This weekend sees the first Trail Break Trail Ride and Navigator Race of 2008, based at Shackleford on the edge of the North Downs near Guildford.
Saturday 12 January is the Southern Trail Ride, covering a range of terrain from Puttenham Common to the Devils Punchbowl. The route will be fully marked and you’ll get a map as a backup too. Three distances are on offer – the exact courses aren’t finalised, but the Short route will be between 12 and 17 miles, the Standard route will be between 22 and 27 miles and the Long route will be 28 to 35. Prices are £10, £11 and £12 respectively if you pay up-front, with a £2 surcharge for entries on the day.
Trail Break also offers a Family entry on the Short and Standard routes, costing £13 for one adult and one under-16. Additional under-16s can take part for £2 each. The entry fees cover event centre facilities and parking, ride timing, full route marking, colour A4 route map, emergency support and free energy drinks from SIS. There’ll also be on-site catering for that all-important post-ride top-up.
Registration will be open between 8.30am and 10am and you can set off on the ride any time between 9 and 10.30 (or 9 and 9.30 for the Long course) – just join any of the waves that will be setting off at five minute intervals. All you need to do then is keep pedalling, follow the signs and get back to the event centre before the catering shuts up shop at 3pm…
Full details (and online entry) can be found at www.trailbreak.co.uk.
The following day, Sunday 13 January, there’ll be a Fat Tyre Navigator event from the same place. Navigators are a great way to boost your navigation skills – you get 3.5 hours to visit as many of the 28 available checkpoints as you can, making them a test of brain speed as much as bike speed. If you keep thinking that you’d like to break out from the world of waymarked routes and trail centres but don’t feel confident enough in your map-reading, a couple of Navigators should get you on the right track.
There are single (all £12) and team (of two – all £20) categories to cover pretty much anyone, and as with the Trail Rides there’s a special family option too – the Fun/Family category lets you enter a team of one or two adults plus as many under-13s as you happen to have for £19. That includes free SIS energy drinks, maps and so on.
Again, registration opens at 8.30am and the first riders off will depart at 9am. Prizegiving (yes, there are prizes too) will take place at 2.30pm. Head to www.trailbreak.co.uk for details and on-line entry.