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.