Tag Archives: report

2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Please remember that to be able to vote on items at the AGM (constitution changes, committee elections) you will need to be a valid MB Swindon member. So please check your membership is up to date. If you’ve misplaced / lost your card you can check your renewal date on the website – www.mbswindon.co.uk/membersonly

This year’s AGM will include the following items on the agenda:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of 2018, including:
    • Financial summary
    • Membership review
    • Events round-up
  3. Amendments to the constitution
  4. Election of Committee roles
  5. Any other business (AOB)

Questions and feedback can be sent in advance via email to info@mbswindon.co.uk

Amendments to constitution

You will find the proposed changes to the constitution in the following document – MB Swindon Constitution – 2016 to 2019 changeMB Swindon Constitution – 2016 to 2019 change v2 due to a requested amendment to point 6 around payments from club funds.

Should you have any comments or questions in relation to these changes please send them by email to info@mbswindon.co.uk in advance of the meeting.

Election of Committee roles

Should the amendments to the constitution be accepted, the following roles will be available for election:

  • Chairperson
  • Treasurer
  • Club / Membership Secretary
  • Events Officer

If you would like to put yourself forward for one of the available roles, please email your name and position interested in to info@mbswindon.co.uk by 19:00 Friday 22 February.


IF the constitutional changes are NOT accepted, then no elections will take place at the AGM and a special general meeting (SGM) will be called at a later date to carry out the Committee elections.

2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

It’s that time of year where we report back on what the club has achieved, take a look at the statistics and accounts. We will also be holding the elections for the following Committee positions:

  • Chairperson
  • Ladies Officer
  • Social Events Officer

If you are interested in any of the vacancies please feel free to contact the current position holder, contact details on the Club Staff page. Alternatively take a look at the Club Constitution which describes the roles.

Agenda

  1. Introduction and welcome
  2. Review of the year
    • Finances
    • Rides and events
    • Ladies activities
    • Croft trail
  3. Election
  4. Discussion

We will also have a presentation from BMX Wroughton on the progress of the Wroughton Pump Track build.

Any questions please drop us an email – info@mbswindon.co.uk

Please remember that to be able to vote on items at the AGM (Committee elections) you will need to be a valid MB Swindon member. So please check your membership is up to date. If you’ve misplaced / lost your card you can check your renewal date on the website – www.mbswindon.co.uk/membersonly

Food

If you fancy a bite to eat ahead of the meeting, The White Hart serve a carvery until 6pm.

2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Please remember that to be able to vote on items at the AGM (committee elections) you will need to be a valid MB Swindon member. So please check your membership is up to date. If you’ve misplaced / lost your card you can check your renewal date on the website – www.mbswindon.co.uk/membersonly

This year’s AGM will include the following items on the agenda:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of 2016, including:
    • Financial summary
    • Events round-up
    • Overview of recent Membership Survey
  3. Election of Committee roles
  4. Any other business (AOB)

Questions and feedback can be sent in advance via email to info@mbswindon.co.uk

Election of Committee roles

The following roles are available for election:

  • Treasurer – Jason re-standing
  • Events Officer
  • Social Events Officer

Details of what the roles require can be found in the Club Constitution under point 4.

If you would like to put yourself forward for one of the available roles, please email your name and position interested in to info@mbswindon.co.uk.

2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Please note that due to room capacity limitations we require you to notify us of your intention to attend. Please email info@mbswindon.co.uk by 23:00 Friday 26 February.

Please remember that to be able to vote on items at the AGM (constitution changes, committee elections) you will need to be a valid MB Swindon member. So please check your membership is up to date. If you’ve misplaced / lost your card you can check your renewal date on the website – www.mbswindon.co.uk/membersonly

This year’s AGM will include the following items on the agenda:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of 2015, including:
    • Financial summary
    • Events round-up
    • Overview of recent Membership Survey
  3. Introduction to club strategy
  4. Amendments to the constitution
  5. Election of Committee roles
  6. Any other business (AOB)

Questions and feedback can be sent in advance via email to info@mbswindon.co.uk

Amendments to constitution

You will find the proposed changes to the constitution in the following document – Proposed changes to the constitution.

Should you have any comments or questions in relation to these changes please send them by email to info@mbswindon.co.uk in advance of the meeting.

Election of Committee roles

Should the amendments to the constitution be accepted, the following roles will be available for election:

  • Chairperson
  • Club / Membership Secretary – Kat re-standing
  • Ladies Officer – Debbie re-standing

If you would like to put yourself forward for one of the available roles, please email your name and position interested in to info@mbswindon.co.uk by 23:00 Saturday 20 February.

