All posts by Steffan James

Around the Downs

Tom Scott will be leading this mostly off-road route around the Marlborough Downs.

This is a Novice-Friendly ride that will be at a relaxed pace, and would be a good introduction for new or inexperienced riders to some of the routes available in the local area.

If you fancy a longer ride meet Tom by the diving platform at Coate Water at 9am.

Bring food and drink, spares and tools.

Kate’s Super Savernake and Martinsell Meander

Kate Davidson leads this mixed ride, which combines the trails of Savernake Forest with the ups and downs of Martinsell Hill. Expect beautiful views from the hill and varied terrain, including splendid woodland singletrack, byways and bridleways, country lanes and a cracking, grassy descent down Martinsell Hill.

We’ll meet at Postern Hill campsite carpark, on the outskirts of Marlborough, and head into the forest. Those of you who came on my Savernake Spins earlier in the year will be familiar with some of the route; if not, you’re in for a treat! From Savernake, we’ll head across to Ram Alley following byways, bridleways and country lanes to Martinsell Hill. There’s a narrow, rocky/rooty section once we get on top of the hill – feel free to walk this if you’re a root-hater – but at the end of this is a long, grassy descent which is terrific fun and you can take it at your own pace – bat out of hell, or steady as you like. We’ll then ride along Mud Lane, cross the road back into the forest and ride back to the campsite.

The route will likely come in at between 25-30 miles. There is nothing overly technical or particularly scary – the climb up to Martinsell Hill is short but very steep, and some may prefer to walk it; there’s the rocky bit of singletrack at the top – and the descent, which can be ridden as fast or slow as you like. This will be a social ride at a sensible pace, which will hopefully be a lot of fun. Although not listed as a ‘Novice-friendly’ ride, everyone capable of riding around 30 miles is welcome, and no-one will be left behind.

I am looking into the possibility of incorporating a stop at Crofton Beam Engines for coffee & cake or lunch, which I will confirm after my recce. In the absence of a cafe stop bring anything you feel you may need such as water and snacks, dress for the weather and make sure you bring anything you may need such as spare tubes, etc. 

Photo credit: @ElcotCreativepic.twitter.com/ifedAhBCDE

Foxhill to Badbury Clump

Tom Scott will be leading this mostly off-road route across the Vale of the White Horse to Badbury Clump – ‘where the downhill trails be’ – and returning via the Ridgeway.

Meet at Foxhill ready for a 9.00am start.

We will be stopping at the Clump for an hour or so, including grub and hooning, so be prepared to be out for about 5-6 hours in total.

The first half of the ride is flattish and the second half is – how can I describe it? – a bit lumpy…

Bring a picnic and drink, spares and tools.

(Photo credit: National Trust)

Hilda’s Ridgeway Marathon

Hilda May Latham leads this challenging cross-country epic, which she ran as a ladies-only ride last year. This time, the boys can play, too.

We start the ride with a grassy descent down Smeathe’s Ridge and some beautiful views of the Ridgeway, followed by a steep climb out of Ogbourne St George to prep the legs and lungs for an epic day in the saddle.

We will then head over to Bishopstone where we will stop for some lunch before heading over to Ashdown House and finally making our way back to Barbury.

As this is a longer ride we will be making an early start. Meet at Barbury Castle ready for a 9.00am start. Expect to be out for approximately 6hrs. Bring lots of snacks, a packed lunch, water and some pocket money for ice-cream.

Please note that this ride is not novice-friendly due to the distance and amount of climbing involved.

Ladies B-M-B Ride

Kate Davidson leads this novice-friendly ladies’ ride. Starting at Barbury Castle car park, we’ll make our way onto the Ridgeway and head down the lovely grassy run of Smeathe’s Ridge into Ogbourne St George, where we’ll cross the road and head up from the Ridgeway towards the Swindon to Marlborough cycle path.

From there, we’ll ride into Marlborough, stopping for a cuppa and cake, then we’ll head along Marborough High Street up to the common, turning off shortly after onto Manton Down towards Rockley. Heading down through the woods into Rockley, where there is a mild downhill trail through the woods, which can be ridden at your own pace.

We’ll work off that cake on the short(ish!), steep climb back up to Barbury Castle car park! However, the pace throughout will be steady and no-one will be left behind.)

There is a café stop halfway around, but bring anything you feel you may need such as water, snacks, weatherproof coat, spare tubes etc.

Meet at Barbury Castle Car Park ready for a 10am start.

 

Midweek Ride 18th July

Steffan James will lead this week’s Wednesday night ride. Meet at the Patriots Arms in Chiseldon ready for a 7.00pm start.

The ride will be approximately 15 miles / 2 hours long, and will use sections of the Ridgeway and the Marlborough Downs. The ride is Novice-friendly and all are welcome.

You’ll need lights, a drink and a spare tube or repair kit. Hope to see you there.

Midweek Ride 4th July

Steffan James will lead this week’s Wednesday night ride. Meet at the Patriots Arms in Chisledon ready for a 7.00pm start.

Midweek rides are usually about 15 miles/2 hours long, using the Ridgeway and the Marlborough Downs. All are welcome – the ride is Novice-friendly and no one gets left behind.

You’ll need lights, a drink and a spare tube or repair kit. We may call in to the pub for a drink after the ride.

Bristol Bikefest

Bristol Bikefest is an event that MB Swindon has attended and enjoyed several times in the past. The event didn’t happen last year, but now it’s back… and we’re going again!

What is Bikefest? It’s a six hour cross country (sort of) race! If you’re super competitive you can charge around the course for the whole time… but we’re hoping to have lots of MB Swindoners riding in pairs or teams to spread the load!

You can race seriously or treat it as a social event – it really is open to all abilities. And don’t worry if you don’t have anyone to form a team with. We’ll help put you together with other like-minded riders.

We’ve pre-booked some tickets, so get in touch with us first and we’ll let you know whether we still have any available.

Find full details at http://bike-fest.com

Midweek Ride 27th June

Wailun Chung leads this wee’s Wednesday night ride. Meet at the Patriots Arms in Chiseldon ready for a 7.00pm start.

Midweek rides are usually around 15 miles or 2 hours long, and are ‘novice-friendly’ rides suitable for all. They usually follow sections of the Ridgeway and the Marlborough Downs.

You’ll need lights, a drink and a spare tube or repair kit. Bring a bit of pocket money as we may call in to the pub afterwards.

Midweek Ride 20th June

Tom Scott will lead this week’s Wednesday night ride. Meet at the Patriots Arms in Chiseldon ready for a 7.00pm start.

Midweek rides are usually about 2 hours/15 miles long, using the Ridgeway and the Marlborough Downs. These rides are novice friendly; all are welcome and no one gets left behind.

You’ll need lights, a drink and a spare tube or repair kit. We may call in to the pub at the end.