Thursday, 29 January 2009

Rochdale results

These should now be on-line on the main Evans website - Rider Times

Sorry about delay, frantically trying to finalise the last event for this years series. For dates look here - Ride It! 2009 Dates


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Rochdale weather the good

We certainly had all sorts of weather on Sunday; mainly dry & windy but and with some local rain & hail. Although we did get some sunshine in the afternoon. here is a picture taken from Blackstone Edge reservoir (the highest point of the ride), you can even see the wind farm at Ovenden Moor in the distance.


Sunday, 25 January 2009

Rochdale Weather - Good and bad!!

Well it's not snowing or icy!! It is, however, very windy. I've just been to the highest point on the ride and could hardly stand up. So here's the plan, the ride will go ahead but we will close the medium loop as it's going to be hell up there. This will leave us with two route options, Short at 24miles and the long loop added to this to give about 40miles. These two have some climbs and exposed sections, so please don't think they're going to be a doddle.

If you decide to go back to bed and snuggle under the duvet, I completely understand. Have a nice day.


Friday, 23 January 2009

Sundays Road ride - weather

Heard today that there may be some snow on Sunday. We'll be driving the routes from 4am and looking at the conditions. I'll post on here asap in the morning at about 7am to let you know what's happening.


Rochdale Off Road Ride

Another day in the sun!! Although it's looking a bit dodgy for the weekend when you all come for the ride. The good news is that the trails are mainly hardpack and therefore it doesn't matter how wet it gets, the routes are going to be rideable.

I'll put up a few photos from today so you can see what's coming. Hopefully it wont be as windy on the long route!!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Rochdale Road Ride

We've just finished putting out this weekends Road ride around the hills of Roachdale, here's how it went.

Monday of this week I was talking to one of our stores in Manchester and casually asked about the weather. The response was that it was snowing! Keeping an eye on the weather all week, it was a pleasant suprise to finally get out riding today and have some sun. Indeed, I rode in 2 layers and without gloves, so it wasn't as bad as I originally thought. The Ride long route goes through Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, over towards Burnley, back to Hebden before doing a loop around Ripponden. The general layout is 3 loops and each has one big climb to master with long down hills to reward your efforts! The Long loop also has some small sharp climbs as well. As it's hilly around here and the weather being a bit iffy, we've cut back the distances a little bit. The long comes in at about 62 miles, but please don't think that's going to be an easy blat around the countryside. Especially if it's windy!

The GPX routes should be up soon, along with some photos from today. The knackered guy is Tony, he'll be manning the drink stations over the weekend so if he's asleep then help yourself to drink and food!!


Monday, 12 January 2009

After the Event

The first ride of the year has come and gone. Chieveley saw the odd situation of the Mountain bikers coming back from upto 32 miles of off road around the Ridgeway with clean bikes, and the Roadies with filthy ones!! In fact, we didn't get the hose out until about 11am on Sunday, when the first road riders came back. This was all thanks to our British weather.

On Tuesday I went out for a bit of a reccie to see what condition the trails were in. It was freezing but this meant that all the mud had frozen solid and was pretty fast to ride on. I then spent the rest of the week praying that the temperature would stay low and keep the trails in this condition, which it did! Saturday started off cold so well done to all the bikers who turned up despite sub-zero temps. All the routes were really fast to ride and the countryside was covered in a white frost that turned it into a "Christmas Card". There were only a few difficulties for the riders to overcome. One was the ruts which are usually soft edged and a bit forgiving had turned some parts of the trail into a Scalextric track so once you were in one, that's where you stayed! The other was that water bottles and Camelback hoses froze, which meant that riders actually started to dehydrate as they couldn't drink anything. Also, did anyone spot Keith's Badger?

We had our last night ride of the series on Saturday night, with lots of riders taking the opportunity of trying out our USE Exposure demo lights. The conditions were the same as before, except that you couldn't see far enough to pick the correct rut, so it was a case of pick one and see what happens! These rides are all marked with reflective tape and arrows, which means that there is no map reading to be done. You basically ride from one marker to the next one in the distance, a great way to sample some after dark riding. As before, we have one Exposure Joystick to give away and I'll be contacting the lucky winner shortly.

The Road ride saw a cold, frosty morning warming as the day progressed. This caused us a few headaches as the 30 mile short route, which was the harder of the loops with Streatly Hill, was done first. Some of the country lanes were a bit slippery, but as the morning drew on, turned into a more rideable condition. The Medium and long loops were on less countryfied roads and were in a much better state, although they were now wet and dirty, which caused the previously mentioned filth.

Off to Rochdale for the next event and then onto the TCR show on 4/5th of Feb. You can purchase a joint ticket for the show and ride at a much reduced rate, so come along and have a ride, then nose around the stands.


