Tag Archives: september

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

Weekend trip to Coed-y-brenin with Hit the hills

The Pink Heifer at Coedybrenin

A two day stay with Hit the hills in a catered bunk barn within riding distance of the Coedybrenin trails (see our handy route guide plus the Hit the hills route guide).  The bunk house is opposite a pub and also allows access to the trails via back lanes and tracks.

Special club price of £115 per person (6 meals + accommodation).

For more ideas see this report from the trip  in Sept 2012.

Riding: the trails are all waymarked. Option of driving or riding to the trails. A group will ride to the trails and then there are various choices of route length. Tom is going to do an epic mash up route again if possible.

Rough plan:

  • Friday: arrive at the bunk house. 
  • Saturday: ride the local trails.
  • Sunday: ride the local trails.
  • Monday: back at work?

Facebook event page.

 

 

Red Kite Frozen Devil’s challenge

Downhill in mid Wales.This event is based at Llanwrtyd Wells in mid Wales and offers a 55km off road route.  More info on the Red Kite website. Discount available on accommodation. Email tom at mbswindon co uk for details. 

MBSwindon event facebook page.

Some write ups from similar events: Elan Valley Challenge, Devil’s MTB 2013 and 2012.  See some rides that we did with Red Kite events: Jubilee trip June 2012 , Crychan Forest Dec 2011, MIOWEOW 2011.

Llanwrtyd Wells is also home the Real Ale Wobble.

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.

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.

Dorset camping weekend

That's Nicky
That’s Nicky

We had a great ride in the Purbecks area back in 2011. Local rider Nicky Harries of Dorset Rough Riders likes us so much that she wants us to go back.  As well as a load of natural riding in the area there’s also the downhill tracks at UKBikePark or Melbury Abbass Downhill. We visit UKBikePark regularly since they sponsor our gravity team. See some  typical photos.

The plan from Nicky is:

Staying at the Wood-Hyde campsite near Corfe Castle.

Facebook event page.

Nicky. Again.
Nicky. Again.

Step by Step we Nailed the Ride (Tom’s “Nailsworth It ride”)

By Tim Norris – copied from his blog.

Riding some steps near Selsley common.

After 6 hours of riding and around 1200m climbing (occasionally on foot) we finished what turned into an epic ride at around 4.30pm. We gathered back at the cars in the now pouring rain and agreed it had been a tough ride with something for everyone. The first few rides I went on with MB Swindon that weren’t at a trail centre, were typically cross country rides – start at 10am and finish maybe 4 hours later having pedaled and pushed and puffed and wheezed 30-40km around some mildly hilly part of Wiltshire or South Wales. This kind of ride can become a bit tedious in my opinion and its great to break up a long ride with fun obstacles to challenge and test your abilities or your nerve. This ride delivered in abundance.

Bomb hole jump on Minchinhampton Common

 

Tom lead us around 40km of woodland and Cotswold countryside linking up as many sets of steps, bomb holes and sketchy and slippery descents that he could cram in to keep us all firmly on our toes. Every mile or so there was an obstacle that many rode, some went around and most riders had a laugh at – usually at the expense of someone else!

I am sure that no-one will disagree that the ride yesterday around Nailsworth had a bit of a random feel to it. This didn’t make it any less enjoyable – but after seeing Tom Stickland’s GPX for his previous ride, we couldn’t help but feel the wrong turns were just so he could hit a 40k target for the ride!  Some poetic license is being used here of course as our diversions were only minor ones – apart from the larger ones where there appeared to be no particular path or trail. “we need to get to that wall over there” “the original way down will be impassable today”.  Being totally fair the diversions were mainly because we were having so much fun, usually going down a hill of some sort that we missed a gate or hidden path – and a lot of woodland looks very much like the next piece of woodland!

Rocky chute near Avening.

The descents on this ride were great fun – we even pushed back up a few to ride them again, including one that looked like a stream bed but I think was just a drainage channel. We would normally steer clear of large slippery rocks and stones – but having just ridden down a long rocky descent the site of another section was too much to pass up.

It’s possible we rode down 7 or 8 sets of steps on this ride – I lost count. None were particularly dangerous as its just a matter of pointing the bike down and letting gravity and the suspension deal with the rest. Apart from the last set that only Tom, Graham and myself rode to (the rest of the group sensibly decided that they had had enough) – this set of greasy, wet wooden steps went around a corner and all three of us had a slippery moment trying to negotiate them. If this wasn’t enough Graham spotted a drop in to the same car park  – “that looks like it might be fun”.  The three of us pushed up the bank and had a look – it didn’t look like much fun from the top but we weren’t going to be beaten. Finding the line without catching a pedal was going to be tricky. After much discussion and a few false starts we all did it – the last obstacle of the day can go one way or another and after a hilariously out of control descent by Tom we decided that enough was enough – we had survived unscathed and it was time to head back.

Mountain biking on Minchinhampton Common.

After such a great summer I had almost forgotten what it was like to slide sideways down a muddy bank, find that my brakes don’t work on wet grass, or twitch a little as my front wheel gives on a muddy corner; but I am glad that I dragged myself out for this ride. My first instinct on Sunday morning was to roll over and go back to sleep, but I realised if I bailed on a ride in September because it was a bit wet, what on earth was I going to do for the next 6 months!

The conditions weren’t actually that bad and the weather was kind to us until the very end of the ride where Mother Nature tried to give us some not so subtle hints to clear off home and have some a shower!

I was discussing with a friend on Saturday night different forms of exercise and how I could  probably work my body as much in a gym for an hour as I do committing most of a day to a mountain bike ride. I set out 3 years ago to get a bike and get fit – but getting fitter and burning calories has become a secondary benefit of this exercise.

Now I ride my bike for the scenery, fun, social and the memories.

Riding steps near Stroud.

2013_09_15 Nailsworth It Ride 049

Some photos from the ride recce (done in May!)

Course map: 12.6km (7.8miles) / 72m of ascent: OS MapGPX. View on Bikehike.co.uk.