Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Afan - February 2009

Right, firstly let me apologise for the lack of input to this blog for the last month, that's an apology from me as well as everyone else that has access to create posts (you know who you are).

On going discussions (with who ever was out riding) mean we have come up with the following proposal.

Date: Weekend of the 21st and 22nd February 2008
Ride/s: Saturday 21st White's Level Trail - Distance 15km Climb 525m Time 1.5 to 3hrs
Sunday 22nd The Wall - Distance 23km Climb 450m Time 1.5 to 3hrs
(Optional Ride: Friday evening (night ride, Lights) Cwmcarn - Distance ? Climb ? Time appox 1.5hrs?)
For further details on the trails check out
Saturday ride currently afternoon to allow those unable to travel on the Friday to arrive, Sunday ride morning to allow time to travel home during the afternoon.

Don't know what there is available in the villages but I'm sure they have pubs in wales, and I do hear that they are fairly keen on food also. There are cafes available for breakfasts or kitty for cook ourselves.

There appears to be a plethera of available accomodation cottages/houses to rent for the weekend within the villages of Glyncorrwg, Cymer and Abercregan (the 3 villages at the start/finish of the routes) going rate for Friday - Sunday for upto six appears to be approx £250 total. What we book depends upon the numbers and availability, so now we come to the crunch!!!!

If you are seriously interested to coming on this little jaunt then its time to stump up the cash.
I would like to book accomodation this side of xmas so £30 secures your spot ASAP but no later than 19th December 2008.

To give an idea of numbers those showing an interest already (but yet to pay) are:
Me, Simon (my little bro), Blox (+2 others), Richard, Neil, Andy, Paul, Xmasy.

Any questions or comments please get straight back to me via blog, text, phone or email.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Afan in Feb

Afan sounds like a great idea. Count me in for discussions Fuz! Richard

Friday, 17 October 2008

Sunday 19th October THIS SUNDAY

The majority vote is for a trip to Woburn (I'm sure we can find our way without Richard).
So meet in the Registry Office car park at 9:00am I have room in the car for 1 other. Any problems ring me!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Afan - February 2009

February 2009 (probably mid feb) but open to discussion, as is the duration, accomodation, transport and routes riden. Initial thoughts were travel there Friday evening/ Saturday morning, Saturday & Sunday rides, home by Sunday evening. Pissed and food Saturday night.
Accomodation, camper/ tents, though being February house, cottage, bunkhouse or B&B might be a relatively cheap option.
All interested please leave a comment so that we can include you in the disscussions, I went last month and it is awesome, well worth the effort, so come on express an interest and leave a comment. This is open to all viewing this blog not just those that ride with us regularly (that is assuming that anyone else actually bothers to read this blog let alone visit it!)

Sunday 12th October 2008

Final change of plan agreed on Saturday evening and Sunday saw a new meeting place, Registry Office car park on Woburn St, no not the long awaited marriage of Blox and his beloved Trek, but a convenient launch pad for a trip to Woburn woods. Three of us made it, Richard, Neil and myself, bikes in or on cars (minimise travel time, maximise ride time) Richard led the way to a car park somewhere in the woods and so began the marvellous mystery tour for Neil and myself as we took it in turns to blindly follow Richards back wheel around the wood’s tracks and trails.
At times Woburn golf course appeared through the woods but for all I had any idea as to where I was it may as well have been St Andrews (or given the weather on the day maybe Augusta!). Great single track, plenty of sand and roots and lots of trees (some are quite close together as Neil seemed consistently (but probably only occasionally) to find out) (apparently the bars on his new Trek are three inches wider than on his old one) I just call it poor spatial awareness!
Back to the cars absolutely knackered, but very happy with a good two hours ride, only to be told by Neil’s computer we’d only managed 10 miles!! I blame it on my snapping yet another spoke in the back wheel!
Thanks to Richard for acting as tour guide, another couple of times and one of us others may be able to remember some of the route!

