Thursday, 26 November 2009

Biggin Hill - Not For The Squeamish

Saturday afternoon, a rider walked into the school and asked for a bandage for a cut. Looking at him I could see some blood coming out of the left short leg, although a lot of it looked dry and old. Sitting him down I peeled back the shorts to reveal a rather large gash which then dripped blood all over the floor!

A quick bandaging later and it was off to casualty for Carl Burrows. They gave up trying to get the dirt out and sent him home to wash it out in the bath using the shower attachment. Then back to the hospital for 24 stiches!

Turns out he did it quite early on in the ride, but carried on to the finish with a hole in his leg.

I will post the after photos as a link but here's the after shot to give you the idea.

Before shots -

Not for the feint hearted

He also did £1500 of damage to his Rolex.

Thanks for the Photos Carl,

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Biggin Hill Rider Times

A muddy Saturday for the mountain bikers, followed by a wet and windy Sunday for the road riders made for some pretty challenging conditions riding conditions.

Rider times can be downloaded from the links below -

Saturday Off Road Rider Times

Sunday Road Sportive Rider Times

Friday, 20 November 2009

Biggin Hill GPX Files

The gpx files for this weekend are now available to download.

They're over in the right hand column, if you use a Garmin you may find running them through the app at is the most reliable way of getting them onto your gps.

Biggin Hill Info

The routes are all out for the weekend. The off road tomorrow is a bit muddy (well, it has been a bit damp recently!) and the road has some big hills in it! Both have some sections that have been subject to hedge trimming, so make sure you take some tubes or a repair kit with you (I have got some extra tubes in and we'll be selling them at 4 for a tenner).

GPX files will be on the right soon. Keith has just phoned me and said there are a few small changes that I can't get put on the GPX files, so keep an eye on the signs and follow those over your GPS.

One last thing, there are 3 schools on Fairchildes Road and all are next to each other, look for the one with the banners.


Thursday, 19 November 2009

Exposure Winner

Those hardy souls that went out on the night ride at Reading were put into a draw to win an Exposure Joystick.

So congratulations to Dave Woodward who has a nice shiny light winging it's way to him in the post.

For your chance to win a Joystick, either turn up and ride one of the night rides or enter the competition on the top right of the Blog.


I'm a lumberjack......

Reading has come and gone in a whirlwind of rain and gales. Thanks to every one who turned up and rode despite some pretty miserable weather. I don't think we've had so much Gore clothing borrowed and returned in a wet, muddy state! I also appreciate the care with which you drove in the field. Finding venues is easy. Finding venues that can take over a hundred cars is slightly more problematic. When I found this one with a firm surfaced field next to it, I was pretty happy. The only problem would be if it rained for a week beforehand....... Still, we managed to get everyone on and off with no dramas, with low slung sports cars and vans in the official carpark or across the road.

During Saturday there was a period of high winds that blew down a tree across the bridleway after the steps, meaning a slight detour for you all. Unfortunately this was also on the night ride and would have caused a problem for those venturing out in the dark. So as part of the night pre-check, a saw was blagged and some serious, frantic pruning ensued, leaving just one easily stepped over trunk that was highlighted with reflective signs.

Let's hope for sunnier weather next May.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Reading Rider Times

A bit of a wet and windy Saturday for the Reading mountain bike ride but still over 200 of you braved the elements to take part. The road sportive saw much better weather on the Sunday but lots of stories of multiple punctures as the riders came through the finish (I think 7 was the record!)

Off Road Rider Times

Road Rider Times

No break next weekend as we head straight to our event at Biggin Hill on the 21st and 22nd November.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Parking for this weekend

We have arranged to use the field next to the event venue for parking this weekend, however, with all the recent rain we're a bit worried about how well the surface will hold up and how slippery the grass will get.

We've hired some temporary surfacing for the entrance area and we'll check it out again in the morning when we can see how much rain we've had overnight. There is some parking around the green opposite if you're concerned about parking on the grass.

Reading Off Road Route Conditions

After all the rain last night and it still raining when we turned up this morning I don't think any of us were looking forward to going out to mark out the mountain bike route today. However, once you get over the initial "eurgh, I'm getting wet" it's no where near as bad as I was expecting.

As for the course conditions, guess what... it's wet and muddy. The good news is that it's still surprisingly rideable. I rode the second half of the medium loop and the long route extension and don't think I found anything that really needed you to get off and push. I think we've had so much rain in such a short period that it's mostly resting on the surface as standing water rather than soaking in to form that kind of unrideable, sticky mud that we had at the Cliddesden event.

