of our regular Group Rides. You don't need to pay up and join straight away, we welcome you to ride with us up to up to two occasions at our regular Group Rides and see if you like us first. Of course, an existing member can recommend you to BucksMTB membership at any time.

 

For more information on becoming a member of BucksMTB Club click here

Club Strava Summary

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