Tag Archives: october

Empire cycles enduro Round 3 – Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys – 25 October 2014

The final round of the Empire cycles enduro series 2014!

Here at MB Swindon, we’ve been present at both of the other two rounds and absolutely loved them. The riding is awesome, but coupled with brilliant organisation and fantastic facilities, its quickly become one of our favourite events.
It’s a gravity style enduro and in this case, where the transitions are not timed. So its a pedal up in your own time, followed by a timed stage, that generally goes downhill. Expect 20km of riding on the Saturday, 40-50km on Sunday. It’s a similar setup to the Mondraker Gravity Rally (for those of you who have been). Saturday night is generally spent in the Drovers Rest for the pasta party and then filling up on isotonic beer.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • 2 days of some of the best riding in Wales
  • 2 stages of racing on Saturday, 5 stages on Sunday
  • No transition times
  • Full use of event village, hot showers, proper toilets, free tea & coffee making facilities including toast & biscuits
  • Free beer when you get back, free pasta party at the Drovers Rest
  • Bike washDid I mention 2 days of some of the best riding in Wales?

There is an option just to do the Sunday if you can’t make the Saturday as well.

Finally, as if you need any more persuading, MB Swindon club members get 20% off the entry price! See the members only area of the club website for details

For more information and to enter, please see:http://redkite-events.co.uk/event.php?id=20

Here’s the review on round 1: http://www.mbswindon.co.uk/red-kite-empire-cycles-enduro-rd-1-llanwrtyd-wells-26-04-14/

Hopefully see you all there!

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.

 

Weekend trip to Mudtrek (near Brechfa)

Mudtrek logo

Mudtrek describe themselves as “the ski chalet for mountain bikers”. They are located in Wales near the Brechfa trails. See the ride report from October 2013.

The approximate plan is:

  • Arrive Friday evening.
  • Guided ride on Saturday at the Presceli hills (new venue).
  • Sunday do a shorter ride.

The price is £135 per person (provided we have 10 or more which we always have managed previously). That covers accommodation, breakfast, lunch and evening meal for two days (menu). The comfortable accommodation also has washing machines and clothes drying.

FoD it!

2011_12_28 Wednesday FOD 006MBSwindon will be holding a club outing to the Forest of Dean Trail Centre.  The Forest of Dean is a great place to ride for all abilities from a spin around the family trail to full on downhill riding.  More details on the trails can be found at http://www.fodmtb.com/trails/4574213958

We will be meeting at the cafe at the Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre for a coffee and chat.  The plan is then for everybody to split into groups to enjoy riding at their own pace and ability.  We will then meet back up for lunch at the cafe, which serves a big range of hot food (I can recommend the veggie pasties) and cake.  After lunch more riding for those that want to. 

This is not a led ride or a training course, but a chance to go and enjoy a cracking venue with like minded riders.

Final descent of the Verderer's trail in the Forest of Dean

See photos from previous rides.

Trail tidy and raking session

Moving logs at a mountain bike trail.This was our first trail build session after a long gap over the summer (our previous build day had been a tidy session too. Tidy).  This was stage one in our plans for the trail. Stage two in November is shifting 20 tonnes of material to fix some pot holes and resurface the trail on the north side of the pitch. Stage three in December is building some new features.

I arrived at 10am and found a group of about six who were ready to go. As with all of our trail tidy sessions we dispatched a group of litter pickers. The trail generally does pretty well in terms of littering – we gain a few items per month and it had been five months since our last tidy.

The rest of the group then started on the back breaking job of raking leaves off the trail. We do this every year in late October or early November.  See the photos from 2011.

MBSwindon trail build volunteers

There were a lot of branches on the ground from the recent forestry operations. We dragged these into position to block various  short cuts on the trail. A few were on the woodwork near the start and  one in motorway2. We also closed off areas that might provide future short cuts, mainly in motorway2 and also at the final section of the trail.

Mushrooms at a mountain bike trail.The section of trail at the entrance to the triangle had a significant short cut blocked up. This is an area of rock steps that we built in May 2011. Riders had been cutting down the left hand side of this and churning the ground up. We closed off this option by installing more logs and also embedding two slabs into the ground to make the short cut near impossible to ride.

