SCANNARIDE – ENTRY PRICE DROP

SUNDAY JULY 14th

With event Jerseys now reserved, we have some last minute spaces available for the inaugural SCANNARIDE at the reduced price of just £28 with entry fees supporting the Bucks MRI Appeal.

After enjoying a cracking ‘out and back’ 100km route kicking off at the new Polecat Inn at Prestwood, all riders will refuel by enjoying a BBQ provided by charity partners Oakman Inns.

What’s not to like?

Note: SCANNARIDE is restricted to a maximum of 100 riders and there are strictly no entries on the day. Entry closes noon Friday 12th July.

Exercise Your Mental Health

We’re pleased to be working with Lutine Assurance again this year to support and create awareness for Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales.

They have created the below infographic to help highlight the staggering facts surrounding mental health problems. Through fundraising and supporting Mind, we believe that we are helping to improve the lives of those affected. If you would like to help also, please help us to help them reach their £10k fundraising by donating here.

SCANNA100 – 2019

Scannappeal in partnership with Oakman Inns present ScannaRide 100 a charity sportive raising funds to support the Bucks MRI Appeal.

Starting and finishing at the ideally positioned Polecat Inn at Pretswood, ScannaRide 100 sends riders out through the Chilterns to the Betsy Wynne in North Bucks and back on a circular route. At just over 100km, and taking in a section featured in the 2017 Tour of Britain it’s challengingly beautiful.

 

This new event for is limited to just 100 cyclists, and the lucky first 50 who sign up will get a stunning Retro SCANNA100 Jersey. 

Oakman Inns will also be laying on a BBQ at the Polecat for ALL riders to celebrate the event launch – It’s sure to be a great day.

We encourage every rider to fundraise for Scannappeal to support our aim of bringing two world class MRI scanners to Bucks.

ENTER HERE

Spring Classic

What a Weekend that was!

After putting up signs for the Sharpener on Saturday in near Biblical weather with 24 mph winds looking to rip the van’s door off it’s hinges; we were given a reprieve yesterday.

A perfect spring day, to send riders out into the Chilterns and Buckinghamshire. Bluebells and back roads…and a few hills en route.

Despite the overnight deluge we had a great turn out on the day and the feedback on social media and email has been fantastic. Many thanks for all of your positive messages.

Please keep spreading the word – we really appreciate it.

Colesy & Damien

#supportyourlocalsportive #sharpener #crankitup

See you at the next event – Allez!

HOWLER CANCELLED

Due to the continued worsening of this weekend’s weather forecast, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel The Howler this Sunday.

The Met Office has issued a Yellow Weather Warning for strong winds and heavy rain in the area during the hours of the event as more storms cross the UK this weekend.

We will automatically roll any online entries into next spring’s Sharpener event and contact those riders impacted later in the year once dates/venue have been secured.

Whilst it’s a disappointing decision to have to make, rider safety makes it an necessary one to take.

Thanks for your support – see you in the new year.

Colesy & Damien

Crank Up The Value

Next Saturday you could pay £40 to ride the Chiltern Classic and pick up a free Tshirt….OR you could pay £20 and ride the Howler on Sunday and pick up a water bottle.

So if you really want to pay us £40 (and we still have you size left) you can always pick up an Allez long sleeve jersey to layer up this Autumn.

You’ll still get to ride the Chilterns, South Oxfordshire and the Aylesbury Vale #CrankItUp

The Virgin of Sa Calobra – Memories of 2013

“If you like the ride to the Lighthouse, you should try Sa Calobra like your Bradley Weegins no?” smiled the assistant as she wheeled out my Planet X Pro Carbon.

Early morning rides on smooth Mallorcan roads before breakfast, surely it doesn’t get any better that this.  Pollenca northern Mallorca September 2013, winter training camp to many and as luck would have it our holiday destination – funny that.

Next morning, up early and off to ride the length of the Formentor peninsula to the Lighthouse.  No traffic other than fellow cyclists as the sun slowly rises, the ride is a challenge but stunning.

The first climb is compensated by an exhilarating descent which winds its way through pine woods to the bay.  Unusually the road then deteriorates from the usual Mallorcan quality to more of the Buckingham standard that I’m used to, but what a final 10k to the most northerly point of the island.  If you’re an everyday cyclist who doesn’t mind climbing, it’s doable and rude not to hire a bike and do it!

The next few days fall into a pattern.  Up early and out on the Planet X which I’m beginning to love even with its alien SRAM double tap levers.  Pick up breakfast at the bakery on the way back before recovering in the late morning sun.  Then off to the beach and back later for Tapas in the square – this is THE holiday!

Day three and it’s got to be time to give this Sa Calobra thing a crack.  Plenty of stories on the web to start making my palms sweat in the Mallorcan heat…

The ribbon of tarmac dropping down the side of Coll de Cals Reis into Sa Calobra was built in the 1930’s by an engineer who later became the president of Real Mallorca Football Club.  His strapline – “making the end of the world accessible”.  Hmmm

Next morning I’m up earlier than usual and thinking my lack of Assos cream might be a problem for this one.  Hell, moisten the chamois with a little Aussie hair conditioner that should do the trick let’s hope.

