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 ??