Saturday, 28 February 2009

Today's Off Road Ride

From speaking to people at the finish it seems that everyone found today's off road ride pretty tough going; most people ended up taking at least one short cut or missing the final loop on the medium/long rides so well done to the hardy few that actually completed the full route.

See the post below if you were wondering why there was no drink station.

The Missing Drinks Station

Some of you may have noticed that we were missing a drink station on today's ride, well it was all down to Tony trying to take a short cut that didn't quite work out.

Thanks to Ewan from the local pub for driving up and pulling us out with his 4x4, without him the van would still be there now.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Off Road Preview

Just finished marking out the off road route for tomorrow, it's definately one of our tougher routes with plenty of long climbs and some fun single track descents. It also takes in some pretty impressive scenery and we've got permission from the forestry commission to use some of the trails usually reserved for walkers so all in all it's probably one of the best Ride It! routes we've done so far.

Most of the trails are fire roads or rocky paths so even though we've had a bit of rain today there's surprisingly little mud around. The forecast for Saturday is cloudy with no rain so the trails should be a bit drier than today.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Road Ride Route Marking

We've just been out marking out the road course, it takes in some great scenery on some really quiet roads. It seems like you can ride for miles with out seeing any traffic so a bit of a change for us southerners.

Weather has been a bit overcast and a few rain showes but the roads are fairly dry and the forecast at the moment is for brighter weather by the weekend.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Scotland this weekend

We're off to Scotland for this weekends event soon, so a quick run down of whats going on.

Saturday is the Off road ride and uses the trails around the David Marshal Lodge in Aberfoyle. The trail are mainly firetracks around the forests leading up to some fantastic views over the surrounding countryside. There are sections of single track spread about the ride with the medium using some purposely made stretches to finish on.

The Road ride has three loops give distances of approx,25, 50 and 70 miles. These will be in the valleys and around the Lochs of the area. Climb wise, you'll have the Dukes pass to do either once or twice depending upon your choice of route. Again, some stunning scenery on relatively quiet roads should make this a great day out.

As per usual, the Gore free demo service will be available - kit yourself put with lovely clothing for the day and give it back dirty at the end of the ride, free of charge.

As usual, we'll be updating the Blogg on a daily basis towards the end of the week with reports on the ground conditions etc.


Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The right desicion?

After waking up on Sunday morning to mild weather ( Gotta love those weather forecasters!) I was wondering if I'd done the right thing. The TCR show was going to be a good event for us, with our highest ever Road pre-entry and a passing traffic of riders going to the show who we could try and get interested in the series. I spent Sunday morning in a T-shirt telling riders who did turn up that the ride was cancelled due to bad weather! The first guy to arrive had stayed off the beer on Saturday night in order to ride on Sunday which was also his birthday. How bad did I feel!!! Still, he left with a Gore Birthday pressie. The last rider to turn up did so at 10.35am after a train journey and a 10 mile ride. She was in such a rush to get to us that she pushed her bike through the 10km runners and ran up asking "Am I too late?" No, she wasn't.

Anyway, in the afternoon I drove home in sunglasses and the window down with loads of questions going through my head about should I have run it. The answer came on Monday morning when I found out some Mountain bikers from our Head Office had been up on Boxhill on Sunday and said that the roads were sketchy. Although our route didn't go there, we did go that high and our routes would have been as icy.

So, right desicion.

Next event is in sunny Scotland..........


Saturday, 7 February 2009

Sunday Road Ride Cancelled

Unfortunately we're going to have to cancel tomorrow's road ride.

The temperature is currently below freezing and forecast to be even colder tomorrow, we've checked some of the roads today and the smaller ones resemble an ice rink in places so it's just too dangerous for the ride to go ahead.

For those that have pre entered we'll be sorting out refunds next week. If you purchased a combined ride and TCR show ticket they'll still be someone here to give out your show entry tickets until 10:30am tomorrow morning.

TCR - Here's how it is

Been out on the course this morning.

The snow, rain and mud would have been fine but the temp drop has frozen it all. I'm up for a challenge as much as the next man, and had it just been the off road sections, I'd have probably gone ahead. But it's not! We have some roads linking the trails and they tend to be country lanes that haven't been gritted, which makes them ice rinks. It's just too dangerous to have cyclists and cars together on these roads.

I've tried to cut back on the distance, but we'll just end up with a short, mainly road ride that no one will enjoy.

So I'm afraid I'm going to have to cancel the ride for today.

Enjoy your lie-in!!


