Today's Club Members ride wasn't as boggy as we thought it would be, but it was still slippery in places. Four Club Members turned up for the fifteen mile circular route which ended at the Hellfire Caves Cafe for coffee in the sunshine.
A fantastic turn out of twenty-one people in total (including leaders) for today's open group ride at Wendover Woods, including a really nice mix of riders of different ages and abilities. We would have had a slightly larger group but sadly a couple of people dropped out with the dreaded flu. Everyone started out as one group, but later on broke into two smaller groups; Seamus led a longer route than originally planned, whilst MarkP stuck to plan A and continued to make it back to the cafe in good time for hot chocolates all round! Was it the perfect weather for a good ride out? We thought so! Cold enough to keep you moving, damp enough to make sure you're muddy! Great day and we hope we get many more open rides like it. A big thank you to our ride leaders and to everyone who attended and supported our ride!
A small turn out club members ride on Saturday 30th October. Absolutely amazing dry trail conditions all in and around Wendover, Ivinghoe and Ashridge. A fun route with lots of singletrack and amazing scones!
What utterly amazing trail conditions for October; hard-packed, fast and flowing with the gorgeous autumnal colours in all directions. A small team of three headed out for today's club ride, club member Richard unfortunately dropped out with the vicious man flu! The loop started at Coombe Hill main monument and routed out towards Chequers, Cadsden, Whiteleaf and Great Hampden before looping back in a return. A couple of tough climbs, only the odd sticky bit and some fun singletrack. Great to see club member Jez out and about on the bike too, even if it he was going the wrong way! More club member rides to be published online shortly.
Another great open ride this month with six newcomers to the club in attendance. Unfortunately two of our newcomers had to turn around pretty early on due to an unrepairable mechanicals, but the rest of the group got on with the task at hand, conquered Ivinghoe Beacon and pushed on at a good pace along the canal and then back into the Ashridge Estate. The earlier than usual start was a shrewd move as towards the end of the ride the weather came in and there were five very wet but very happy riders rolling back into the car park.
The return of our infamous Golden Ball Run Route. Just two people braved this c25 mile route in the heat, but DarrenC and MarkP reported back that it was great ride and a great route. Darren's enthusiasm (or Mark's poor directions) led to an extra 10k being added onto the route, but that was little hardship on such a great sunny day and it made the ice creams at the finish line that bit more tasty. The route flowed really well and only a couple of sharp climbs to get through over the whole distance. We were all surprised on the low turn out as this is normally a super popular route, so it would be great to get a larger group on this next time. This will definitely end up a regular route for future ride outs.
Mark Baylis and I (Darren Chappell) attended the Scott MTB Marathon series at Wantage at the weekend. It was a mostly dry day so the 45 mile route was dry and fast. The route was well sign posted with plenty of support to hand. Some of the sections were technical. Overall it was an excellent day and I would recommend to anyone looking for a fun well supported event.
Good club members run out today. Just the three of us, Mark, myself and a new member, Chris, who joined yesterday! Chris has a background in dirt jumping, so his air and style over the jumps was amazing and he was incredibly quick for a newbie to mountain biking. The trails at Swinley drain pretty quickly there was inevitably one very flat and heavily mud covered one that had us spinning along in about 8 inches of mud for about ten minutes! Only one pic from the day, but if you like your bikes then its a pretty good one!
Whilst part of the club was off on the Spain trip both Mark Baylis and I attended this years Uptonogood event in Upton near Didcot. We took on the 36 mile route which was very muddy in places. It was an excellent day out with superb views, the route was both very well sign posted and marshalled. There were live bands throughout the day along with ideal camping facilities as well. We will both definitely be taking part in it again next year.
We're apparently kindly known for putting on a good club trip, generally planned around riding, food and cake (you have to have priorities) but there was a new suggestion last year to take BucksMTB international, and where better to go than to southern Spain for some dusty technical summer riding!
Club member Mike Haynes heads our unofficial Staffordshire based office and kindly took on the role of organising this club trip. Mike suggested the Sierra MTB team in Fuengirola near Malaga as he had visited twice before. With a location and dates set word was sent round to see who was interested and the easyJet flights and accommodation was booked.