Tag Archives: ashton court

The Next Step part 1 – Ashton Court

The plan is to start with a lap of the Nova trail, then cross the road and do the Yer Tiz trail. After that, we can go for whatever the group fancy, such as repeat those trails or have a go at the arguably more challenging trail in 50 acre woods.

At any point, people can bail out and head home as we are never far from the car park, which makes this an ideal place to start our Next Step rides.

The terrain is all rollable with only a couple of short climbs that might get the lungs working. Following the Next Step ride ethos, the pace of the rides will be set at slow and steady.  Any sections that riders might find challenging can be taken slowly to help build confidence.

Meet at 10.00 for a 10.15 start. Remember to bring a spare inner tube, cash for parking.  Drink and lunch / snacks or money for the Cafe.

The Next Step rides

The “Next Step” rides are aimed at those who may have tried novice friendly rides and are looking to progress to and build confidence on more technical terrain at a slow and relaxed pace.  They would also be suitable for people who have ridden at trail centres before but who may be concerned that they lack the fitness or confidence to ride within a group that may contain some experienced riders.

The intention is to offer a series of rides at some of the nearest trail centres with an incremental level of difficulty.  Starting with Ashton Court, then Swinley followed by one or two visits to the The Forest of Dean. If you are able to make the whole series then they should offer a good progression of challenge to your skills and fitness.

The pace of the rides will be set at a slow and steady “snail friendly” pace with regular opportunities for rests.  Where the trails might become more challenging then there will be a chance for riders to look at obstacles in advance and to walk down or ride around anything that might look intimidating.

If you like to crack on and ride fast then these will not be suitable for you. If you enjoy a break, a bit of a faff and some natter on the trail side then these rides might be just your cup of tea.

Ed’s Ashton Court Adventure

Gary Palmer’s ride report: –

This ride came about after Ed led a certain rough bunch of mountain bikers called the DirtySaddles around 50 acre wood on a cold wet spring night earlier in the year, I thought this would be great for the MB Swindon guys, but the chance of me finding my way around those dark woods again were pretty remote, any way Ed came to the rescue and agreed to show us around. Brilliant.

Date was set

Picked Ed up early-ish Saturday morning and off we went, Ed told me he hadn’t been on the bike for a few months so was going to be a bit rusty, brilliant I thought, I’ll be able to keep up with him at least to the end of the car park.

Arrived at North road a bit early, wasn’t long before Rich and Caroline joined us, nearly ready to go and then Henry turned up, fair play to his commitment, got the train from Swindon to Bristol and then rode to the start.

Small briefing of what to expect and off we went, straight into some tasty single track, this went on for about 10 minutes and it bought us out on to the Yer Tiz trail which we did a lap of, from here we shot of into Bluebell woods (I think), I got left behind a little bit here, when I caught up everybody was waiting on top of this ridge, I thought Ed said lets go down here, so of I went, luckily the old brakes were working well today, no Ed hadn’t said lets go down here he was just pointing out a right gnarly decent full of wheel grabbing roots, there was young people present so I declined the opportunity to go down there.

Off we went again, more rooty single track, few bends ahead I managed not to stop and drove my head into an impenetrable hedge, man that hurt and put the glasses at a strange angle, never mind, I think I convinced Caroline that those drops of water on my cheeks weren’t tears J

Another great decent, I went around the corner and the traffic was stopped, Rich was on the floor and not moving, bloody hell I thought, I haven’t bought the chewing tobacco to spit in his wounds, There was life there, after a bit of Mickey taking Rich was back on his bike, fair play I couldn’t compete with those grazes, they were proper.

On we went to 50 acres (nearly said 50 shades then), a big well done to Caroline for doing this, this was well out of her comfort zone and it was completed without one sit down, not that I saw anyway, 50 acres is a great natural section full of roots and rocks that need to be ridden fast and hard, rode it a couple of weeks before and it was totally overgrown, got whipped heavily with the old brambles. Bristol trails group had been in there and cut it all back, its big thanks for them for giving up their spare time to keep these trails clear so we can all enjoy them.