Personnel changed over during the day – Tony Whitford, David Froy and Gary Palmer who had done most of the raking work went and were replaced by Graham Burgess and Neal Middlemore. By 2pm we were over half way round the trail and the main task was to finish the raking. 

A few other jobs were done – Chris Hopkinson and Phil fixed a few wobbly rocks plus one of the wooden steps on the mud pile on Piper’s hill.

By 3:30pm then the five of us had the trail round the pitch to finish raking. We had five people and three rakes so we operated a bit of a rota and pushed on. Graham’s plastic leaf rake was definitely the easiest to use so we had someone at the front with that and two followers with metal leaf rakes to remove the wetter leaves that were stuck to the trail surface.

We finished at about 4:30pm. It was great to have the trail in good shape ready for the next build weekend.

See the complete build diary. Future trail building sessions will be listed on our events page.

Croft Trail evening social/ride

Riding a berm at Croft Trails in Swindon.

An evening/night ride at The Croft Trail. All welcome of any ability level – no one gets left behind on our group rides.

Novice Friendly group starts a few minutes after the main group.

This is a great chance to be given a guided tour of the trails if you’ve never been before and a chance to see the improvements if you have.

Depending on the season then you might need lights. Contact us if you would like to borrow some lights.

Winter (Nov – March)
Proper off-road lights will be necessary, speak to us if you want some advice on how to get into night riding without spending hundreds! 

Spring (March – May)/ Autumn (September – October)
It will be light enough to ride the first lap or two without lights.
After that proper off-road lights will be necessary.

Summer (June – August)
It will be light enough to ride without lights.

We meet in the car park for 19:30, ready to leave at 19:35ish.

We go to the Check Inn at Wroughton after the ride too.

Ride report: Wet weekend in Wales with Mudtrek (with video)

Big puddle at Brechfa.by Anthony Holmes (photos by Tom Stickland & Jay from Mudtrek)

Is spite of a distinctly unpromising weather forecast ten of us finally assembled at MudTrek on Friday evening.

Paul and I stopped off on the way for a spin round the Brechfa Blue/Green option to loosen up our legs for the main event on Saturday, whilst Graham and Tom Scott rode Cwmcarn and the Garw trails.  Richard Ford came via Leisure Lakes in Newport.  Last to arrive (inevitably) was Tom Stickland who then kept everyone awake by talking  well into the early hours!

I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about my 4th visit here having damaged an Achilles Tendon in the FoD two weeks previously and therefore endured an enforced lay-off to try and let it recover.  If I had known what was in store I would probably have volunteered to help Nikki with the washing up and dog walking.

Fortunately the expected heavy rain held off on the Saturday and once Tom Stickland was ready we set off up the hill and then dived down into the Brechfa Forest on familiar trails and an enjoyably steep track.  A short climb and more singletrack and we came to a quarry with a steep back wall.  Dean wasted no time in showing us all how to ride down this more or less on sight. 

Riding the big quarry at Brechfa.

At this point Richard Barnett’s freewheel decided to let go leaving him with no drive at all.  A quick call back to HQ and a spare bike was on the way in the Landrover whilst Richard Sharkey escorted him down to a convenient RV point.  Fortunately this was the only mechanical of the day.  No punctures either which makes a change for an MBS ride!

Mountain biker having a lie down.More climbing and we eventually came to a long, very wet and muddy descent, the only real option being to follow the stream gutter down all the way.  Quite awkward in places; but eventually this led to the first big climb of the day.   This done we re-grouped and then carried on to another descent.

Eventually we all met up at a road bridge for lunch and a hire bike for Richard arrived in the Landy.

More steady climbing followed across open countryside, at one point we found a young fox trapped in a snare; but were fortunately able to release it hopefully unharmed.  At this point the heavy rain arrived, made worse by a series of locked farm gates to negotiate.  After about 50 mins or so the rain eased off just in time for a long and grassy descent to a farm with a cheery farmer and then across a long footbridge over the Afon Cothi.  Most rode down the steps at the far end.