Wednesday 8th October 2008

With the bike back in one piece and raring to go I met the others at the junction of Dunstable St and Arthur St, Blox and Carbon Paul were already there and from the end of their conversation it became apparent that Xmassy was still recovering from his latest bout of man flu!
Another set of lights approached up Arthur St and Neil rolled up to join us. Keen to get going the four of us set off to follow the normal route, as we joined Woburn St by the rugby club, Blox and I in the front became aware that there was no longer two bikes behind us but three! Richard had managed to catch us, after being late and assuming we had gone! The rest of the ride was the usual blast through the woods, haul up the field, splash through the stream, tear along the farm track, drag down the road, bit of fun in the woods before getting stuck in the mud by the motorway bridge, last climb up the field into Steppingley and the final road race back up the bypass to Station Road and a refreshing pint or three in the Engine.
Yet another Wednesday safely under the ever decreasing belt.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Saturday 18th October - Cannock Chase

Boys, a few of us are going to Cannock Chase on Saturday. I think there are a few trails but one main red / black man made type run that looks good fun. Its only about 7 miles so it might be a lap or two. If you fancy it then meet in the Old Court House car park in Woburn Street about 8.15 am. I plan to be home about 5 or so, after a couple of pints! Hope to see you then.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Ampthill Mountain Bikers 5th October Course

Despite the threat of bad weather Niel and myself set off on the usual course over towards Eversholt and Tingreth. With the ground so damp and wet we struggled to pass a jogger out in the woods (very embarrassing!)

Only two stops this time, once for me with half the woods stick in my front gear set and the second was Neil's first puncture in ages, so with very wet feet, sodden clothes and very very muddy faces we completed the nice and refreshing Sunday course below, now for the score on the door: -

Total Distance: 16.00 miles
Riding Time: 1 hour 21 minutes 33 seconds
Total Time Out: 1 hour 38 minutes
Average Pace: 5:05 /mi
Average Speed: 11.8 MPH
Max Speed: 25.3 MPH
Total Calories: 1704 Cal
Total Ascent: 2878ft
Total Descent: 2898ft

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Monday, 29 September 2008

Will Fuz return?

Hi all,
After speaking to Fuz over the garden fence last night, I can give you all an update on the status of his bike, the two components have been ordered to fix the bike but only one has turned up as yet! If the second part turns up by Tuesday we will have Fuz back on the tracks with all again. Lets hope we see him very soon, because I can not keep up with the sheer lack of stops, we need him back for the stability of the ride!!


Wednesday 1st October at 7pm outside the Albion Pub

See you all there!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Sunday's 21st September Ride

Sunday consisted of Neil on his EX-9, Gavin (cycled 3 miles to join us at the start point) also on a Trek bike and lastly myself guess what?........... on a Trek EX-8 bike, I think Phil Corley's bike shop could take a month’s holiday without noticing a drop in profits this quarter, the amount of money our group has spent with him recently!

As you can see from the course I've posted below we headed over to Chicksands woods as the weather couldn't have been more glorious, perfect to ride round the woods with the sun’s rays breaking through the tree's canopy. I must say it's the best single track and downhill’s I've been on to date! No accidents just a big muddy smile on all our faces!

Riding time: 1hr 57mins
Time out: 12mins
Distance: 19.95 miles
Average pace: 5.58 min miles
Average Speed: 10 MPH
Max Speed: 25.8 MPH
Total Calories Burnt: 2013cals
Total Descent: 3560ft
Total Ascent: 3607ft

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Thursday, 18 September 2008

Wales Trip

A last minute change of plan saw the OS Map guided adventure of the Brecon Beacons being swapped for a ‘blast’ along the way marked trails of Afan Valley.

Saturday 13th September 2008
The change enabled us to have a leisurely start to the day and arrived at Glyncorrwg and were ready to ride just before midday, but which route to ride? A process of elimination lead us to the obvious choice, The ‘Skyline’ Trail at 46km, 2000m climbing and ride time of 4 to 7 hours?, perhaps just a tad to long for a first try.
The White’s Level Trail starts with a climb comprising of rock and rot strewn switch back single track, granny ring for the next hour as we battled our way up the side of the valley, constantly having the shift the weigh back and forward to keep the grip on the rear and the weight on the front.
The climbing continued into the section known as Dastardly & Mutley as the track moved away from the edge of the valley, till eventually you come out onto the what appears to be the top, a wide fire road and an obvious place to catch a little respite. The trails continues with what appears to be yet another climb this time on fire road, but no sooner have you gone round the next bend that you leave the road on to single track, here the heart picks up a beat as you begin the descent. Five minutes into the descent with a smile so wide just as the track goes back into the trees I have my first unscheduled dismount and opt for the rock strewn track rather than the 10m drop to a stream on my left.
With the wind back in the sails we continued down the single track every twenty metres or so whipping back inside a tree stump like a gate on a giant slalom course, before being spat out onto another fire road.
The next section of the trail stood before us on the other side of the fire road and next to it a fellow biker changing a tube. "Sweet" was his reply when asked what this next section was like, "there’s a few table tops, but if you keep the speed up you can clear them". Thankfully the table tops didn’t need to be cleared and some were avoidable, but the downhill was no rest, sections of northshore type decking, a couple of drop-offs led to a technical downhill which just kept going, by the time we reached the ‘Darkside’ legs, arms and shoulders were all aching, but still the rocks, roots and buffeting continued.
Finally at the bottom the short tarmac stretch back to the visitor centre gave time to reflect upon despite being separated from my bike on about 5 occasions, both me and my trusted stead had survived in tact, which personally I consider to be no small feat!
Ride Distance: 15km
Climb: 525metres
Time: 3hrs
Fun: immeasurable