Ed and Henry flew through this section and made it look pretty easy.

Back towards Ashton court now, Ed took us through what I think is called snaked head woods (well it’s something to do with snakes). Another great section of woods to ride which bought back into Ashton Court where we rode up past the café to start our lap of the Nova Trail, although there’s nothing to testing on the Nova trail if you put maximum effort in you’ll get maximum enjoyment out, we all regrouped at the top of the red section and decided to go down it, I’ve never known so much uphill in a downhill section, after us all getting a bit lost at the bottom and we made different ways back up to the top took a few pictures and headed back to the cars.

A big thanks for turning up and a big thanks to Ed for leading us around this great route

Cheers all

Gary

 

Ed and Henry

Our glorious leader
Our glorious leader

Caroline

Bristol Oktoberfest 2014

MBswindon ladies race team on podium at Bristol Oktoberfest.The Bristol Oktoberfest is another one of our big race events. Last year we entered 28  riders as solo riders, pairs, teams of 3 and teams of 4. Everyone is encouraged to get involved – it’s a lot of fun even if you doubt your race credentials.

The venue is also used for the Bristol Bikefest (see photos from 2013).

If you already have a team then it would be great if you enter as an MBSwindon team. If you haven’t got a team then contact us with your preferences (solo, pair, team, race/for fun) and we’ll work on allocating teams.

Facebook event page.

 

Ashton Court Ladies & Gents Day Out

Ashton Court is the home of the Bristol Bikefest and Oktoberfest events as well as being a good introduction to trail centres.

Ladies Captain Sharon Bassindale and Club Gopher Simon Oxlade will lead seperate groups of Ladies and Gents around a couple of laps of the Nova Trail  and Oktoberfest course, then go for a play in the nearby Leigh Woods on the Yer Tiz trail.

This ride is suitable for all skill levels and is ideal for those interested in entering Oktoberfest (you should, it’s great fun) a couple of weeks later.

It is classed as Novice Friendly and, because the Ladies will be riding in their own group, as a Ladies ride as well.

NOTE: Parking at Ashton Court can be busy, so arrive early. Parking is £3 per car.

Google Maps Link

Bristol Bikefest 2014

Bristol BikefestThe Bristol Bikefest is one of our big race events. Everyone is encouraged to get involved – it’s a lot of fun even if you doubt your race credentials. See the photos from last year.

The venue is also used for the Bristol Oktoberfest (see our Oktoberfest 2013 write up).

If you would like to join via mbswindon then please contact races @ mbswindon co uk before Friday 9th May.

We’ll be entering the Saturday 12 hour event so the options are: 1/2/4 riders, open/old gits/singlespeed, M/F/Mixed

Facebook event page.

Bristol Oktoberfest 2013

Bristol Oktoberfest 2012 logo

The Bristol Oktoberfest is another one of our big race events. Last year we entered over 30 riders as solo riders, pairs, teams of 3 and teams of 4. Everyone is encouraged to get involved – it’s a lot of fun even if you doubt your race credentials.

The venue is also used for the Bristol Bikefest (see photos from 2012).

If you already have a team then it would be great if you enter as an MBSwindon team. If you haven’t got a team then contact us with your preferences (solo, pair, team, race/for fun) and we’ll work on allocating teams.

 Facebook event page.

 

Women racer at Oktoberfest bike race.

Ladies only ride at Ashton Court

Group of ladies on mountain bikes at Ashton Court.

Our Ladies Officer Sharon will be leading a ladies-only ride at the ever popular Ashton Court and Leigh Woods trails in Bristol. All the trails here are graded blue, with optional trickier bits – basically this means there is something suitable for every level of rider. Meet in the car park at the golf course (map here) for 10am, ready to ride at 10:15am.

You are advised to arrive early as parking can sometimes be limited.