The following people have put themselves forward for the available positions:

  • Chairperson – Chris Hopkinson
  • Club / Membership Secretary – Kat Ratcliffe
  • Ladies Officer – Debbie Davies

IF the constitutional changes are NOT accepted, then no elections will take place at the AGM and a special general meeting (SGM) will be called at a later date to carry out the Committee elections.

Painful Painswick 2 ride report

Ride report from Gary Palmer 

All those days my neighbours had been wondering what I was doing in the back yard had paid off, the sun dance had worked. Although a bit chilly it was going to be a nice day, it had been dry for over a week so I knew the trails would be running great, this ride in the wet is a total different game.

8 of us in the Stratford park car park, nice to see a couple of new faces with Alex & Richard a quick briefing of what was to come, quickly brushing over that there was an 8 mile climb to get us warmed up, I don’t think anybody believed me so that was alright. I had no back marker today so I made sure I stayed at the back on this climb.  🙂

First part of this ride takes us up through the slad valley and the Woolpack pub, which is famous for being a hangout of Laurie Lee the author of Cider with Rosie. Should of called in, maybe a bit early for rough scrumpy.

Just after the pub we take a right which puts us into a delightful climb up through Tom George’s race horse stables and across the gallops, pick up a bridle way through some woods that takes us past a scrap yard that is in the middle of nowhere, proper redneck country this, wonder what the real purpose of the scrap yard is.

Back out on to the main road for a couple of miles up to Birdlip. Finally we’re at the top, everyone looks fresh, I didn’t have a mirror to look at myself, I’m guessing I wasn’t looking that fresh (bloody hills).

This is where the fun starts, there is some great single track in these woods and most of it is heading in the right direction, there is a great bomb hole down this track so we decided to give it a go, looks worse than it really is, promise. Hats of to Richard that was the closest to coming off and sticking with it I’ve seen I a fair while, fair play.

Image: Gary Palmer
Image: Gary Palmer

After a few goes at this we moved on, the next bit is nice and fast, you need to do it a few times to get the feel of it, you could scare yourself quite easily down there.

We all shot out on to the track, the last time we did this ride we went right and rode over to coopers hill, this time I decided to go left and try out Cranham woods, let’s see if we could get lost in there, nearly succeeded, the leafs are starting to fall and you can soon miss the track, came across the first hill climb trial of the day which Paul succeeded in doing with plenty of grunting,

More twisty single track and then we crossed the road to make our way up to the famous track called the wall, so called because it crosses a wall several times (clever that).

The last time we did this with the club the senior Allum brother had a close encounter with a tree, you’ll be glad to hear Paul that it has been removed, all safely down

We made our way across the A46 to the Painswick side of the woods, hill climb test No 2 coming up, starts off steady then gets steep and at the worst bit it’s full of roots and rocks (special), nobody made it this time.

By the time I got to the top food was being had, had to break the news that we were going back down, had to do this loop it’s got a great fast decent which if you don’t watch it when you go up the other side you’ll get air and miss the turn, brilliant. Only trouble we had to do the gnarly climb again, several close attempts this time. Graham must have had three goes at it, bloody close, no doubt on a revisit this will not defeat him 🙂 Now it was time for food.

Another great decent coming up, everybody made the sharp left turn, which is a big climb back up if you don’t, picked up some g force on a bomb hole like track crossing and then down the steep, rooty decent on to the bottom track, fair play, everyone made it, which doesn’t always happen 🙂

Double track for a bit now, taking in the quagmire horse track (pleasant) and a couple of miles on road to take us back to the village of Edge. Back into the woods to climb up one of my favourite descents in the area, beats riding on the road though, this eventually took us back to Haresfield beacon car park; we missed the ice cream truck and carried on.

Another good bit of single track, plenty of roots to keep you awake and trees to hug if you should get it wrong, around about this time Richard developed a bit of the old cyclists pleasure called cramp, or not quite cramp but bloody near, after a quick talk we decided to leave him where we were and promised to come back round and pick him up in about twenty minutes, brave man for agreeing to that, you never know what comes out of them there woods, off we went. After a bit of climbing we picked up another single track decent, blooming brilliant, twisty, sketchy, a 6 inch tree to jump which makes you feel like you’re ace at jumping and a steep exit on to a track, this track can be a right tasty climb, half way up we stopped in the quarry for the crazy gang to have a bit of fun on the drop ins, I decided to not take part (for obvious reasons), bit more mucking about at the top and then we made our way back to pick up Richard, nothing had eaten him, amazing!!