Sunday 14th September 2008
An early start despite the beer from the night before saw us in a car park in Rhyslyn and starting on The Wall by nine, advised that the initial climb was easier than the White’s Level and the down hill faster and smoother, we were raring to go. Indeed leisurely climb on fire road for approx 4 miles was a nice way to start the day, a quick switch back and the incline increased, another switch and the fire road was left behind to be replaced by single track climb. Some 50 metres or so into the single track and disaster struck, what at first appeared to be a snapped chain, on closer examination turned out to also be a bent derailleur and mech hanger, effectively end of trip! Very short consideration was given to converting the bike to single speed, but retreat appeared to be the better part of valour.
Whilst heading back to the camper Simon commented that less than an hour ago he didn’t think he would find himself in the sun in a forest in Wales with his hand on another mans bum (as he pushed me along the flat bits).
Whislt loading up the bikes for the return trip to Bristol the shout of the weekend occurred, "time for a fry up?" The Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre obliged very well indeed.
Annual trip? I think so hopefully more frequently.
Check out Youtube Afan videos for White’s Level for some idea of the thrill.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Wednesady 17th September Ride

Only the hardcore two riders were out tonight, Richard & Blox!!!!
Armed only with their commitment and catseye lights we ventured off on a new course for the AMTB gang through Steppingley woods crossing over the busy A505 through to the Milbrook golf course area. I must say it was the most technical undulated course through single tracks and muddy downhill’s trying our hardest not to been thrown off at any given moment due to the narrow beam of light just yards ahead of the bikes and surprises every few seconds. Still the most fun you can have can have with your clothes on for more the 10 minutes!

Click on the "View large map" below and view in Google Earth to see the course taken tonight

Ride Duration: 1 hour 30 seconds
Miles: 9.57
Calories burnt: 1111 cals
Average Pace: 6.19 minute miles
Total Ascent: 2031 ft
Total Decent: 2163 ft

Next AMTB ride will be on Sunday 21st September at 9am outside the Albion Pub, please post a comment after this post if you can or can not make it please! Look forward to seeing you all there

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Monday, 15 September 2008

Wednesday 10th September Biking

Hello all,

Wednesday brought a good group out on their bike consisting of Fuz, Chris Massey, Paul with his new bike, Niel, Derek, Richard and me Blox, also with a sparklingly new bike (Trex Fuel EX-08). A big thank you to all who came out as England football team was playing! We all agreed it was for the best for all to be back in the warmth of the pub by 9pm to watch the second half of the game with a pint in the hand.

Very good ride extremely and a quick pace (probable due to new bike syndrome) with no fallers. By the time we got back into Stepingley, just before the stream leading to Eversholt. Fuz decides to add a little va va voom to the ride announcing "last one out of the other side of the steam buys the first round in the pub"! with the last syllable leaving his mouth he was gone with Richard sharp as a razor setting off at almost the same time, leaving the rest of us trying to clunk our cleats in to our peddles. All I can say is, all I heard coming from the back was poor Chris Massey who's was not feel 100% in his fairness "Oh sod it, I'll buy the bloody drinks".

We all made it back to Ampthill safely apart from Neil who took on the bramble bushes and lost!

Next ride out will be this Wednesday 17th at 7pm outside the Albion Pub

I'll give you all the stats next time for the ride as I forgot my Garmin watch last week.


Sunday, 7 September 2008

Ampthill Mountain Bikers 7th September Course

Sundays course (07-09-08)for you all to download and view. Best viewed in Google Earth!