See what the girls got up to last summer here or visit the Facebook event page here.

Race report Bristol Bikefest 2013

MBSwindon xc race team.We had 23 riders taking part in the 2013 Ritchey Bristol Bikefest

Things got off to a good start when we arrived at 2:30pm on the Friday and were able to bag a spot for our two gazebos right next to the transition area and the podium. Not so good was the rain that fell for a while and the distorted music selection crackling through the tannoy…we think some of it was the Cranberries. The only redeeming feature was The National Express from the Divine Comedy. 

This year was the first event using the Bristol Cathedral Choir School playing fields for the event.  These are right next to the original Ashton Court field. The course came along the edge of the field, through a transition in the corner and then nipped through a hole in the trees and gate back onto the Ashton Court trails. We’d heard various stories about issues with the mud and erosion in the original Ashton Court camping field. The new plan also meant that showers were available in the sports pavilion.  

Ian Luff was there with the Luff Bus cafe, this time expanding out into a large tent. We spent an hour or so giving Ian some verbal abuse training. This happens at every biking event: Erlestoke, The Mondraker Rally, Bikefest and Oktoberfest. He’s so used to it and was genuinely surprised when Phil and myself broke into normal conversation.

We did a quick lap of the trail on the Friday evening along with Ian. The bike on the roof of his bus does actually work.

There was no sign of the rain on Saturday and the bright sunlight woke us really early. As usual the site was buzzing by 8am ready for the 9am start. We had all of out riders present apart from one. We contacted him on Facebook to ask where he was and he replied “I’ll be there at 6pm tonight”. Not a lot of use for a relay race that starts at 9am and finishes at 9pm. He was actually expecting to do the six hour race on Sunday.

MBSwindon club stand at Bristol Bikefest.

All of our riders seemed to get into a good position following the Le Mans start and that set the tone for the day. The sun shone strong throughout and the whole site became dusty. No complaints about that – 2012 was an appalling year for rain and mud. 

Bristol Bikefest start

MBSwindon xc race teamMBSwindon stand at Bikefest

Bristol Bikefest jump.

We had a good laugh at the chap whose back wheel fell off as he lifted his bike over the transition entrance barrier and we saw several riders fall off on the final corner. This raised a lot of laughs from the Halfwayup MTB stand. The Pedal Progression jump was in place and we saw a few comedy crashes off the end of that. One not-so-amusing crash involved a woman who landed on the front wheel, broke the forks and then faceplanted. She was posting on the Bikefest facebook page a few days later saying that all was well though.

Whilst we weren’t riding we had a chat with Loco Tuning (club discount) and discussed more clothing options with Scimitar Sports. Phil was excited to be  used as the model for some shorts. That was his excuse anyway.

Things went well over the day apart from a few punctures that delayed teams by 5-10 minutes. Everyone managed to get their last lap in well  before 9pm – the latest arrival was about 10 minutes before the cut off time. We had a range of lap times – our fastest riders were in the 28 minutes and we had a strong showing in the 30-35 minute range. Everyone put their fair share of effort in and that’s what this is about for the club: a sociable and supportive atmosphere to encourage everyone to develop their riding.

There was an alarming amount of yoga related activity going on in the club stand; the birthing position was the pose of choice for day and Anna demonstrated some special moves. 

Our race team came second in the mixed teams categoryso we had the pleasure of seeing them on the podium. 

Bristol Bikefest podium.

Club gazebo at Bristol Bikefest.