All downhill now back to where we came from, a walk through a church yard, a squeeze through some stone stiles (literally), down a stony track, down some long steps and up a bit of a hill to the car park in Stratford Park.

I certainly enjoyed myself I hope you all did to.

Cheers all

Gary

12112343_10153625872604235_
Image: Gary Palmer
IMG_2385
Image: Ania Zielnik
IMG_2386
Image: Ania Zielnik
Image: Ania Zielnik
Image: Ania Zielnik

Thriller in The Hills Ride Report

Phil Allum’s ride report:-

The Thriller in the Hills is a local route we’ve done a few times now. It was originally conceived as a way to link lots of fun bits together; namely Rickety Bridge, Rockley, Ladder lane and the infamous Croft Trail.

Something must of sounded appealing as we had a great turnout of 18 for this ride, the biggest group I’ve had for a while. It might of just been the weather that was appealing, beautiful blue sky and not even a chance of rain; a perfect early September Sunday.

There were some fun descents which all had to be earned. Setting off around the first half of Croft to Pete’s steps was a good leg warmer for the onset of the hills. The first half of the ride contained climbing Hodson, Barbury road climb and the radio mast all early on. But the downy bits were the Gun club and Rickety bridge which balances it out quite a bit. The second half contained much more descending , but first there was the brutal climb up the side of the church at Rockley. This was a good trade off to allow us to come down the singletrack on the other side. From here we had the last real climb left, which was up 4 mile clump back to Barbury Castle. It was about this point that I found out that most people hate this one, too much of a slog apparently. Oh well, we’re here now….

From Barbury it was down the hill fort, a short ride through Overtown to Ladder lane then back to Pete’s steps to finish off the second half of the Croft Trail.

It was great to see so many people out on their bikes, everyone said they had a blast which is always good, even if they were lying. Regular faces, not so regular faces and a few which had chosen this ride as their first with the club; it was a right old friendly bunch who decdided to take on this classic local xc ride. The only negative feedback I did receive was that I’m not allowed to use the term ‘slightly overgrown’ anymore…

Big thanks for all who joined me, please have a watch of Michael Duller’s video, which as always is a great little edit.

Hope to see you on the trails soon!

U
Ready for the off
U
SIngletrack
U
Thrilling Hills

U

U

Race Report – Red Kit/Empire Bikes Enduro RD3

James Scott of the MB Swindon Gravity Team gives us another report of the weekend’s racing.

Round 3 of the Red Kite / Empire Bikes Enduro and it was another     cracker. This time around the loop was shorter coming in at around 23km and 900+metres of climbing (if you rode the stages in order).

Empire Cycles Enduro Rd3_5

The format remained the same with practice Saturday morning on stages 1-4, then in the afternoon we raced stages 1-3 and Sunday was racing 5 stages with stage 5 being raced blind – got that? Good, lets proceed!

I arrived at the Coed Trallwym trail centre at about 9:30 Saturday morning to register, was shortly joined by team mate Phil Allum and Leon Cardy-Stewart and almost immediately we were advised to give stage 1 a walk as it was the most technical and steepest stage of the race… intriguing. Luckily we could see the finish line from where we’d parked so wellies were donned and off up the hill we went. Straight away we could tell how much fun it was going to be with truly freshly marked out tracks – barely a tyre track on them! A third of the way up the hill we faced steep bit of the stage, several switch backs cut into a muddy hillside meant that you’d need some confidence in your front tyre grip. The track “flattened out” towards the top so we skipped that bit and walked across to join stage 2 which was a trail centre descent promising some good speed, jumps and drifty flat corners.

Empire Cycles Enduro Rd3_4

Back at the carpark the bikes were straight out and after meeting up with Gary Lee and enduro newbie Richard Rowe we pedalled up to start practice. The climb up to stages 1 and 2 was surprisingly manageable, maybe we had a tailwind this weekend but I’d happily spend all day riding that hillside. As we’d seen what the stages offered we warmed up on stage 2 then faced the onslaught of the steep stage 1. After getting the bottom grinning like mad men we felt another run of 1 would be a good idea, it was an easy climb and feeling confident of what was approaching would definitely help. More slip sliding later and we considered practicing the other stages, Phil and I had ridden stage 3 at round 1 and after hearing how tough the climb was we recommended leaving that to race it blind and save some energy. The loop up to stage 4 was relatively quick so we got that out the way and back to the cafe to warm up. The weather hadn’t been too bad, it wasn’t too cold and there wasn’t much rain – mainly the annoying drizzly mist which blurs up glasses and goggles to make them useless!