Sa Calobra is some 30k from our base in Pollenca and there is a long climb ahead towards Puig Major before the Pro Carbon and I get to drop to the world’s end, so we’d better get cracking.  The published wisdom is to get to the bottom before 9am and make your way back up before the road opens for tourist coaches an hour later.

And a nice steady warm up it was.  Roads beautifully quiet bereft of traffic and the sun – which would be the second enemy if I arrived late.  The climb from the bay at Sa Calobra up Coll de Cals is described as ‘exposed’ after the first couple of pleasantly pine clad kilometres.

Eventually we arrive at the sign for Sa Calobra, one more short climb and we should be staring into the abyss if my mapping’s right.

And there it was, we had arrived.  Not sure how to describe what I was thinking other than perhaps mild terror given that I don’t do heights that well.  There are plenty of photographs online, and my hurried effort does not do it justice.  But let’s just say the retaining walls are low and the drops buttock clenching.  Thank god for that hair conditioner.

My descent is therefore best described as nervous.  Some of the 40 + changes of direction drop sharply and then there’s the 270 degree swirl half a kilometre from the summit nicknamed the ‘Tie Knot’.  That football manager was some engineer, no wonder it took them 6 years to build the road.

Eventually we drop through the pine trees to the small bay dominated by the obligatory tourist restaurant and coach park.

There are two guys at the bottom who have been availing themselves of the toilets in anticipation of their 10k of uphill fun.  Their expressions focussed as they turn on their mobile phone apps, say a brief ‘Ola’ and depart.

Funny that.  Never had myself down as looking Spanish and judging from their club kit these guys were from Preston.  Tan must be coming on a bit and I am quite short I guess…

Anyhow, quite enough procrastination.  Caffeine gel quickly ingested and time to get moving.

Riche Port’s 23 minutes 59 second record set at the 2012 Sky training camp is quite safe today.  My challenge is more one of completing the climb before the coaches and hire cars start flying around those hairpins and it’s nine already.

The first two kilometres are fresh in my mind as we climb out through the pine trees.  I’m feeling good, but conscious that I need to keep focussed as I’m on my own and the Pro Carbon doesn’t say much.

Five kilometres in and it’s getting tough.  Out of the saddle on the bends, and back in the seat on the straights.  The sun is warming up with me and the side of a cliff is facing it.  I was well hydrated earlier but I’m losing moisture fast.

Eight Kilometres and a ramp hits 13%.  I’m feeling it now.  Back aches, and my Aussie hair conditioner is let’s just say, not up to the mark.  Must be nearly there but looking ahead the road just seems to climb and climb.

And then it comes into sight, the Tie Knot.  I AM nearly there with just half a kilometre to go.

I round the loop to the last straight and am met by a middle aged German woman walking down to the viewing platform in the Knot.  ‘Morgan’ she mouths, with one of those looks which mixes compassion with pity.  I’ve morphed from Spanish to German in just ten Kilometres.

Finally the summit.  Is there anyone taking photos, selling certificates or t-shirts?  It wouldn’t be like the Mallorcans to miss such a trick.

No.  There was only what I presume was the German lady’s better half relieving himself against the back wheel of their hire car.  And a good ‘Morgan’ to you too sir!

My time?  Ah yes my time….just shy of the hour at 58 minutes.  No challenge for Ritchie Port, but one great challenge for me.

Howler 2017 Routes

The 2017 Howler is coming for you on the 24th September and if you’re watching the Tour of Britain this Saturday you’ll have a flavour of what to expect…

The Short Route takes in some ‘lumps’ between Cubblington and Upper Winchendon, whilst the Long Route takes in the Cat 3 KOM after 69 miles – ouch!

Take a closer look below:

Short Route

Long Route

Come join us – you’ll get a free Howler water bottle, free coffee/tea on arrival (ok without bone china..) plus free BBQ protein when you get back!

What’s not to like

 

Numbers – What Numbers?

Continuing on our ‘keeping it green’ theme we were talking about rider numbers whilst out riding this weekend.

Personally I hate ‘cable tying’ them to my nicely cleaned bike. So we got to thinking what we really need them for.

Emergency number? Well no…we have one of the best timing solutions available with adhesive helmet chips on which we can print the contact number.

Event photos? Well no….we’re not interested in charging you for photos. As always we take photos and post them on our website. They might  not be professional and you might not always find one, but if you do just download it for free. There have been some pretty decent free snaps over the years.

Food stations ? Well no…..whilst we don’t want to dish out free malt-loaf to every cyclist in Buckinghamshire we trust people….and heck if they come and ride our next event they’re welcome. As is any cyclist looking for water.

So there it is. Hundreds of plastic cable ties (as ephemeral as a mayfly) plus unnecessary toner ink and laminating plastic saved.

Your number and our emergency number will be printed into the timing chip this year. Just bring your helmet with you when signing in and you and we’ll stick it straight on!

Now we’re really going green. Numbers – who needs em?