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Saturday, 6 September 2008

Wednesday 3rd September Biking

Wednesday brought three new riders to the group, so first of all thank you three for joining us and having to wait at every point for the rest of us to catch up, apart from Neil of course on his lovely brand new EX-9 Trek beast of a bike, who is always leading the way! (Neil is selling his other Trek bike if anyone is interested, it’s got over £1000 extra on it and only wants approx £800 for it, post back for further details, first come will get a bargain!!!)

7pm start outside the cottage bakery in Ampthill equipped with all the gear apart from me with just a brightly coloured T-shirt instead of the sensible lights that i should have i know. The decision was made to head out on the easier course as the light draws in really earlier and an accident due to tricky course in the pitch black would be a bad idea.

Due to the heavy and consistent rain fall over the past week the course was laden with gullies deeper and higher banks than usual, causing Paul to fly through the air on a fast downhill just inside warren woods, I'm not sure who was more scared Paul (who held it together and landed it safely) or Chris Massey inches away from Paul's back wheel. Thankfully it ended well!

Couple miles on everything was going swimmingly until Chris decided to take a dip in the deepest puddle with stinging nettles one side or even more dirty muddy water the other. Split decision moment for Chris, nettles or a socking! I feel he made the right decision, so with the itchiest legs in Bedfordshire he carried on.

Neil and very fast new comer (sorry I've complete forgotten your name, a thousand apologues) went off the long way round the field out towards Eversholt with the rest of us chickening out and taking the easier route to catch our breath. We were all going well until all but one of us emerged from the stream in Eversholt near the cricket ground. Fuz was the man down, he'd busted a couple of back wheel spokes and had to limp up to rest of us who were speculating of how this must of happened (yes we were taking the &*$£ of him), thankfully Simon was the good boy scout of the bunch and had some insulating tape to fix the Fuz machine.

The rest of the ride went really well and enjoyable, i think we could all smell the beer was getting closer. Everyone arrived safely back at the Old Sun for a well deserved shandy. A big thank you to The Old Sun for providing homemade curry, free of charge to the Ampthill Mountain Bikers.

Total distance covered: 13.72 miles
Total Time out: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Calories burnt: 1485cal
Total Ascent: 2640ft
Total Decent: 2904ft

Click on the view larger image and switch to view in Google Earth

View Larger Map

Monday, 1 September 2008

Sunday 24th August Biking

Various excuses together with piss poor organisation from yours truely meant 'Little Fletch' (as Blox so nicely puts it) got an outing on this particular Sunday morning, raring to go dispite the constant drizzle we headed over to Warren Woods encountering as many puddles and as much mud as the boy could find! We got as far as the Steppingly Copse before turning back, Little Fletch wanted to go all the way to Eversholt (just to ride through the stream!) but made a tactical u-turn when informed that meant two more climbs.
Back into Warren Wood and we took a right heading back towards Fordfield Road Little Fletch took a tumble (after making it clean (I use the word in the techncal rather than lack of mud term) through the most difficult part of the track). He soldiered bravely on till partway along Fordfield Rd before deciding to call it a day, subsequently calling the backup vehicle for a medivac.
Alone I continued my trip home, thankfully via the Old Sun where I happened across a couple of Old Sun Bikers who successfully persuaded me to join them for light refressment, or three. Many thanks to the two of you.

Wednesday 20th August Biking

With 2 of the 3 riders arriving late (like this blog) and with the 'summer' nights already getting shorter this epic was always going to be a bit more of a sprint!
We set off along what has become known as the 'normal' route (does need to change) but subsequently cut out various sections such as the fields by Lodge Farm over to Cobblers Lane, and the Church End Eversholt to Water End loop via Mill Farm.
Unprintable quote of the ride was from Paul, it came about 5 minutes after informing us of his intention to miss out Eversholt, only to be asked how it felt to be there already as we exited the stream at Brook End. Drinks to finish in the Engine with Paul still questioning our parentage!

Total time riding ??
Calories burnt ??
Miles covered ??

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sunday 17th August Biking

It all started at 9am outside Fletch's house with me late as usual, pretty poor considering I’m 5 ft from the start point!

Any way Chris, Neil, Justin and I set off in bright sunshine heading towards Steppingley. Chris was on a mission to ride the half stone he gained off on his weeks holiday (plying greasy fry up's every morning down his gullet), the pace was moderate to fast to my dismay. Niel was more than able to handle and even increase the pace with Chris, Justin and I taking it in turns to keep on his tail.

The nights rain had made the track fun and boggy to cut through at pace. It added a little alertness to the ride as the tyres would jut out on what seam a damp bit of ground but really turned out to be thick oozy mud.