Empire Cycles Enduro Rd3_3

The afternoon racing went off without too much issue, I got caught out by a tree stump on stage 3 and Phil seemed to have trouble staying on the bike! But we were soon finished and while Gary and Rich went to relax in their room at the Drovers Rest, Phil, Leon and I got the tents up and were happy to see we weren’t the only ones taking that option. A quick shower and then down to the Drovers Rest for the first pint and put the order in for our free pasta. I’ve said it before but it’s a great idea getting everyone together in the evening with free food and a chance to talk to others about the days racing. A few pints later and it was an early night for all. Great idea number 2 was stopping at the Drovers Rest in the morning for a full welsh breakfast, it tasted delicious and set you up perfectly for the day. No cold cereal in the tent this time!

Off to Coed Trallwym and thanks to a free bike wash used several times the day before we were ready to ride straight away. We followed the stages in order but others decided to get stage 3 done and the nasty climb out the way on fresh legs – a good idea that one. The day went well again for all MB Swindoners, a smattering of crashes but nothing serious – oh and Gary getting into a sheep traffic jam part way down stage 2!

Empire Cycles Enduro Rd3_1

The weather had been good for Sunday which was a relief, the stages had been immense fun we really couldn’t have asked for too much more.

Neil the organiser had spent quite a bit of time in the last few weeks crafting some brilliant fresh cut descents only for the good old welsh rain to wash them down the hill so they’ve been put on hold for 2015 and the stages for this round looked like this:

Stage 1 – A quick sprint into a gently descending section you could flow and hold a steady speed with little pedalling, over a couple of rock/wood gardens (photos tell a thousand words!). Straight line a chicken run which was quicker than the difficult drop line and then it was into the steeps, I think you had to accept your rear would be sliding everywhere and just concentrate on holding a line with the front. Even that rarely worked and 2 wheeled drifts were common place. Over some wooden bridges, up and down a tricky bus stop, across a fireroad and down a steep shale slope to gain speed into the long final straight which had boggy rock gardens, jumps, stumps and ruts – hold your nerve, stay off the brakes and go straight!

On Sunday due to the steep hillside becoming claggy the stage was re-routed with some long straights. I preferred the corners as they kept your speed down and conditions of the new track weren’t much better.

Empire Cycles Enduro Rd3_2

Stage 2 – Was all gravelly trail centre surface. A few slippery flat corners to lose your confidence, a 100m sprint to lose your lungs and then some long fast straights with switch backs, jumps and rollers. The bottom was more slippery flat corners which were in sight of the finish. Perfect for your waiting mates to cheer when you washed out!

Stage 3 – A repeat from round 1, the first long straight had a couple s-bend kinks to wake you up and catch you out, a super fast bumpy fireroad descent to make your bike skip around under you. A bit of trail centre singletrack which spat you out into a short sharp climb – just long enough to really make the legs and lungs burn. More gravel singletrack and down a few steep slopes across the finish.

Stage 4 – The blue trail centre descent where you needed to have confidence on the route, foliage meant that corners could come out from nowhere and braking at the wrong point would sap your speed for some short up slopes. The middle had a good section where you could pick up speed and was great fun and the singletrack carried on right to the finish. A deceivingly pedally stage that one.

Stage 5 – Kept secret till Sunday afternoon, Neil had spent several days chainsawing through fallen trees and clearing this old route. And we were glad he did! A long first straight with a load of bumpy ruts definitely tested your nerve, a fire road sprint and then the whole bottom stage was slightly more gentle than stage 1 but much in the same vein. The mud creating a lack of grip that was always entertaining down some fast straights to the finish.

After fine tuning the races this year 2015 promises to be a real cracker and by far and away the best value enduro race series out there.

(CAUTION: Video contains occasional swearage and childish giggling – Ed)

Results:

Overall, James came 7th and Phil got a great 5th place collecting three 3rd places on the Sunday stages! Great work.

Thanks to Neil at Red Kite events and the rest of our sponsors, DriftRiding.co.uk, High 5, Hargroves Cycles and Fibrax for helping us out this year!

