Friday, 29 January 2010

Rochdale Off -road route

Today demonstrates why we always publish our gpx routes after we've put out the course!! Since 10am this morning the route and splits have more or less completely changed with one half of the medium becoming the long and the final long loop is now the medium. What's bought this about? Well that'd be the waist deep snow that Keith waded through along with the sheet ice.

This surprised me somewhat, having ridden the first half of the medium and the long loop without seeing more than a few isolated patches. The new medium route misses out most of the white stuff with just a few sections of unrideable trail. But as this is mainly up hill, it means you get a bit of a breather :-)

We've made the tough bit the new Long loop on the basis that if you're intent on doing 30miles, a bit of snow isn't going to get in your way. That said, we have cut out most of the walking, but on the downside this has meant a bit more road than we'd normally like.

Back to the Medium route. The trails are generally rideable and on hard trails. With the recent weather it's inevitable that there is going to be some mud and puddles, it's January and we're in England, so no surprises there. There are a couple sections that might need a small push for 50-100mtrs but these do give your legs a bit of a rest. So overall, provided we don't have a blizzard overnight, it should be a good, scenic day in the saddle.

GPX ROUTES - IMPORTANT. The Gpx routes have changed from those previously published. The new ones should appear on the right soon marked as version 2.


Rochdale MTB GPX Routes

We've just removed the links to the mountain bike gpx routes for this weekend, the conditions have meant we've needed to change the route from the one originally planned so the gpx files were incorrect.

Some new gpx files should be up later (this evening) once Keith has stopped playing in the snow :-)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Rochdale Gpx routes

The Rochdale routes should be appearing soon on the right. Generally Mark does this but as he became a Dad over the Christmas break, he might have his hands full, so please bear with us.

We will put up the Off-road routes as well but these are not checked and you should only down load these on Friday night after 7pm to allow us to make changes if needbe.


Rochdale Road Route

With the cancellation of Chieveley, Rochdale is the first event of 2010 for us. So this morning, Myself, Mike and Keith dusted off the road bikes and our legs headed off into the hills. Now, coming from down south where it's been mild for the last two weeks, it was a bit of a suprise to see patches of snow still lying on the tops. The first time you encounter this is at the top of the first climb through Cragg Vale which starts by the "Cragg Vale longest consistent gradient in England" sign.

It's not as bad as it sounds, I used small ring for about a mile and big for the rest and I'm sure the fitter among you will just go up in big. At the top of the climb in the patchy snow will be the drink sation and split, with the Medium and Long going off to do a further loop and two more climbs before returning. From this point the Short and Medium loops descend down into Rochdale on a fast, eyewatering stretch or tarmac. Actually today it was more "eye freezing"! The Long loop, however, descends Cragg Vale which means going down the "longest consistent etc" for 5 miles :-)

Generally, the roads are in good condition but look out for the occasional hole, the weather is looking ok , Jon will be there handing out free Gore windstoppers to use for the day (and he's baking cake tonight - yum)


Friday, 15 January 2010

Rochdale Route Distances

Confirmation of route distances for the Rochdale event

Off road
Short - 14miles
Medium - 24miles
Long - 31miles

Short - 24miles
Medium - 48miles
Long - 63miles (but 7000ft of climbing)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Chieveley in the Snow.

We did it, we went out for a ride from Chieveley on Saturday! Despite a few E-mails from customers saying they were coming, only 4 hardy souls ventured out into the Berkshire country side, Myself, "Fat" Jon, Debs and Annie.

It was -4degrees, sunny and clear, a perfect day for cycling in the snow. The ground conditions were pretty tough going, from deep ruts caused by cars, rough trails used by walkers to fresh powdered snow. I actually had a bead of sweat drip down my eyes! As we cycled it became obvious that the full 24 miles always going to be a bit optimistic, sure we could ride it all, but we were out for a fun ride and not a slog. That said, we did manage to put in a fairly respectable 16miles in about 4hours which might not seem quick but when you look at the pictures below you might see why it took so long!


Friday, 8 January 2010

Chieveley Ride It Cancelled

Just to confirm that this weekends ride is CANCLLED.

People are still trying to book places and bikes!!!


Thursday, 7 January 2010

Chieveley ride this weekend.

