Sunday 23rd January was the Bucks MTB Monthly Club ride to the Forest of Dean or FoD if you’re feeling lazy (I’ll be calling it FoD from now on). After a bit of a battle for some to find parking spaces due to FoD being extra busy with the 661 Down Hill race (more on that later), we all met at the obligatory cafe to meet up and say Hi, warm ourselves up with Tea and Bacon sarnies. The turnout was good with the usual regulars, some new faces, and I am really happy to say a good number of female riders (almost half the group!) with riders varying from beginners to seasoned XC riders.
As tradition dictates we have to go out riding on New Years Day. Not wanting to break our ten year long tradition we organised one of our monthly XC Group Rides for New Years Day 2012.
It is laid down in a distance memory or in law and order somewhere that it is traditional for BucksMTB to go riding on Boxing Day. It used to be just the staff riding Boxing Day morning back many moons ago but with the expansion of our regular rides and club we decided to hold a full XC Group Ride Event on Boxing Day morning to continue the tradition and open up the ride for everyone else too.
A frosty and snow covered Wendover Woods was the venue for our December Family, Youth and Novice Mountain Biker XC Group Ride.
A total of four riders joined BucksMTB staff members Chris and I for the first of BucksMTB's winter night rides. Armed with what seemed to be every light they could find (or borrow) and in some cases attached in true 'Blue Peter' style using Zip ties and tape we headed out into the trails around Coombe hill.
Our group ride this month had a bit of a twist – we teamed up with Beeline Bicycles of Oxford who were kind enough to bring a fleet of Whyte bikes for people to try out (on a pre-order basis) as well as a range of energy gels for people to try out.
After a lot of hard work organising, planning and promoting this event, it seemed to literally take forever for the 22nd October to swing by for our long term planned Family Adventure Challenge.
This challenge was held in partnership with local sports events company XNRG Extreme Energy. XNRG primarily organise extreme long distance running and cycling events, however they have also always run these along side the fun family adventure challenges. XNRG has run many of these family challenges in the past, infact this years Wendover event was their fourth held in the Chiltern Hills. For 2011 XNRG wanted to spice things up little bit and add some new ideas and tasks into the event to freshen the event up for both returning attendees and new faces that would be attending for the first time.
Afan Ride Report Day One
The day commenced with an early start from the 'Shire. The bikes were loaded and the weather looked promising. However on leaving the M4 for Afan forest the first but not to be the last raindrop fell.
My partners’ family visit this cottage in Llangenny a couple of times a year for a bit of a get together, it’s a pretty little farm cottage built way-back-when (before central heating was invented!) on the side of The Sugar Loaf just up from the little market town of Crickhowell. We normally go for a few walks when we’re there as none of her family have any interest in mountain biking but I’d managed to get a weekend there booked just for me, and whoever else wanted to come...so it was decided to have an informal club venture to the Brecons for a day of riding!