Full refunds will be sorted for all pre-entries next week

Friday, 6 February 2009

TCR Weather Latest

We've just been out marking the mountain bike course ready for tomorrow. At the moment the event is going to go ahead but check the blog first thing tomorrow as we'll be monitoring the weather over night and making a final call then. A final update will be posted around 7 am.

If you are planning to ride please bear in mind it's going to be a tough challenge, you should expect it to be wet from all the melting snow and obviously it's going to be fairly cold. It's not going to be a ride for fair weather riders that's for sure.

Due to the conditions we've not set a long route for this event, the 26 mile medium route should be plenty challenging for even the toughest riders given the conditions.

See the post below which outlines our plans for weekend in terms of final course checks, etc.

GPX Routes

Road GPX routes are now available to download, however, please bear in the mind that the route may change slightly should the weather conditions take a turn for the worst before Sunday.

Unfortunately were not going to be able to publish GPX files for mountain bike routes, we've been making a number of last minute changes to the route today and have run out of time to get the files published with enough time for anyone to actually getting round to downloading them.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

TCR Weather?

Looking at the Met office 5 day forecast for the London area, it looks as if Friday is going to get the worst weather over the next 3 days. The outlook for Saturday and Sunday is mainly dry with showers in our area. This doesn't mean it's all going to be shorts and T-shirts though! There is a lot of ground water out there so even if it is a dry day you're probably end up wet.

Our road routes have been designed to include A or B roads as much as possible and , as such, are likely to remain in a better condition. They were all clear today (see Marks report below) and we have oppurtunties to re-route on the day if there are dangerous sections.

I've never really trusted weather reports though, so here's what we're going to do and how you can get any information:-

Saturday morning
We'll be at the venue at 7am and will have been on the road from 6am. This should give us an idea of the air temp and likelyhood of ice. As per usual, the route will be pre-ridden to check that the marking is still in place.

If you check this blog at about 7.15am I'll post on the general conditions and ultimately, if it's too dangerous, cancel the event.

If Keith, on his pre-ride, finds sections dangerous to ride, he'll either re-route or close sections down.

We have a manned drink station out on the course and you'll either see him once or twice depending on your choice of route. He will be able to respond to incidents if they occur.

Again, I'll be pre-driving the course on Sunday morning. I will post conditions on the Blog at about 6.30 - 7am and if there are any changes I'll let you know then.

For both days, we'll assess the risks and will change or close parts of the course as apprpriate.

We'd also like to recomend that you dress appropriately and recomend using a rear light when on the road.


TCR Show - Road Ride Preview

We've been out today marking out the road course ready for Sunday - not something I was looking forward to after waking up to find a couple of inches of fresh snow had fallen over night.

I actually decided to take the mountain bike rather than the road bike as was prepared for the worst, however, by the time we started most of the snow on the road seemed to have melted mainly aided by a couple of rain showers. Once you got moving it wasn't really that cold either and I think 4 layers might have been over doing it :-)

The route sticks to fairly main roads so unless we have loads of snow over the next few days we're not expecting any problems and it should be fine on a road bike. From the racecourse the route heads out towards Guildford and Albury then through Wonersh and on towards Cranleigh. From here the route starts to head back through Holmbury St Mary, Gomshall and East Horsley.

The only section for any real concern was the climb up from Gomshall, we had originally planned to take the route up the Combe Bottom climb but found out this morning that that road has been closed. We've changed the route but don't worry we've got an equally tough climb (18% in places) for you to tackle. The descent down after the climb was still a bit slushy so we're going to do a final check on this section early on Sunday morning to make sure the route is safe.

I think even if it's not raining on Sunday come prepared for a wet ride as there's a lot of water around from all the melting snow. Jon the Gore man might be in for a busy day lending out his fancy Gore Bike Wear jackets.

Monday, 2 February 2009

TCR this weekend

The weekend is fast approaching and if I can get the staff away from their toboganing, our next event is at the TCR show, Sandown. As usual, we'll be posting beforehand with some reports on the ride conditions, where to buy snow tyres etc, but before that, here's a brief rundown on what's there.

The TCR (Triathalon, Cycling and Running) show is based at Sandown race course and that's also the start of both our rides. Park in the show car park, but I suggest you try and get as far to the right as possible as that's where we're based. We'll be heading out south east onto the trails around Leatherhead and as far as the Northdowns for the Road ride on Sunday.

There is a special deal with a joint entry to the show and a ride which is £12.50. This is only available as a pre-entry, so get in quick as this will close on Wednesday at 6pm.