Chilterns – is it mud 'till springtime now?

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  • Chilterns – is it mud 'till springtime now?
  • Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    It’s looking that way.

    RIP dry dusty trails.

    druff
    Member

    Yep – I’d say so.

    I found to my detriment last year that it can be very slippery and with a largely chalk and flint base (with the odd set of wet roots thrown in for fun), particularly good at taking chunks out of knees/shins.

    Nonetheless, there’s a lot of fun to be had out there – get out there and enjoy it.

    Dan

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    I’ve often found, as evidenced by Sunday and Monday, that summer tyres are OK when its p*ssing it down, as everything is wet, and it sheds, as long as you don’t mind a bit of sideways.

    As it’ll dry up a bit this weekend, it’ll be clagfest i reckon.

    Premier Icon ononeorange
    Subscriber

    Yes. Won’t be able to ride more than a fast walking pace for 6 months now.

    Murray
    Member

    Wasn’t that what it was like in the summer? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Not looking forward to the clagfest but will be out at lunchtime anyway.

    b r
    Member

    Based on +5 years of riding in the Chilterns, its Mud X’s now, until the Ralphs’ go on ๐Ÿ™‚

    mcboo
    Member

    I’ve just ordered another Beaver to match the one on the back. Was going to try and keep a Ron on the front but seems little point.

    living in oxford its Chilterns in the summer, woburn sands in the winter. Woburn holds up really well to rain and bad weather, chilterns fall apart at the first sign of moisture.

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    I’ve still not been to Woburn, it might be calling… I’m in Pangbourne so it’s a bit more of a slog. Swinley is always there for an escape though!

    The Downs hold up OK for XC stuff if you stay off the byways, but it’s generally far from “technical” riding…

    mcboo
    Member

    Yeh I might go have a spin round Woburn. Is there enough there for the XC types among us? My wheels arent leaving the ground thanks vm.

    mcboo
    Member

    Havent ridden the Chilterns through a winter before, is it time to just get the mud tyres on and leave them?

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    johnny – Member
    I’ve still not been to Woburn, it might be calling… I’m in Pangbourne so it’s a bit more of a slog. Swinley is always there for an escape though!

    The Downs hold up OK for XC stuff if you stay off the byways, but it’s generally far from “technical” riding…
    Swinley has it’s own Bog Factor Index, though it does dry out reasonably well if there are enough weeks of no rain. Frankly, despite the amount of rain this year, I’ve seen Swinley far worse than it’s been this year.

    If you’re round south of London though, Surrey Hills holds up pretty well. Tourist trails get boggy (except BKB which drains well), but the rest of the better stuff are usually fine and the place is excellent to ride through winter. More so on hardened frosty trails. Plenty of technical. Just keep off Ranmore when wet – clay.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    I think it’ll be the worst winter in ages for the Chilterns mud. The surface only dried out in early September, so it can’t be particularly dry underneath.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    It does mean that all Strava KOMs are locked down until May, so if you’ve got any, then you can sit on them all winter ๐Ÿ˜€

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    Bit of a hijack, but are there any regular groups riding in the south Chilterns at the mo? I used to do Mountain High rides a fair bit, but it’s all a bit ad hoc nowadays.

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    pants, double post….

    Premier Icon ononeorange
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    Where do you mean by “south”, Johnny? Summit are based around Chalfont St Giles / Gaerrards Cross area.

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    “South” the block from Pangbourne-Reading-Henley extending up to the M40-ish area.

    I’m open to riding elsewhere, (Summit would be good for a weekend, good idea!) but with 2 kids, local riding with up to half an hour’s drive to a meet is more realistic.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    You based in Reading? Local clubs with a social focus seem a bit few and far between

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    I’m in Whitchurch/Pangbourne Local clubs, full stop, are lacking. Mountain High were good, as were Trailjunkies. Both defunct in the same year. There is a website set up by guys from MH, called Goodrideguide, but rides on there are a bit fitful.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Strava’s been useful just to chat to people who ride the same stuff (I live in West Reading, so Sulham/Pangbourne/Whitchurch/Woodcote/Mapledurham is my local patch).

