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.
We couldn't have asked for a better day for this ride, held on the 5th June from Coombe Hill. Unfortuantely two riders dropped out at short notice but this didn't stop eight local riders attended including Club Staff ride leader Darren. The ride was a twenty four mile ride off road ride from Coombe Hill taking in trails in and around Great Missenden and Wendover before returning back to Coombe Hill. The weather was stunning but the trails were still muddy in places after recent rain. A great turn out again with a mix of brand new faces and returning visitors and club members alike. A big thank you to everyone who attended and to club ride leader Darren for organising another cracking event. Keep an eye on our website for our July open group ride details coming soon.
Our Watlington rides are normally very popular and this ride was no exception and went very well. This was definitely one of the best rides I've done so far for the Club; what a great bunch of people and the whole day was a great laugh. Five people attended altogether as two people dropped out the night before. One puncture and one mechanical all day, but nothing too drastic. We stopped off at Pishill Church for a coffee and luckily we managed to avoid the rain! Some very keen new members in attendance who I hope to see out on the trails again very soon - Darren.
We were completely spoilt with the weather for our May open group ride event starting at Ivinghoe Beacon. This event had gained a lot of interest and alot of local riders had pre-registered to attend, however on the day perhaps people were put off by the 27 degrees and burning sun as only four brave new faces turned up to follow our ride leader Darren around his preplanned Chiltern Hills route.
Darren's route started and finished at the main Ivinghoe Beacon car park and took in about a fifteen mile singletrack Chiltern Hills route in and around Ivinghoe and Ashridge areas. The new faces that attended seemed to enjoy the ride and certainly had a great day to enjoy it.
Thank you to everyone who attended and expressed an interest in the event, and a big thank you to ride leader Darren who planned and led another great ride.
Look out for future group ride event dates on our main website and social media feeds very soon.