There are some slippery roots to watch out for on some of the sections through the woods and as Dean said in his earlier post, walk down the steps, they might look pretty straight forward from the top but they get worse as you go down. They're tricky enough in the dry and have a bit of a reputation for injuring local mountain bikers.

Remember, it's mountain biking, it's autumn and we're in England, you've gotta expect a bit of mud so make use of the free demo Gore Bike Wear clothing and go out and play in the puddles. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Exposure Lights Competition

We've got the first of our winter night rides this weekend and to celebrate we're giving away an Exposure Joystick light worth £150 to one lucky rider.

To enter you just need to answer the following 3 questions and click on the Enter Now link to send in your entry. Good Luck!

Question 1 - At which 3 venues do we have night rides this winter? Hint

Question 2 -Which ride it team member doesn't like black pudding? Hint

Question 3 - What is the max lumen rating of an Exposure Toro Light? Hint

Enter Now!

The draw for this competition will take place on the 11th January after the last night event of this winter series. If you've won we'll e-mail you to let you know and to arrange delivery of your prize.

If you want to increase your chance of winning an Exposure light there's also a separate prize draw at each night event, you just need to turn up and ride.

South Chilterns/Reading Road Ride

We've been out today getting the road route ready for Sunday and luckily for us we missed the bad weather that arrived this afternoon.

The start venue is at the top of Whitchurch Hill so the routes avoid the big climb up from Pangbourne, which I guess is either good or bad depending on how much you like hills :-)

The route mainly sticks to small country lanes, they seem to be in fairly good condition although there are inevitably a few sections where the recent weather has brought leaves, mud and gravel onto the lanes so a bit of caution is needed in places.

I think we rated it as a 2 out of 4 for climbing on the main Evans site, no major challenges just a few ups and downs through rolling countryside.

Fingers crossed for the dry weather that the BBC are currently forecasting for Sunday.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Reading Steps

Just another thing......

On the Mountain Bike route there is a set of steps that are quite dangerous. At the top of these is where the drinks station will be situated. This will be a walking section. It will be stated on the map that you must walk, I will put up signs to this effect and Tony will be told to enforce this. Looking from the top they look quite rideable but soon descend into bottom bracket scraping drops, set apart at just the right frequency to be bottom clenchingly scary. Over the years I have had one friend go over the handle bars into the barbed wire fence and put 19 stiches in his arm, one break his arm and another both her wrists. I'm really not kidding about walking!!!!

If you want a challenge, then try riding up the other side. It can be done but requires a clean run and lots of zig-zagging around the steps.


Reading this weekend


Reading is fast approaching and the number of pre-entries is looking impressive! Jon Boy the Demo fleet Manager has already booked out his maximum of 30 bikes for the weekend (the first time he's done this) and says that bookings for the Demo Exposure lights is also taking off.

All good stuff. Just a few points to draw to your attention:-

Toll Bridge.
If you come through Pangbourne, which I'm assuming most will, you use a Toll Bridge over the Thames. They have just put their prices up to 40p each way (it was 20p a few months back, the pub over the Thames from Pangbourne has a protest poster up calling it Highway robbery!!) So please be prepared. If you don't want to pay this it's a long journey up to Goring and back or into Reading and Caversham. So they've got us unfortunately.

I have a field next to the Village hall. This has been given to us for a nominal fee which sounds great until you have to put £500 of matting down to cope with the amount of cars expected!!! What I'm trying to say here is please be carefull when driving in the field, keep your speed down and try not to wheel spin! If you have a low sports car, I'd recomend driving past the field, turning around and coming in from the North as there is a bit of a lip to enter the field.

Private Drive
Between the Village Hall and the Carpark is a private drive. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you drive down this or park on it, even to drop someone off. This is a tender subject and although I have spoken to the owners, I really don't want to upset them as we have another event in May and I'd like to come back!!!


Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Cannock Rider Times

Below are the times from last weekends Cannock Chase Ride It! event. Thanks to everyone who turned up, especially those who braved the rain and wind for the Sunday road ride.

Saturday MTB Rider Times

Sunday Road Rider Times

Our next event is in two weeks time in the South Chilterns where as well as the usual Saturday MTB rides and Sunday road rides we'll have this years first Ride It! Night MTB ride.