Heading out from the start
Prolific event organisers Trail Break have sent through their list of 2006 events. And a quick glance reveals that it’s packed to the seams.
First up, the Evans Cycles Trail Rides are a great way to ride somewhere new or with a different bunch of people. The rides are split into smaller groups and several distances are offered, so riders of all abilities are catered for. There’s ample car parking and a good meal will be waiting for you upon finishing.
- 11 February – Dunction
- 11 March – Shackleford
- 8 April – Queen Elizabeth County Park
- 13 May – Gatwick Evans Store
- 10 June – Bramley
Fat Tyre Navigator’s require good navigational skills as well as being a competent rider. Like all Trail Break events they’re open to complete beginners, as well as families, and of course those looking to get onto the podium.
- 26 February – Bramley
- 26 March – Kingsclere
- 12 April – Goring Heath (Evening ride)
- 7 May – Princes Risborough
26-29 May is the date for the Wight Diamond Festival, on the Isle of Wight. This two day Navigator event first started in 1996, and last year attracted 600 riders. For the full experience, the Diamond Challenge starts on Saturday, uses trails across the whole island, finishing on Sunday. If this sounds too epic, the Diamond Lite is a little easier and checkpoints are handily located near cafes and pubs. If the idea of using a map and compass scares you, there’s a 40k and 60k Enduro on both days. Along with the great trails, there’s full camping facilities, activities for the whole family, and a bar and live music in the evening.
Taking a well deserved break
The two Lemming Trail rides have been running for 10 years, and are some of the hardest endurance events in the UK. The Ridgeway Lemming Trail on 1/2 July is 80 miles over two days, with 5,000ft of climbing, and the South Downs Way Lemming Trail is 100 miles and 9,000ft over two days. Unlike other enduros, these are point to point, with a night stop in a hostel. You’ll get an evening meal, cooked breakfast, sent off with a packed lunch, and you won’t need to carry much gear – the organisers will be trucking it over to the hostel. Once you’ve finished, coaches and trucks will be transporting bikes and riders back to the start. On the waymarked trail will be regular food stops with spares in case you need them.
Finally, and definitely a big ride to end the season, the MaXx Exposure on the 23/24 September is a crazy 80 mile night ride across the South Downs. Trust us, it’s hard – we rode it last year. Don’t be intimidated though, it’s perfectly doable, and USE will be helping out with lights – the fastest rider last year was out on course for eight hours. Starting from Beachy Head near Brighton, the 80 miles to Queen Elizabeth Country Park follows the South Downs Way, a mixture of double and singletrack, long climbs, fast descents,and a definite feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.