Friday, 9 January 2009

Chieveley MTB Ride

Take care on the ridgeway tomorrow, it's mega slippy! My back wheel tried to overtake the front several times. I guess slick tyres and 80psi wasn't the wisest choice but then locking my keys and phone in the car in the middle of nowhere wasn't very clever either!!

Things to spot on the ride tomorrow...

Dead badger

The most extravagant tree house you'll ever see

Right, I'm off to change my tyres to some more sensible off road type, oh and anti freeze for my drink bottle it was frozen solid by the end of todays ride!

Chieveley MTB Ride Preview

We've just finished the mountain bike course ready for tomorrow, all that's left is for Dean and Jon to do a lap of the night route in the dark this evening to check the reflective marking is clearly visible.

For those that are riding tomorrow here's a summary of the routes.

There's a large network of bridleways and byways to the north of Chieveley which means we've been able to avoid the need for much riding on the roads. From the start at Chieveley the route heads towards Peasemore before winding it's way over to East Isley which is where the short route riders turn and head back to the finish passing via Beedon.

From East Isley the the Medium and Long route riders do a short section on The Ridgeway before heading towards East Hendred Down. Here the long riders leave the main route to search out the self navigation check points after which they rejoin back at the same point. From East Hendred Down the main route heads towards Chilton and Upton before turning back towards East Isley and through Beedon towards the finish.

The ground has stayed pretty much frozen all day today so unless we get a sudden heat wave it seems like it will be quite a quick course as there's no real muddy setions to slow you down.

The three course distances are Short (15 miles), Medium (26 miles) and Long (33 miles). Night riders will complete the 15 mile short route.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Chieveley GPX Routes

GPX routes for this weekend are now available over in the right hand column. Download them and stick them on your favourite GPS and even load them into Google earth and browse the route from the comfort of your computer.

The road routes have been finalised after we completed the full pre ride today so those gpx files/routes won't be changing.

We're doing a final pre-ride of the off road routes tomorrow so although we're not expecting any changes it's worth checking back tomorrow evening (Friday after 6pm) just in case we've had to make any last minute alterations.

Chieveley Road Ride Preview

We've just finished riding the road course ready for this weekend so thought we'd give a bit of a preview of what to expect for those joining us on Sunday.

The route is basically made up of three linked loops, the short route riders do loop 1, medium route riders do loop 1 and 2 and the hardcore long route riders do loop 1, 2 and 3.

Loop 1 - Starts from Chieveley, heads through Hermitage, over towards Bradfield then up towards Goring and Streatley. From here the route heads up Streatley Hill which featured as a King of the Mountains climb in the 2008 Tour of Britain. It's also the venue for a popular local hill climb event with the course record standing at 2mins 21 seconds if you're looking for a challenge. After the reaching the top of the hill it's across through Ashampstead and back over towards Chieveley.

If you really want to see how you compare to the course record here's the official hill climb start and finish points
HHC005 Streatley Hill Climb Course

You can also check out the pro's heading up Streatley Hill over on you tube
Tour or Britain 2008 - Streatley Hill

Loop 2 - Heads in the other direction from loop 1 first towards Speen then through Boxford and onto Great Shefford. At Great Shefford those doing the long route start the third loop but for everyone else it heads up and round just south of Chaddleworth and Peasmore before returning to the finish.

Loop 3 - Starting from the split point and Drink Station at Great Shefford the long ride loop heads through Lambourn (known as the valley of the racehourses so watch out for lively horses on the roads), across the Lambourn Downs up towards Letcombe Regis before heading south and rejoining the end of Loop 2 for the last 10km or so back to the finish. Look out for Hackpen Hill which is a a great 10% downhill that seems to go on for ever, shortly followed by Court Hill, again hitting 10% in places but up hill this time.

Route distances are Fun 15 miles, Short 30 miles, Medium 50 miles and Long 70 miles.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Chieveley this weekend

Went out for a little pre-ride this morning and boy, was it cold!!! Have a feeling that Jon on the Gore stand is going to be busy loaning out free windstopper tops and tights. I've packed some windstopper hats and gloves to sell as well. One advantage to the cold snap is that all the mud is frozen and the trails are fast and rideable. Hoping for the cold to continue until Saturday morning and then gradually warm up from 10am to keep you all toasty.

Rod, the Demo bike man is still home in Brazil, so we don't have a full fleet available this weekend. We will have a few spares hanging around ( Like the £3800 Scott!!) so if you fancy trying one out, and it's free, you're more than welcome.

Worth pointing out that every entry also gets a 15% off voucher to spend in our stores. If you're planning on spending your Christmas money, you can get the ride for free and save money on your purchase!!!

Should have some piccies up soon (the one of my bike is AFTER the ride) and GPX routes on Thursday and Friday.

See you there