Another climb, a short and steep descent down to a small ford  and we were confronted by Jay’s little surprise!  What followed nearly broke me, the steepest, longest and hardest push up I have ever done from Ynys-Brechfa almost to the top of Parc hill – at least 250 m of vertical ascent.  At one point the only way I could make progress was to push the bike up, apply the brakes, step up to it and repeat etc.  There was a certain amount of muttering in the ranks to say the least.  Eventually however the gradient did ease but presented another problem.  A grassy track with deep ruts on either side.  Walk in the rut but push the bike over heavy grass; walk on the grass but lean over the bike in the rut.  Neither option was too much fun. At the top another gate and although I managed to heave the Five over Jay took pity on me and opened the gate for me.  It was also at this point that Richard Ford demonstrated his cattle handling expertise – to make them move walk towards them waving the arms and shouting F*** Off!  Very impressive.

Pushing a bike up a steep hill.

2013_10_1920_Mudtrek_RedKite 015

A bit of easy track, some road and forest track brought us to the final descent  down through thick forest on a rutted and in places slippery track.  Again the best option was to stay in one of the ruts where at least the rain had washed away the mud.  Good fun and a fine end to the day.

A quick sprint (?) down the road to Abergorlech and it was time to meet up with the Landy , some dry clothes and a slice or two of Margaret Holmes’ Apple cake before diving into the Black Lion pub.  Very welcome indeed and a first for MBS at MudTrek I think.

However it has to be said that Tom Stickland and Tom Scott chose to ride the nine miles back up the hill.  Nutjobs!  The rest of us went back in the Landy and following bike washing, showering, etc were soon ready for Nikki’s excellent Lasagne.

A great day’s mtb’ing and for me at least a hard day indeed.  The big push gave a new meaning to the expression Jay Walking.

Hill near Mudtrek. 

On Sunday some of us went riding.  Tom Stickland went off to some extreme Red Kite XC event.  Paul and I dodged showers to ride the short but excellent Cilycwm trail.  Tom Scott and Graham rode the Raven at Brechfa and then went on to Garw – again.  Others went home for Sunday lunch.

Another epic MudTrek weekend complete then; but I have to mention the fantastic welcome given by our hosts Jay and Nikki, Richard Sharkey and Simon.  It is always a pleasure to stay here and I’m looking forward to another trip next year – as long as I don’t have to push up that hill again Jay!  The Preseli hills sound good?

Route: OS MapGPX. See www.bikehike.co.uk for a great way to create and view maps.

Previous Mudtrek write ups: March 2013 (with video), August2012 (Ladies)October 2012,  February 2012.  Also the Matt Page training weekend. We also helped build the Mudtrek skills park (and we’re going back in 2014).

Weekend trip to Mudtrek (near Brechfa)

Mudtrek logo

Mudtrek describe themselves as “the ski chalet for mountain bikers”. They are located in Wales near the Brechfa trails.

See the ride report from October 2012. We’re also visiting in January 2013 to work on the skills park.

 

Mountain bikers at Mudtrek near Brechfa.The approximate plan is:

  • Arrive Friday evening and drink beer (some might meet at midday and do a ride round a trail).
  • Ride straight from Mudtrek on Saturday with Jay.
  • Sunday do a shorter ride.

The price is £135 per person. That covers accommodation, breakfast, lunch and evening meal for two days (menu). The comfortable accommodation also has washing machines and clothes drying.  There’s guiding on the Saturday plus we’ve negotiated an optional lift to the pub so that everyone can drink if they want to.

Read reviews on Facebook plus this on Bikeradar.

To book a place you’ll need to send a deposit to Tom (email tom at mbswindon dot co dot uk for details).

Facebook event page.

Previous visits to Brechfa: April 2011 and December 2010 plus our Brechfa trail guide.

MudTrek Barn

Croft Trail evening social/ride

Riding a berm at Croft Trails in Swindon.

An evening/night ride at The Croft Trail. All welcome of any ability level – no one gets left behind on our group rides.

Novice Friendly group starts a few minutes after the main group.

This is a great chance to be given a guided tour of the trails if you’ve never been before and a chance to see the improvements if you have.

Depending on the season then you might need lights. Contact us if you would like to borrow some lights.

Winter (Nov – March)
Proper off-road lights will be necessary, speak to us if you want some advice on how to get into night riding without spending hundreds! 

Spring (March – May)/ Autumn (September – October)
It will be light enough to ride the first lap or two without lights.
After that proper off-road lights will be necessary.

Summer (June – August)
It will be light enough to ride without lights.

We meet in the car park for 19:30, ready to leave at 19:35ish.

We go to the Check Inn at Wroughton after the ride too.

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.