Ride report: QECP Cycle Fest (MBUK Royal Rumble)

MBUK Royal Rumble

MBUK Royal Rumble start

The QE Cycle Fest 2012 was held at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Southampton. It was organised by Hargroves Cycles. There was a 60km and 80km sportive on Saturday, the 4 hour MBUK Royal Rumble plus a live band with food (Quaver catering) and beer from the Flowerpots Brewery.

The QECP trail building group were opening a new section of trail on the weekend.

The Royal Rumble route used parts of the trails plus some extra parts and a few diversions. It was heavy going and conditions were still a bit sticky following a lot of rain earlier in the week. The long climb was rewarded with some really fun downhill though. The trail required a delicate approach and the final descent worked really well if you were prepared to roll with it.

We couldn’t believe how fast the proper racers were – still hammering up the hills on the last lap.

Results are here (Time Laps website). My best lap was 35 minutes dropping to 49 minutes after 6 – the winner was 27 minutes dropping to 29 after 9 of them!

On Sunday it was a bike demo day, with Specialized, Cube, Cannondale, Stevens, Scott, Kinesis, Pivot and Salsa present, plus stands from Shimano and Garmin.

We took a few bikes out for a test session. The personal favourite was the Specialized Camber FSR expert carbon. This went up the hills with little effort and swallowed all the down I could throw at it. It was so assured and fun on the roots and mud. A very flattering bike to ride. I also tried a Camber Carbon 29″ bike and there wasn’t much in it really. I still prefer 26″ wheels myself.

QECP mountain bike trail map

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