Results:

  • Male pair, 8/18, 21 laps,  “Duo”, Leon Cardy-Stewart + Jerome Crametz
  • Male solo, 18/29, 12 laps, “Solo”, Tom Jenkins
  • Male open, 16/62, 22 laps, “Quite fast”, Phil Allum + Gary Lee + Tom Stickland + Pawel Kotowski
  • Male open, 37/62, 19 laps, “Not quite so slow”, Nik Wadge + Stuart King + Graham Burgess + Phil Mayger
  • Mixed, 2/15, 24 laps, “MBSwindon race team“, Lee Morgan + Anna Cipullo + Malcolm Toop-Rose + Stuart Selwood
  • Male old gits, 17/35, 20 laps, “Not quite so fast”, Gary Yeates + Andrew Weaver +Neal Middlemore + Adrian Rees
  • Male old gits, 32/35, 15 laps, “Quite slow”, Jason Rodger + Richard Ford + Nathan Lenehan + Francois Ford

See previous write ups: 

More photos: Kevin Sheldrake, Right place Right timeNotjustageek. Video from Wideopenmag.

Photos with “Tim Rose” in the name are from Tim’s Flickr set also active via twitter.

2013_06_08 Bristol Bikefest Tom KevinSheldrake

Results board at Bikefest.

Ritchey Bristol Bikefest 2013

Ritchey Bristol Bikefest 2012 logo

The Bristol Bikefest is one of our big race events. Everyone is encouraged to get involved – it’s a lot of fun even if you doubt your race credentials. See the photos from last year.

The venue is also used for the Bristol Oktoberfest (see our Oktoberfest 2012 write up, also write up from Bikefest June 2012Oktoberfest 2011Bikefest 2011and Oktoberfest 2010). 

If you already have a team then it would be great if you enter as an MBSwindon team. If you haven’t got a team then contact us with your preferences (solo, pair, team, race/for fun) and we’ll work on allocating teams. We’ll be entering the Saturday 12 hour event so the options are: 1/2/4 riders, open/old gits/singlespeed, M/F/Mixed

Facebook event page.

MBSwindon rider at Bristol Oktoberfest.

BikeFest Recce Ride – Ashton Court,Bristol – 11th May 2013

Bristol Bikefest is one of MBSwindon’s big events of the year, a 12-hour team enduro race around the Ashton Court trail in Bristol. While the event does attract some serious teams, it is also a welcoming and friendly event for all levels of rider to try  and the club enters a number of teams of varying abilities and fitness so everyone can get a good experience.

It is, however, hard to decide whether or not to enter an event such as this when you don’t know what you are letting yourself in for….

Which is where this ‘Recce Ride’ comes in.

Simon Oxlade and Jason Rodger are going to go to Ashton Court and take you around the Bikefest track, which is a little different to the signposted trail loop. Along the way we’ll be explaining what comes next on the trail, where the start and finish is, changeovers, how the event runs as well as introducing you to the trickier bits of the track and giving tips on how to ride them.

We’ll then do a second loop, this time of the signposted trail (which is easier than the race track) and, if there’s any energy left in the legs, we’ll go for a lap of the Yer Tiz trail in nearby Leigh Woods.

All the trails are Blue graded with the exception of part of the Bikefest loop which is Red.

Out on the Bikefest Trail
Out on the Bikefest Trail

What to expect

Hardpacked gravel surfaces, some mud, some cobblestones, some bare rock and some roots. Three steep, but short climbs, one of which is poorly surfaced. One long fast downhill, which is not technical. Three shorter downhill sections which are more technical, but are not necessarily fast.

What to bring

Camelback/water bottle, some trail snacks, multitool, puncture repair kit/spare tube, pump, helmet, bike!!!

Where to meet?

We’ll be meeting at the Ashton Court Golf Course car park, which is accessible from the Gatehouse entry to the estate.

What’s the best way to get there?

From Swindon, take the M4 West, then the M5 South. Get off the M5 at J19 Easton-in-Gordano and take the A369 . When you see the sports fields on your right, you are getting close. Go straight on at the traffic lights and, as you drop down the hill, the gatehouse will appear on your right. Turn through the gate house and follow the road, turning right up the hill to the car park.

Alternative scenic route is to go into Bristol and head for Clifton and the Suspension Bridge. Cross the bridge (Toll!) and continue straight on. When the road ends, the Gatehouse is directly in front of you.

 

Any questions, please ask below and on the event’s Facebook page.