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 fnish times for this year's event are now online - click here to download
Well that was one of the toughest Bucks Off Road Sportive courses, up until about 2 weeks ago it looked like the tracks were drying up nicely and it was going to be firm going but how the last 2 weeks changed that. Given the weather it was nice to see such a turnout, the wind and rain caused us a few issues with the road to the car park underwater we had to use the same road for cars entering as riders leaving which was not ideal, as well as not being able to use the cricket pitch for car parking due to the potential risk of damaging the greens, also I did notice riding round the wind had managed to turn a few signs round but having spent time at the Feed stations and at the finish it seemed that most people rose to the challenge of the conditions and still enjoyed the ride.
This year so far no post event complaints so think everyone must have been on their best behaviour or otherwise MTBers are a hardier breed and everyone else was in the dry and warm and had not ventured out on the tracks.
There are photographs of the event at the following location
I will, when I have a few minutes, try and load up the West Drayton MBC face book page over the next day or so. A lot of the signs have now already been taken down and I have a few more sections to do but if someone sees an errant sign I have missed after next weekend feel free to take it down.
I am sure everyone will join me in thanking all those that helped put the event on and thanks to those that have e-mailed their praise over. We will again be making a donation from any profit made to the South Bucks Horse riding for the disabled charity.
If anyone is looking for another MTB fix, our next events are Sat 31st May an afternoon of youth races and a novice adult race at Black Park Country Park and then on the 1st June we have a full days programme of XC racing at the same venue, full details on the www.blackparkraces.co.uk website.
If anyone is local and fancies some MTB training both fitness and basic skills the club organise regular Thursday evening sessions at the Old Hillingdon Ski Slope, just off Gatting Way Uxbridge-all welcome between 6 and 8 p.m.
Hopefully the event will be on again next year for the 17th year and look forward to seeing everyone out on the tracks.
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
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