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Sun Apr 15th 2018
Back on your mountain Bike 1*
Leader:
Robin Tucker
Start Time:
10:00 am
Start Location:
OMH
Description:
At the start of this ride, we will cover bike set up and basic techniques to make off-roading fun. We'll do a 3 mile 'training ride' then an optional short ride up to about 10 miles on local tracks, with frequent breaks. This ride is ideal if you have wanted to take your bike off-road, but been a bit unsure.

Plenty of free car parking at Old Mill Hall.

From June – the regular off-road rides for 2018 return: we are toning these down and keeping them closer to Wantage. The rides will be 15-20 miles, on quiet local tracks through the woods, and maybe up to the Ridgeway. Pace equivalent to 2*, best on a mountain bike, but a cyclocross bike and if dry a robust hybrid will be fine. Call/email Robin if you are not sure.
Report:
A slightly uncertain weather forecast didn't stop 9 of us assembling at Old Mill Hall on this April Sunday for the first 'Back on your Mountain Bike' ride. We had 6 victims, er, relative novices, and 3 experienced riders. And the rain stayed off, although there was mud underneath at times.

We started in the car park with checking through a few important basics:
- Riding position (not too stretched out)
- Tyre pressure (not too firm: 30-35 psi)
- Suspension (soft enough to get decent motion)
- and some tips about maintenance

Then it was off to Crab Hill, which unfortunately due to recent wet weather provided the first test of bike handling, with Robin demonstrating the 'emergency dismount in a muddy puddle'. With a bit more discussion about the evils of ruts, and how best to handle them we continued to Wantage.

The next challenge was Lark Hill and a steep, slippy slope. We talked about how gears, body position and line choice could help get you up. Brilliantly, everyone made it, and arrived at the top rightly feeling proud and confidence-boosted.

Then it was a bit more mud and a continued climb through Bitham Woods and up past the monument to Baron Wantage to the top of Jolly Green Giant - the big descent! This should be the fun bit, but can also be a bit intimidating, so we spent a while talking about position again, and how to use your arms and legs as extra suspension. The feedback was that this made a real difference on this grassy slope.

We worked our way back to Grove on a less muddy route, covering a couple more minor challenges and tips on the way. There was general agreement that continuing a series of clearly marked 'easy' off-road rides over the summer would be a good thing to do.
Distance:
19.31 km (12.00 mi)
 
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Ride Filter
Start Locations
WMP
Wantage Market Place
OMH
Old Mill Hall, Grove
Categories
1* - Suitable for irregular, social, beginner or family riders, pace will match the slower riders. Not hilly or long. Expect rides up to 3 hours. Gentle exercise.
2* - Suitable for regular riders who prefer to cover some distance but at a more relaxed pace. Likely to be half-day rides. Solid exercise.
3* - Suitable for experienced riders, may be hilly, long, quick, or any combination! Likely to be half or full-day rides. Challenging exercise.
4* - Suitable for athletic riders who can ride safely above the 3* standard. Quick rides for the fit.
More Information
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