All posts by Steffan James

Brecon Beacons Weekend 19th – 21st July 2019

MB Swindon’s trip to the Brecon Beacons, 19th – 21st July inclusive (Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights’ accommodation)
* Two men’s places currently available – £51.88 for the weekend; please contact us if interested*
Following the success of last year’s trip, we’re heading to the Brecon Beacons again this summer. We currently have a couple of men’s spaces available if anyone would like to stay, but in addition anyone is welcome to join any of the rides over the weekend.
The plan for the weekend is as follows – on Friday, for anyone who can make it, we will have a spin around the red trails of Cwmcarn. Timing late morning/early afternoon.
On Saturday and Sunday, we’ll be riding in the Brecon Beacons. Saturday’s route is around Talgarth and Llangorse lake, and on Sunday, we will be riding the famous Brecon Gap.
We will be meeting for the Gap ride on Sunday 21st at Talybont Bike Hub, LD3 7YQ where there is plenty of parking. The ride is approximately 22 miles, and while not especially gruelling in terms of elevation, contains two or three fairly technical, rocky sections so whilst not a novice-friendly ride,  the sections are walkable if preferred. It could be described as a good ‘first technical ride’.
There is a very good pub opposite the bunkhouse – we ate there last year and are booked in again for Friday and Saturday. There is also a BBQ in the garden of the bunkhouse, and other pubs/restaurants nearby (not walking distance though).

You’d be Crackers to miss this!

Graham Burgess will lead us around Cheddar Gorge (Cheese and Crackers – geddit?) and the Mendip Hills, following a route used several times before on Club outings, most recently in March this year.

The route is only around 21 miles, but don’t be fooled into thinking it will be a breeze! The climbs are sharp and some of the descents are loose, rocky and a bit exciting, especially if it’s wet on the day (sense of humour strongly advised). There is always the option of walking a few bits if you don’t fancy your chances.

The route starts from the Swan Inn, Rowberrow and quickly heads off-road into a bit of a woodland climb followed by a long, fast rocky descent all the way down into Cheddar where we can stop for a quick cuppa (last chance saloon until end of ride).

Then it’s off up the Gorge road climb – which is steady but long – and onto the top of the gorge then all the way back down again on another fast, rocky, rooty little number. This might not come as a surprise, but… it’s then another big climb back up onto the moors (expect to see wild ponies) for some more fun before the last descent back down again towards Rowberrow.

The pub at the start/finish serves excellent food for post ride refreshments – highly recommend is the Ploughman’s Lunch.

Whilst not really a novice ride due to the climbs and technical descents, the ride is open to anyone who feels like a challenge; no-one will be left behind and we can have plenty of stops as needed.

Be there and ready to ride for a 10.00am departure. Bring food and drink, appropriate clothing for a day’s ride (it can be exposed up on top of the hills) and spares.

Midweek Ride 10th July

Wailun Chung leads this week’s Wednesday night ride. Meet at the Chiseldon Smokehouse ready for a 7.00pm start.

Midweek rides are usually about 15 miles / 2 hours long and use sections of the Ridgeway and Marlborough Downs. Riders of all abilities 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 afterwards.

Hills and Thrills

Gary Palmer leads this epic ride in the Stroud area. This will be a big day in the saddle, with a beauty of a climb at the end.

There will be at least one pub stop and maybe a cafe stop later on, if it’s still open!

There will be some great single track, and some big (road) climbs. If the weather is poor we can shorten the ride – we’ll just go with the flow. The pace will be steady, but please consider the 39 mile distance before committing to this ride.

We will be starting at the Shortwood carpark, near Haresfield beacon, nearest post code for car park is GL6 6PP.

Directions from Stroud: 3 miles north-west of Stroud, between A419 and A46. Follow Whiteshill/Edge road from Stroud. 1 mile after Whiteshill village at the top of the hill take a left hand turn, signposted Haresfield. Follow this lane for approximately half a mile and Shortwood carpark is on your left hand side.

There is a £3.50 all day parking charge at this carpark but you can sometimes park outside on the side of the road. Please be at the car park by 9.45 for 10.00am start.

Friday Night Social

We’ll be holding another Friday Night Social at Croft on July the 5th.

If you’d like to help out with a bit of trail maintenance, we’ll be doing some work from 6.30 to 7.30pm. If not, you could always ride a lap or two!

After that, we’ll get the fire going and toast a few snacks. Hopefully, we’ll have our club shirts available again for you to try and buy. We’d love to see you there, whether you’re an old hand or attending your first event. See you there.

Sun, Savernake & Singletrack

The weather is looking mighty fine for Saturday, so what better way to spend it than riding all the lovely singletrack Savernake Forest has to offer? Kate Davidson leads this easygoing ride, which will explore the trails that criss-cross the forest, stopping for a cuppa and cake at Crofton Beam Engines.

This ride will be roughly 20 miles in length, and will be suitable for all – everyone welcome.

Meet at Postern Hill Campsite, Marlborough SN8 4ND for a 10am start.

Midweek Ride 16th June

Wailun CWailun Chung leads this week’s midweek ride. Meet at The Chiseldon Smokehouse Pub ready for a 7.00pm start. There is parking if you want to drive to the start.

Midweek rides are usually around 15-20 miles / 2 hours long, and use sections of the Ridgeway and the Marlborough Downs. The rides are 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 afterwards.

Goldenballs 2019

Hilda-May Latham will be leading the Goldenballs ride, using the route previously used by Richard Ford. This is an easy-paced novice friendly route along the escarpment of the Vale of Pewsey on the Marlborough Downs.

From Knap Hill we will head to Martinsell via a fun bit of single track through Gopher Woods. The route offers some of the best views in the area. We then head to West Woods  for a bit more woodland riding before heading back and enjoying the fun descent down Goldenball Hill.

The car park is a popular spot for outdoor lovers, hence the early (9.00am) start. Please share cars where possible.

Directions from Swindon

  • Take the A4361 to Avebury.
  • At the right bend in the road (after the Red Lion Pub) turn left to take the B4003
  • The B4003 comes to a T junction with the A4.  Turn left.
  • Take the next right (after about ¼ mile).  Sign posted East Kennet.
  • Drive through East Kennet and follow the road to a T junction.
  • Turn right at the T junction.
  • Follow the road for two miles.  The car park is on the left just after three houses on the right.  Be careful, it is rather difficult to see until you are right on top of it and quite easy to drive past.  If you start going down the hill into the Vale of Pewsey you have gone too far.