    I dunno what RATZ are up to these days… to my mind they always seemed a bit racing focused for my liking (this was an impression and might have been wrong).

    Edit: http://www.ratmbc.co.uk/ is all about racing rather than social rides.

    Premier Icon jsinglet
    Subscriber

    We ride from Reading on Wednesday nights and Sundays.

    It’s social, every ride ends at a pub, and we don’t leave anyone behind. We might be part of the CTC but don’t let that put you off, we don’t have panniers. Just turn up and say hello.

    John

    Murray
    Member

    Just back from Lott’s Wood. Still fine (but it always drains well, perhaps the railway cutting below it helps?). Small but perfectly formed.

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    Ah, i’d forgotten about the CTC rides, i used to do them when i lived in Reading itself. Do you continue the wednesday night rides in the winter?

    Premier Icon jsinglet
    Subscriber

    Yeah we carry on all year round now, we tend to finish up somewhere closer to town in the winter to shorten the ride home.

    PJM1974
    Member

    I’m in the south east and aside from a brief couple of weeks in March when the ground was slightly moist to the touch, it’s been bogville right up until the beginning of September when it dried out for a while.

    It’s now back to being bogville again and I expect it to stay this way until at least April.

    Summer sucks.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    I am highly disappointed that you don’t have panniers. And beards. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Joking aside, my other half is getting into cycling more and more, so maybe it’d be really good for us to tag along. What kind of range of experience/expertise tends to turn up?

    Premier Icon jsinglet
    Subscriber

    There are some beards, but as there are singlespeeds that is to be expected ๐Ÿ™‚

    There is a full range of experience, though it can depend on exactly who turns up. There are some who are Strava addicts, and some who are just happy to have a nice ride in the countryside. Last night we probably did about 17 miles to the pub in about 2 hrs ish on our ‘fast’ ride, the other ride a bit less. Sunday would probably be a bit over 20 to lunch at this time of year. We stay off road as much we can so it’s all a bit approximate.

    Once a month there is a shorter ride on a Sunday that is quite a good introduction, I imagine you’d fine that too short but might be good for your other half if she’s unsure? The rides are listed here.

    Premier Icon Rio
    Subscriber

    Just got back from a largely sunny ride in the Chilterns and it’s not at all boggy yet. Not as good as last Saturday when the trails were still dusty but pretty good. Normally it doesn’t get really bad until after the trees drop their leaves and stop soaking up the surface water.

    Trimix
    Member

    I ride the Chilterns almost all year – in the winter you have to be very careful where you ride. There are some bits that are OK, some I avoid. Less used cheeky stuff thats not destroyed by horses is not too bad and avoid valley bottoms.

    You just need local knowledge, but even then, chalk and roots are entertaining in the wet.

    Woburn is fine even for XC, all year round.

    Premier Icon johnny
    Subscriber

    Damn, I’ve just shaved off my (paltry) beard. I have a singlespeed though… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    Yeh I might go have a spin round Woburn. Is there enough there for the XC types among us? My wheels arent leaving the ground thanks vm.

    yes plenty.Carry ยฃ3 for the permit man

    Its a complex place so a local guide is handy. 2 hours non stop easy probably more. Even more if you add local bridleways and say take in Rushmere as well.

    Sadly I’m off the bike with a frozen shoulder but I’m sure some one will show you round

    Oh forgot to say its ace. In some ways at its best during or after a horendous down pour as it stays fast and gets quite drifty

    mcboo
    Member

    Thanks…..anyone have a Garmin route for a long spin around Woburn and the surrounding area that takes in the best bits? Something 40-50km be ideal.

    Premier Icon Blurboy
    Subscriber

    mcboo – check out Everytrail web site – google for Woburn on there and you should be able to find a gpx file or two.

    teasel
    Member

    anyone have a Garmin route for a long spin around Woburn

    I believe Nobby’s your man…

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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