Ride Report: Ladies ‘And there may be cake ride’

Words and photos: Debbie Davies

upsidedownriding
So the day starts at Barbury Castle car park with Sarah , Caroline, Sharon, Kat, Kaye, Iryda and myself and the usual discussions of what is the best coat to take . We leave those tyre pressure conversations to the men.

An overcast sky greeted us as we set off over the Barbury Fort and on towards Hackpen hill. The first incline saw all the previously discussed coats being shed as the sun started to break through. Yet again a ladies ride was blessed with lovely weather.

P1010076_optimised

There was a brief diversion into the woods at the top of the hill to play on a few of the mini jumps and then it was on towards the promised cake stop.

It was along the byway near Tottendown woods where our good deed of the day was completed and a lost little dog was reunited with her owner. More Miss Marple than Caped Crusader but it was the perfect excuse to recover from the hill climb but we wont tell any one that! Then onwards, with lots of chat in the process, towards Avebury and that cake.

ladiesaveburycake

The cafe didn’t disappoint with some great home made baking and refreshments. There was a chance to catch up with more chat and a bit of 4 wheeled play with some very cute tractors. I blame it all on Kat!

tractorracing

The return route picked up some grassy bridleways, that led to some unexpected nettles along the trail. I promise they weren’t there a month ago. We are hardcore though so the complaints were few and only a handful of Dock leaves lost their lives at the end of the trail.

The bridleways through Winterbourne Bassett and Broad Hinton were very dry and quickly completed along with a couple of miles along quiet lanes. It was then back towards the Ridgeway from Uffcott along more Bridleways and some very rutted tracks that caused some hilarity at the back as we tried to find the perfect route …there wasn’t one.

The steepest hill of the ride came at this point and it was a challenge to see who could reach the top still riding. I hadn’t mentioned the fact that the route climbed all the way home and there was more to come.  The next hill, up the grass side of Barbury Castle, was where we had our one and only mechanical failure and left Sharon with a non playing bike. Sarah to the rescue with some ‘out of the box’ thinking and we made our slow way back across the last field to the cars and another bit of cake . I did say ‘there may be cake’!

bikelifting

piggybiking

A big Thank You to the Ladies that came and yet again made it a relaxed social ride, nettles aside!

Ride report: Uley 6th Oct 2012 first timer’s view

By Stefan James

Link the main ride report.

Mountain bike group near Dursley.

I turned up at the rendezvous having no idea what to expect. From the comments on the website and facebook group I was expecting about half a dozen people, but there ended up being fourteen of us. I often cycle with my five year old; this was going to be quite different.

Once everyone’s bike was set up and we’d all signed the ‘register’, we set off on a nice downhill cruise through the village. Two minutes later, I got my first insight into how riding in a group is different to going solo. We came to a hill which I would normally ride straight past, considering it to be impassable. However, this was our route for the day, and so we all had a go at it.

OK… it turned out to be incredibly muddy, so we all had to get off and push anyway! But the point still stands – riding with others made me try things I wouldn’t do by myself. This is where the ‘Novice-friendly‘ tag is important. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the ride will be easy, but you will get the encouragement, support and all the time you need to do what you can.

The ride itself was pretty challenging throughout and heavy rain the day before meant we were often grinding our way through ankle-deep mud. (At one point, Gary asked me what my bike was. My bike is bright red with a big white FELT written on the frame; that’s how muddy it was!) As the ride progressed, I found that I was constantly setting myself challenges: keep up with the rider in front, don’t be the first to give up on a hill, etc. So again, I found that riding with others was having a very positive effect.

Cam long down

The ride leaders – Gary at the front and Pat at the back – made sure that there were plenty of short breaks to ensure that the group stayed together, and people moved forward and backward through the group throughout the day, so there was never a feeling that the fast riders were being held up by the slower ones. I think this was one of the most important factors in everyone having such a good time.

Two thirds of the way around we stopped at a pub. I had a sandwich and a coke – I’m not sure I’d have made the last few miles with a beer inside me! This was a good chance to chat with a few of the others, who were a good mix of first-timers and experienced club members. This is one of the real strengths of the club – there’s no sense that the senior club members look down on the less experienced, but seem to genuinely enjoy sharing their excitement about riding with new people.

