Bucks Off Road Sportive - a brief history

The Bucks Classic started off 15 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 and the lack of singe track so that was the main priorities  to find some more challenging trails and 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. 

In 2008 the bar was raised further with the long distance raised to 132 km.

This year there is going to be 4 distances of approximately 35km , 75km,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 date is set for next year's event and is 11th May 2014

Entries now LIVE via the British Cycling website here!!

Plans for the Bucks Off Road Sportive are under way for the 2014 ride the 16th running of the event and once again we are expecting good numbers for this event which has become a regular feature in a number of riders event calendar.

As well as the usual 3 distances of the approximately 70,100 and the epic 132 Km circuits this year to try and cater for the growing popularity of cycling the event will also feature a fun/family distance which will be around 35 km thus opening the event to a number of new or returning cyclists.

Last year the trails were in excellent conditions and some fast times were recorded and we are hopeful for similar conditions this year.

Remember this event is not a race but a challenging ride with a mixture of bridleways and country lanes, each distance will have a set start time, however if you want to start with an earlier group despite doing one of the shorter distances we can accommodate this.

As usual there will be at least two feed stations and although these will be stocked with cakes/bananas ad other goodies as well as drink these should be looked upon as supplementary to your normal event feeding over rides of this distance. As always each finisher will receive a free drink at the bar as they reminisce and tell their war stories as well as a free cup of tea and an event memento.

Check out the testimonials to read about the excellent feedback we received last year

As always the event will be supporting the South Bucks Riding for the Disabled

Other West Drayton Events you may be interested in include

Feb 23rd The Bucks Road Reliability ride over 80/100kms
May 31st Youth/Novice Mountain Bike Racing at Black Park
June 1st  XC Mountain Bike racing at Black Park
Oct 18th      Night Time MTB Race at Black park

Any Q's please get in touch Chris@westdraytonmbc.co.uk

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


Chris Denman

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