One of our most popular club trips over the years has been our annual visit North to the Yorkshire Dales. Our annual pilgrimage always takes us to the Dales Bike Centre, a fantastic family run hub for the whole weekend. Advertised as the centre of trails The Dales Bike Centre packs plenty of B&B accommodation, catering, daytime café, twenty-four hour cake access, bike storage, a well equipped bike shop and an endless supply of ride recommendations all under the rooves of two beautifully restored traditional Yorkshire stone buildings. Did I also mention twenty-four cake access?!
A new location on our club trip calendar this year was the Shropshire Hills. A couple of club members had seen some articles and adverts for Shropshire mountain biking and also for the new local Shropshire Hills Mountain Bike And Outdoor Pursuit Centre setup. It was decided it was time to organise a new trip t'up North. After a few people had fallen by the wayside for life, work or injury we had seven people planned to head up for this trip.
As with most of our club trips they are planned on a flexible three day criteria where our members can attend any combination of a single, twin or all three days. Accommodation this time round was in the Hobbit-esque wooden camping pods based at the all encompassed trail centre setup include bike shop, accommodation, cafe and pub!
The Long Mynd, is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a series of hills with steep gullies locally known as Batches. A lot of the main riding in the Shropshire Hills works with trails going up and down The Long Mynd ridge line. The local riding includes some infamous trails regularly utilised by magazines such as MBR and Singletrack who use the natural local singletrack trails for bike tests and elaborate photo shoots. There is a trail map available and all the trails have recently been waymarked and numbers from one to fifteeb for ease of navigating. No GPS required.
Our latest open group ride took place on Sunday 22nd February, starting from Wendover Woods main car park. Ten riders attending including a mix of great individuals including some first time visitors, returning visitor riders, club members and a couple of members of staff.
Our route took us from Wendover via Hale up into the Coombe Hill area for a fun figure or eight loop before looping back via a different route to Wendover again for tea and cake at the Cafe! Trail conditions were wet, very wet, but were generally riding quite well as it was wet sloopy mud not the nightmare sticky stuff that leaves your wheels stuck fast! A BucksMTB group ride wouldn't be a complete without a few mechanicals, a few tweaks here and there and a couple of punctures enroute (both fixed in record time...) we made fairly good progress around the route. Heavy rain was forecast for the afternoon, and I must say we timed in perfectly, arriving back at the Cafe just as the first few rain drops fell. Due to the rain we did miss our regular group photo shot unfortunately. We've clearly also set a new record for how many people you can get cowering under one pub umbrella on a standard sized picnic bench.
Thanks to all who planned, led and attending the ride. Our next open ride for visitors and club members is on the 1st March starting from Marsworth reservoir, please see our ride events page for more details.
Club members Dave, Kevin & Adam braved the weather and snowfall to meet up at Coed-y-Brenin on a cold day in January for some fun in the Welsh mountains. The rain, wind, sleet, hail & snow all added to the fun. The day was started by riding the red graded Dragons Back, followed by lunch back at the coed-y-brenin visitors centre. After lunch, Kevin & Adam rode the black graded Tarw trail.
Another year gone and its January, which means everyone is out riding trying to burn off those mince pies. Our Swinley Forest club member ride on Sunday 18th January had a great turn out with twelve of us hitting the trails for a lap of the blue and red trails followed by much needed tea and cake! Thanks to all those who attended the ride!
It is laid down in some ancient script somewhere that there must be a Christmas ride on Christmas Eve, this year was no expection. Seven of us hit the sunny yet muddy trails, starting from Coombe Hill and taking in a twelve (muddy) mile route around Coombe, Cadsden, Whiteleaf, the infamous BMTB office and Great Hampden before returning.
Those of you who have followed BucksMTB for some time will realise we have a busy calendar for our club members including lots of organised trips throughout the year. The first of our summer season trips kicked off with a double header weekend taking in Gisburn Forest and Lee Quarry.
You may have seen some news and hype about our recent partnership with the CycleChilterns project to promote cycling and car-free tourism in the Chiltern Hills. This was the first of our joint BucksMTB & CycleChilterns XC Open Group Rides for the 2014 season, open to non club members, CTC members and BucksMTB Club members.
We decided to hold a Family Fun Day this year as a thank you to all of the kind support we’ve received from The CTC and Cycle Chilterns who have very generously funded the training needed to train up five more trail guides for Bucks MTB!!!
Injury, always a pain, and never happens at a good time as we all know! We unfortunately lost one of our ride leaders to injury a week before this ride which was planned to be held at the windy maze of trails at Woburn Sands, unfortunately the back up leaders (including myself) aren't too familiar with putting a loop together at Woburn so for speed and ease we moved the event to Wendover Woods for an off-road fifteen miler.