Gorrick Spring Series Races

January 22, 2013

Here are the dates and venues for the Spring race series. All of them are reachable reasonably easily by train from London. If you’re no racing whippet it’s still a great idea to do the fun race at a leisurely pace, as it’s a great way to find and learn new trails.

Rnd 2: Sunday 17 February – Tunnel Hill, Pirbright, Mytchett, Hants.
Rnd 3: Sunday 3 March – Crowthorne Wood, Bracknell Rd, Crowthorne, Berks.
Rnd 4: Sunday 24 March – Porridge Pot Hill, Deepcut, Camberley, Surrey.
Rnd 5: Sunday 7 April – Frith Hill, Deepcut, Camberley, Surrey.

(Round one was cancelled due to the Swinley trailbuilding works).

More info from http://www.gorrick.com/

Snowy Surrey Hills Ride

January 20, 2013

Snowy Surrey Hills Ride

Three of us were out in the snow today. We did a fairly modest ride from Leatherhead, up onto Ranmore, down into the valley then up and over to Dorking Station. Snowy rides like this are great fun and total eye candy but you can’t cover the same amount of ground as the going is quite heavy. Lovely ride! No mud! Click the photo to see more photos.

This is pretty good, particularly as it’s free!

http://www.imbikemag.com/issue21

We’re planning a Surrey Hills ride for Sunday 20th. Looks like we’re probably heading for the 09:02 Dorking train from Waterloo. Keep an eye on the email group if you’re interested. Hope the cold weather continues and all the mud is frozen!
http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/london_mtb/

New Bike Park at Merthy Tydfil

This looks like fun. Unfortunately, it takes 3h16 by train from Paddington. Still, might be worth an away-day when it’s finished!

http://www.chopmtb.com/2013/01/14/check-out-the-plans-for-bikepark-wales-its-like-a-whistler-for-trail-riders/

http://www.bikeparkwales.com/

It seems the Olympic Mountain Biking track will remain more or less as it was for the Games, but with the addition of additional obstacles in front of the technical sections to deter the unwary and divert them onto a chicken run. It’s nice to see a sensible approach, for a change, instead of the usual excessively cautious approach to health and safety.

http://forums.bikemagic.com/showthread.php/107740-The-future-of-Hadleigh-Farm-Olympic-track

Trail Ride

January 5, 2011

For anyone interested in getting a bit of dirt under their tyres this weekend, here’s a Trail Break event within easy striking distance of London.

http://bit.ly/e9o80v

Looks easy enough by train [08:15 Waterloo to Godalming 09:00]

We all went our different directions over the Xmas/NY break, for various reasons.

On 30th Jan, the Berks on Bikes MTB club was in town for their annual City Slickers ride, which involves about 50 miles of riding from Chiswick to Docklands and back, mostly along the Thames Path, usually with lots of A bike and some snowdiversions to test the bikes’ suspension on flights of steps. One of the riders couldn’t quite manage to ride back up the steps in front of the fountains in Battersea Park so, instead of the straightforward approach, he demonstrated a much more impressive ascent. Starting by trackstanding his 7″-fork hardtail parallel with the bottom step, he started to hop sideways up one step at a time, trials-style. He made it right to the top: very impressive!

Three of us went out on New Years Day to Swinley for a short blast. Though all the snow had melted, the mud wasn’t too bad. It’s the best way to kick off a new year, for sure!

Epping Forest in the snow.

December 5, 2010

Kevin riding by the shore of a frozen lake

A couple of us went to Epping Forest on a Friday off, as it looked as though the snow was going to melt on Saturday or Sunday so we wanted to make the most of it while it lasted.

Getting there by rail was easier than I expected, using the Overground to Hackney Central then riding round the corner to Hackney Downs to catch a train to Chingford. There are direct trains to Chingford from Liverpool St.

Trail conditions were pretty good. The snow was only a couple of inches deep and the mud below was frozen. Epping can be a real bog in the wet, so it’s at its winter best when frozen. It was a bit difficult to be sure of following the singletrack trails as they can be hard to find in the snow but it was a good ride nevertheless. Looks like there’s a lot more singletrack than I’d previously realised. I’m going to make more of an effort to learn my way around Epping Forest for future rides.

Winter ride, Chilterns

November 28, 2010

Don’t put your bike away for the winter! Frozen ground makes for excellent riding. It’s much easier to ride on frozen mud than wet mud.

Two of us did a 40km loop in the Chiltern Hills today and all the mud was frozen solid so the trails were hard and fast. It was a lovely day out: blue skies; crystal-frosted grass; frozen ponds; even a pair of red kites.

For winter riding you just need to make sure you’re wearing lots of layers. Today called for: fat winter hiking socks; winter boots; padded lycra winter tights; baggy trousers; short sleeve merino baselayer; long sleeve merino baselayer; microfleece; light waterproof; two buffs; pisspot helmet with no vents; glove liners and the thickest gloves available. That did the trick.

I also carry a spare pair of waterproof sealskinz socks after an unfortunate incident last winter at Swinley when I slipped and plunged both feet into a big, icy puddle, filling both boots with ice-cold water. I’m not letting that happen again!

Unfortunately, today’s route would be sliced in half by the proposed HS2 train link, which is planned to plough straight through the Chilterns designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s difficult to see the justification for this when it would shave only 20 minutes off the journey between London and Birmingham. The current journey time is already only 1:22, which seems hardly likely to deter anyone. Join the campaign here http://stophs2.org/

Sign up with http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/london_mtb/ to be notified of future rides.

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