Prolific event organiser West Drayton MBC looks like having another successful year in 2005, with several highly-promising events in the calendar. First up is the Black Park MTB Races (24 April). The venue, between Slough and Uxbridge, hasn’t been used for bike racing for about fifteen years, but with staff changes at the Park the club has been able to sort out a two-mile mixed-terrain circuit. It’s apparently fairly flat, so if you’re a novice looking for a not-too-terrifying race, this one should be ideal. The fast boys, of course, will simply go even faster.
A week later sees the seventh Buckinghamshire Off-Road Classic (May 1). It’s a 100km enduro around some lumpy bits of the Chilterns, mainly off-road with quiet country lanes making up the rest. The start is at Denham Country Park, and you’ll need to be prepared for a hefty day out – the first riders back last year took seven hours to complete the course. Mind you, we’re told that there’re several country pubs on the route which is bound to reduce the pace a bit. There’s an easier 70km option available too, the whole route will be waymarked and there’ll be refreshments at the halfway point and at the finish.
Then there’s a round of the Southern XC Series on May 29 at a new venue at Deepcut, Surrey. The club’s recce suggests that the venue should give “plenty of scope for some good hard racing with a mixture of fast wide tracks and technical single track with some good downhills!” Expect racing for all classes.
Finally there’ll be team and individual races at Ash Ranges, Hants, probably on October 9 but that’s TBC. There’s been racing at Ash Ranges for ever, and for good reason – it’s great. The main attraction is the team racing, following a simple three rider team/massed start formula. The first rider to finish four laps of the four mile course scores a solitary point, second place gets two points and so on until everyone’s home. The team with the lowest total score wins.