We headed across the fields in Eversholt and down through the stream out by the cricket pitch,soaking wet from the waist down (Fletch may have a point with the guards on the bike after all). We had a brief stop to feel the water squelching in are sodden sockets before heading out of Tingrith across the public bridleways on a fast undulated course into the woods. Always a sheer joy through the woods with the most perfect flat out narrow track for testing you bike on, everyone went hell for leather up down round and through, with no fallers!

We headed back towards Ampthill up the A505 bypass with Chris leading the way up the hill at an impressive constant 17MPH, oh of course the rest of us were drafting as we're not stupid. We stopped outside the Engine and Tender Pub at a very impressive time of 11am, Chris was not impressed though as the Pub was not open for another hour!

Total riding time was 1 hour 33 minutes
Total Calories was 1677

I look forward to seeing more out on Wednesday at 7pm for a fun ride, beer and food after in the Engine and Tender!

Ampthill Mountain Bikers Photo's

Please check out some of the pictures of our past outings

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Ampthill Mountain Bikers Course

Hi all,
Wednesday nights course below for you all to see. As before it's best viewed in google Earth as the standard map is spead over three pages. Enjoy!

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Thursday, 31 July 2008

Brecon Beacons Trip

In collaboration with the Portishead chapter it has been agreed that a weekend jaunt to the Brecon Beacons would be a jolly good idea and has such between myself and Portishead we have decided that the best date would be the weekend of the 13th/14th September (sorry Andy can't do the 20th). The general idea would be to travel on Friday evening, camp, spend Saturday in the saddle (large number of different grade routes available see link to mtbbreconbeacons) food and drink in the evening (bbq n beer!). Spend Sunday long half day riding and back home sometime Sunday evening. Those interested should leave a comment and or contact me sooner rather than later so as not to be left out!

Wednesday 30th July Biking

Wednesday evening saw the return to a tried and tested route of old, that should have been a pleasure to revisit, instead was plagued by mechanical failure.
Into Milbrook and puncture! sometimes patches are just not enough, the valve was split from the tube! An emergency delivery from a fellow rider (non participating that evening) solved the issue while a number of the group saw it as an opportunity to gain some extra miles under their belts and shot off for a thrash around Stewartby Lake whilst repairs took place.
Part way around the golf course and a chain snapped (same bike). Yet again the boy scout attitude prevailed and the repair undertaken on the track side. Many thanks to the couple (recently passed) who pointed out that it was quicker to walk!
By this point we had eaten into a fair chunk of available daylight and so pressed on in earnest.
Mechanical no. 3 occurred on a chance encounter with some fresh dog sh*t and wet green grass, a very minor tumble ensued, upon recovery the bike in question was discovered to have a front wheel like a banana (None EU approved). It still fitted through the forks the rider was able to limp home for an early beer but only after we had a 'pleasant' ride up the hill out of Lidlington.
A quick dash through the edge of Warren Wood saw a road drag back through Steppingly to the Old Sun where a number of refreshing beverages were partaken of and a light snack of chips and battered sausage saw the strength replenished enough to continue our separate ways home.

What's this blog all about?

This blog is for all the people in the Bedfordshire area who enjoy nothing better than to get out on their bikes to ride off a bit of steam, or just have a laugh with a group of likeminded people. All are welcome to pass on their info of great routes and advise for all to share and enjoy. If you would like to arrange a blast around on your bike with a few others put your comments on of times and dates you would like to go out and then meet up and have fun

Monday, 28 July 2008

Ampthill Mountain Bikers Game

This is for little Fletcher!!

Games at - Mountain Bike
Mountain Bike

Perform crazy stunts in this downhill mountain bike racer!

Play this free game now!!

Wednesday's & Sunday's usual Ampthill Mountain Bikers bike course

View Larger Map

Click on the "View Larger Map" or the post tiltle, then use the option to view via Google Earth as the 3D settings make the course stand out far better than the standard Google maps.

You have to go through all three pages in Google Maps to get the whole course!!

Any questions please reply to this post and I'll try to answer them

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ampthill Meetings

Post your comments of suggestion on days, times, where and how long for a ride on the bikes!
We've been meeting up in Ampthill on Wednesdays around 7:30pm and going on a hour and a half ride then back to The Old Sun for a couple of drinks.
Last Wednesday the new landlord lit the BBQ serving burgers in a bun with onions, sausages in a roll and lamb cuts for a very small fee. (Happy days!!!)

Ampthill Map

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