A nice downhill from the pub led us to a big, ugly uphill. Just as I was congratulating myself on making it all the way to the top, we turned off the road and started up an even bigger one. I pushed my bike all the way, and still had to stop three or four times to rest. However, the view from the top was spectacular, and all that ‘up’ meant that there had to be a big ‘down’ at the other end. After a couple of sharp switchbacks, I found myself on a grassy slope, both wheels locked but still moving, and adopting the ‘negative’ position I could see some of the others taking up. Quite exhilarating!

After the last mile or so along country lanes and back to our start point, I was amazed to find that we had been riding for more than five hours. Despite all the puffing and panting on the hills, the time really had flown, and I was left with a feeling of real satisfaction at having taken on a far more challenging ride than I am used to, and completing it.

Link the main ride report.

Cam long down bike
Steffan on the final descent

Ride report: Black mountains 7th Oct

By Tim Norris

y Das mountain biking

Ten of us gathered at the elusive car park half way up the Grwyne Fawr Reservoir valley a little north of Abergavenny (South Wales) – for an epic ride that certainly lived up to expectations of being tough on mind and body (event description).

I’d spent the previous week on Facebook revealing my trepidation and hesitancy of actually going on this ride. However, due to my love of long climbs up big hills *sarcasm* I went and this ride is one I will never forget.

The Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons are one of the harshest landscapes in the UK for walkers, climbers and Her Majesty’s finest – yes we were in the SAS back yard! Rolling hills, high peaks, loose rocks, boggy ground and shifting weather patterns are the norm in this beautiful yet brutal part of the country – too much? No it felt brutal!

Straight from the car park at about 10.30 we were off on a short road ride then on to the first climb of the day. A long and surprisingly technical in places climb that elevated us 700m above sea level, approx 400m from where we had set off. The climb to the top of Y Das is a long relatively straight one and as the valley has lots of water feeding the reservoir all along the climb there were rivulets of  providing some technical negotiation of the rocks and in places quite deep water.

View from Y Das in the Black Mountains

Top of Y Das on mountain bike.

The climb was the longest but not steepest of the day and we were all looking forward to the almost legendary down hill section on the other side. Unfortunately the national park wardens and safety officers had gone a bit mad and decided to resurface almost the entire descent. Unfortunately for us they were still in the process of doing this, so the hill looked like the serious end of B&Q.  At least we could have ridden down a resurfaced descent. With work in progress we were faced with building materials every few metres.

So off we set navigating and weaving our way through huge bags of hardcore waiting for even the smallest break so we could ride properly. About 2/3 down he hillside we were clear of the building matter and could get on with the matter of riding and descending! 

Y Das descent on bike.

Rock step on Y-Das descent.After a short stop at the big switchback while Tom went off looking for photo opportunities  we were off again and having fun…

A puncture from yours truly (I really should learn to keep mouth shut) afforded a short breather and no doubt detailed discussion of how gnarly some of the technical features were.

The rest of ride took in one small and two more large climbs accruing a total of 1171 meters in elevation gain for the day.  For those that have climbed or ridden Snowdon it might not sound that much but it was tough going. So steep in places that only a machine could pedal up (yes Tom did) and we found ourselves pushing and carrying the bikes sometimes for 30 mins or more at a time.

In return for what probably sounds like hard work we had the opportunity of a couple of pretty quick descents including a really long one (before our last climb). This really let the bikes pick up some speed and we had fun hitting the feeders, streams and channels at pace, avoiding rocks and hopping holes along the way.

Steep descent in the Black Mountains.One of the highlights for me was a really steep descent into a tricky stream crossing provided one of the best photo opportunities of the day and gave one or two of us the chance to drop the seat post and really enjoy a bit of technical descending.

The second highlight was the final descent to the car park, not because it meant the car and ultimately home was waiting but because it was a real down hill treat! A steep muddy trail through the trees with huge (really huge) rocks and drops that made the climbs worthwhile.

I have ridden Black rated trails in Morzine which didn’t compare to this treacherous but smile inducing final section of the ride. There we a few ‘offs’, lots of laughter and a fair amount of white knuckle moments which all resulted in some high spirited banter about how crazy and dangerous it was when we all spilled out into the clearing at the bottom of the final gulley!

After 26 miles and 6 hours later, despite the moaning and planning to lynch Tom during the long climbs, I think everyone had a superb day out, one that gave the each of us the opportunity to test every bit of riding skill we had or never knew we had.

Did I mention that we spent 6 hours in the mountains in Wales in October and it didn’t rain? Cymru am byth!

Route map OS MapGPX, BikeHike image.

Nearby rides: Brecon Gap, Cambrian mountains, Real Ale Wobble.