Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Milton Keynes - clear but nippy!

After the bright sunshine of Woking, I think we were asking too much for another warm weekend. The weather at the Milton Keynes event was far from miserable though, staying dry and cloudy for both days, some might even say good cycling conditions

Off Road - Saturday

180 riders tackled the hills and trails around Bow Brickhill, just south of MK. The previous warm spell had made the trails a whole lot more rideable than last year, and had dried even more in the last 2 weeks since I came down to ride around Aspley Woods. This still didn't make the first stretch any less muddy though! The later riders really suffering after the trail had been churned up by the first 100 or so going through. I've now been given a bit of local knowledge that might mean by-passing this section in the future, so lookout for this next year. This year we'd managed to get permission to use Aspley woods in the route to add a bit more off road (After last years route was extended to include more road after someone decided to put a new road through our trails) These woods are usually permit only, but nice people that we are, we paid for you! The long route went on to do an 8mile, self navigating loop on the other side of the M1. There was some confusion with the placement of clipper 5, with some finding it, some finding it and saying it was in the wrong place and some not finding it at all - Keith put this one out and spent the afternoon being huranged!

Some of you may have spotted a photographer out there. He was taking pictures to promote biking in MK, so look out for some of you appearing as the face of MK soon.

Sunday - Road ride

Clearing down the off road ride on Saturday was a bit problematic as 2 of our 3 course clearers got punctures towards the end and we didn't finish until about 6.30pm. With the clocks going back and knowing that our restaurant was going to be busy, I decided to get the bananas for the drink station in the morning. Only to remember in the morning that the shops didn't open until 10am - oops! This in the reason that the bananas were at the last drink station and Tony only had cake on him - sorry about that.

Anyway the ride was another well atended affair with about 170 turning up. The route looped itself south from MK, skirting around Leighton Buzzard and into the 3 hundreds of Aylesbury for the manned drink station before heading back to base. The long route split off at the drink station and looped for another 25miles of climbing and descending on quiet country roads. Some of the comments from riders when they got back suggests that MK is not known for it's hills and the amount of climbing suprised a few. Two hills to note were Aldbury, which clocked in at 250ft in 1/2mile, and the killer at the end, Lidington which was the same gradient but came at the 55/80 mile point of the route.

Times are here -
Milton Keynes Rider Times