“Friends, I know why you are all here. The Nothing is destroying our world. I also know that you have come to beseech the Empress for help. But I have terrible news. The Empress herself has become deathly ill. There seems to be a mysterious link between her illness and The Nothing. She is dying. So she cannot save us…..”The Never Ending Story
February & The Nothing
It is that time of year: winter fading yet not quite spring. The Nothing. Made for blankets and childhood movies. Cosying up in front to the fire and dreaming of a warmer, drier time.
Riding is my weapon against the Nothing so I find it tough if I can’t get out as much as I would like. I have however kept up my running and Mary has started to join me but we are missing our Bicycle Adventures.
Not riding is not only frustrating, but it is really expensive! Lack of actual adventure leads to dreaming about adventure. Between purchasing all kinds of gear and fettling with setups I find myself booking events and planning rides.
Water and wind. Nothing else. With all the will in the world, cycling in it is no fun. Putting February to good use we have been planning for the coming year.
It’s official – the Bicycle Adventure Club are WTB Graveliers!
At the end of last year I applied to Wilderness Trail Bikes to be part of their UK ‘Graveliers’ team. They were looking for socially active, community minded, creative cyclists that were able to promote the brand and produce quality content.
On the 10th January this year I received a really exciting email:
Hello and welcome to the WTB Graveliers! My name’s James and I’ll be your main contact for all things WTB & gravel!
Your dedication, passion, and enthusiasm have landed you a spot on the WTB Graveliers Team. Here at WTB, we have spent decades dedicated to innovating and creating cycling products for all forms of cyclists.
We are inspired by long days in the saddle, after-work bike rides, family biking trips, elite racers, and anyone with a passion for cycling. We are very excited about this new Gravel Team so that we can have a piece of WTB culture all over the world.
As a Gravelier, we will give you a platform to share your bike adventures, good times, stokes shared, and places your bike takes you to help inspire others to get out and ride. We will post your photos, videos, and writings throughout the year so that you can share your own unique story of where biking has taken you.
This week a parcel arrived from WTB containing a fancy T-Shirt, some tyres and a Koda Saddle. I can’t wait to get them on the bikes and take WTB on the Bicycle Adventure Club outings this year!
Mary and I have made a point of entering a couple of events this year to take us out of our comfort zones and have some great social experiences. When I say ‘We’ I mean ‘I’. I book it then tell Mary she is doing it. Fortunately, she is game and loves an Adventure. The events are non-competitive. Competition is not really our bag – we are too nice.
We want adventure, stars, like minded company and tea & cake – not competition!
First off we have a superb ride planned for 22nd March. A Bicycle Adventure Club, 23 mile off road, gravelly loop. Taking in the Netherton Tunnel, 2768m of canal tunnel to the east of Dudley running under Oakham. The Tunnel links the Dudley canal with the Birmingham mainline canal. The facebook event has had over 100 interests: we are curious to see how many turn up.
If you would like to join us, simply click on Jim.
Walking or riding through the Netherton Tunnel is a rite of passage for Dudley folk and a badge of local adventure honour. We are also delighted that Jim – our only non-cycling Bicycle Adventure Clubber and ardent supporter – will be following the ride on foot.
Welsh Ride Thing
8th – 10th May.
This has been on my radar for some years. This year, thanks to February & The Nothing I simply booked it. So we are going!
Imagine an event that lasts 3 days, where there’s no set route. One where you get to decide how far you’re going to ride and where you’re going to stop. A truly non competitive event where the only goal is to get out on your bike and enjoy yourself … what you’re imagining is the WRT and what it lacks in rules, it makes up for in adventure.Bear Bones WRT
For more information on the event check out the Bear Bones Website:
Fellow Bicycle Adventure Clubber, Brummie and thoroughly nice chap Tony Freeman, has upped sticks and moved to Yorkshire. I admire his determination to reduce the carbon footprint of his favourite brand of tea for a better tea/life balance but also; there is some cracking riding to be had.
Heeding his excellent suggestion we have entered the Moors 100 bikepacking event in June. Again it is non-competitive and sounds fantastic. Mary and I are very excited. This is how the website describes it:
It’s basically a dream weekend for all. Two days of cracking riding in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, with a great overnight stop chock full of great food, live music and dollops of good craic thrown in for good measure. And being Yorkshire, it’s cracking value for money, for less than what it costs to enter similar events, you get a hot meal, a drink and live music thrown in on the Saturday night, plus brekky on Sunday morning!
We will provide you with a GPX route or a map to copy. We have gone over the route and whilst it involves two long days of graft, it should be within the ability of most, just allow plenty of time. It is a recommended route, feel free to amend or miss out sections if need be. It isn’t a race and you can go at whatever pace you want.The Moors One Hundred
You can listen to Simon Jackson, who launched the Moors One Hundred, in conversation with Alistair Humphreys on his podcast Living Adventurously – episode # 4
There is lots more planned and I’ll let you know as soon as things start to fall into place.
For now, I’ll leave you with a little video of George, Wilf and I enjoying a very soggy Sutton Park.
If you would like any more information on the events or WTB products please get in touch.
Thank you again to Wilderness trail Bikes for the swag and the opportunity.
See you out there