Hi Everyone.

Just had an idea. Would anyone be up for a ride this Saturday? I have the hall booked and therefore the parking available so it'd be a shame to waste it by not going out in the snow!!

Here's what I'm thinking:-

Meet at the village hall about 9.30am.
Leave for the ride at 10am. (On the dot!!!!)
We'll go around as a group as a fun ride.

We can do what was the medium route of about 24miles with the option of a shorter 10 mile loop for those who fancy it or are struggling.

Conditions of riding with me are as follows:-

This ride has nothing to do with Evans Cycles. You are joining me for a personal ride which I am riding for myself, not as a paid employee of Evans. There is no fee for the ride and it does not affect your refund from the planned Ride It event.

As such it is not supported and you should carry your own food, spares, equipment etc. and be suitable dressed. There will be no spares available to buy from myself or Evans.

I accept no responsibility for the conditions of the trails or any roads. It's winter, snowy and cold.,there will be snow, ice and mud. If you come out then you should be comfortable with riding in these conditions and accept such consequences.

You should be of a standard of fitness that would allow you to ride 24miles off road. If not, you will hold up the group and we'll all get cold!! That said, I envisage the pace to be quite slow, so don't worry if you're not a whippet, just make sure you can go the distance.

Lastly, I repeat, this is a personal ride. I accept no responsibility for you or your actions.

Sorry to put in so many conditions but I just want to go out for a fun ride and have some company without worrying about recriminations!!!

Anyway, if you fancy coming along send me a mail
with your name and say that you accept the conditions stated on the Blog.

I'll see you there!


For all those without snow....

......and wondering what the fuss is about, here's a few pictures of my car in the street.

It was still snowing at this point.

It eventually ended up above the door sills.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

But not for long....Chieveley Cancelled

I wrote the previous post yesterday and then looked out of the window. No problems, just a bit of snow I thought as big lumps of white floated gently to the ground.

This morning Reading is under 6 -8 inches of the cold stuff and at 9.30, it's still going.

The weather forcast for the weekend if for more snow on both days, and with temps not due to go over zero degrees, there's little chance of it melting.

Taking into account the above, we've decided to cancel this weekends event. I love cycling in the snow and personally would like to go ahead with the Off road ride, but I can't get to anyone who injures themselves and the emergency services woudn't be too happy with me either! Another factor is trying to get the staff there as two come from Brighton, one from Cambridge and another from Southampton. (Mark lives in Tadley, about 5miles from the event centre, driving into Tadley last night he was turned back and told to go to Basingstoke! Eventually got home by driving around the road block on country lanes.)

The event has been taken off-line and every one who has pre-entered will get a refund.

Right, just off for a ride across Reading....

Take care out there

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

We're back!!

Hi everyone, Happy New Year.

Well the first ride of the year is looking like it's going to be a chilly one! We're at Chieveley this weekend which is just of the M4 at junction 13 near Newbury. The cold weather actually suits the Off road ride pretty well as it tends to freeze the mud solid and make the going fairly easy if a little bumpy!

At the moment we plan to go ahead with both rides, Saturday and Sunday. This is obviously subject to the weather and we will post on here if there is any change. The final post will be on Friday between 9 and 10pm for Saturday's ride and 5-6am on Sunday ( After I have pre-checked the route) I have decreased the Road distances and removed the "Fun" ride. This is because we are using less country lanes and are sticking to the wider, more used and therefore more likely to be gritted roads. Distances are approx. Short - 27miles, Medium - 41miles and the Long at 57 miles, which is probably enough in the cold.

The night ride is still going ahead for the hardy few :-)

The Competition to win a USE Exposure light will close this weekend, so if you haven't already, click on the tab on the top right and answer a few, easy questions to enter the draw. (There's about 100 entrants so far, so that's not bad odds)

Demo Bikes
Jon(Boy)'s back with a new fleet of bikes so if you fancy a ride on a new machine, drop him a line via the demo fleet page of the website.

Gore Clothing
Jon (Fat) will also be in attendance with Free Gore clothing for you to try out, along with some leg and arm warmers for sale at 20% off.

Look forward to seeing you all there this weekend, I'll be the one wearing shorts and a T-shirt.