Bucks Off Road Sportive - a brief history
The Bucks Classic started off 14 years ago when, after members of the club had taken part in the Hell of the North Cotswolds for a few years the club felt that there was a call for a similar event nearer to London.
As the event was going to be in the County of Buckinghamshire it was decided the event was going to be called the Bucks Classic, and was renamed in 2009 to the Bucks Off-Road Sportive. Although based on the Hell of the North the club wanted to improve on the HONC (as the event is popularly known) and the main problem club riders had with the HONC was the lack of directions arrows so that was the main priority to mark the whole route, no mean feat when you go along 100 km of twisting bridleways and small lanes.
The event started off with one route of 30 km, which then rose to 40km, and then with the input of top route designer Steve Keating 100 km with two shorter versions of 70 kms and 30 kms. The event has grown over the years and moved its headquarters from the Denham Country Park to the near-by Martin Baker social club and now the Chiltern Sports and Social club which allows riders to shower and make use of a fully licensed bar as well as a cheap supply of refreshments.
The 10th anniversary event featured an even harder route as the full distance rose to 121 km which must make this one of the hardest off-road sportives, if not the hardest one day event on the calendar. However the club wants to encompass all standards so there were some shorter distances to choose from.
Last year the bar was raised further with the long distance raised to 132 km.
This year thee is going to be 3 distances of approxiamtely 50km , 100 km and 132 , the toughness of the 100 and 132 km events should not be underestimated, although the hills in the Chilterns are not as high as those in other parts of the country the constant undulating climbs certainly take their toll and the single track can be tough going in places.
So what are you waiting for round up your mates and get those entries in. Although entry on the day will be available subject to pre-entries we strongly recommend you pre enter to avoid disappointment
This event has become one of the MTB events you must do so we strongly recommend you pre enter to avoid disappointment.
The Bucks Off Road Sportive is over for another year and it was great to see a number of the regulars back once again on Sunday and as always there was a big turnout from the Crest riders as well as from our own club the West Drayton MBC/Beyond team.
There are a number of people to thank for putting the event on, far to many to name individually but I am sure you will join me in thanking everyone that did assist in the organisation and of course all the riders who took part as without you we would not have an event.
So far only 1 minor grumble about a couple of riders upsetting a horse rider, so sounds like everyone heeded the pre ride briefing and rode with respect to other users on the day showing what a great bunch mountain bikers are.
In terms of the routes this year, the feedback so far has been excellent and the trail conditions were to my mind close to perfect with the rain Saturday night softening up some of the rutted trails and the trail maintenance in other areas making for fast riding and the bonus was that the good weather lasted until well into the afternoon.
In terms of plans for next year hopefully I can persuade the route maestro Steve Keating to continue for another year and we can soon announce the definitive date and format for next years rides which will be on the anniversary date next year of the 11th May. Hopefully everyone got a good look at our ride supporters clothing stand if you didn’t check out www.nzoactive.com/uk/ and if your looking for any energy products why not take a look at the www.thefeedstation.com website who kindly provided the energy drink for the feed stops.
The West Drayton MBC welcome riders of all standards both on and off road so if your unattached and looking for some mates to ride with check us out at www.westdraytonmbc.co.uk
Hope to see you all next year or at our future events the Night of the Knobbly Tread a short distance night cross country race on the 19th October or the Black Park off road Duathlon on the 20th October.
Also the WDMBC have a supported trans Germany MTB trip along the Albercht Route a 6 day ride due to unforeseen circumstances one riders has had to cancel so if anyone fancies a real epic get in touch, dates are 24th Aug to 1st September
Donations from money raised by this event will be made to the following charities, The South Bucks riding for the Disabled
Event Sponsors and Contributors
Event Sponsors - a special thanks to long term sponsors The Feed Station who keep riders hydrated at each of the feed stations and to Simon Slater for his excellent event photos.
The Feed Station