Another chance for a different type of event, the Bucks Off Road Sportive is held in Bucks naturally, a great place to ride. Don’t let the start just off the M25/M40 junction decieve you, this area has I’d say more singletrack per mile than any other natural area in the UK. The riding when the ground is dry, as it is now, is absolutely superb; flowing ribbons of tracks, tons of superb wooded singletrack descents, I love it here.
Having done the 121Km ride last year on a Ibis Mojo I was keen to compare such a long ride with the Pegasus. Me and RichJ set off at the head of the field at a pretty steady pace and waited to see who was going for it. Initially only a few riders were ahead, one we would never see again with him being an Ex Austalian National champ, and a pair of speedy riders in blue. Then Gav Rumbles and mate Paul blasted past us and that was it, we formed a little group holding 6th on the road……..but it’s not a race!
Up to and after the first feed zone at 20 miles we played a jostling game, losing people or gaining on singletrack and then regrouping on the road sections. Eventually at the 3 hour point it was down to just me, Rich and our riding companion for the rest of the ride, Brendan from the organising club. We had a heap of fun chasing each other on all the fast bits, sometime taking multiple lines down the same rooty hills, trying to get the top line down, just ace.
Towards the end as we smelt the finish, hanging on to speedy youngster Rich (mega endurance for an 18Yr old) was tough, It did inspire the both of us to climb beyond our aching legs though. At the finish after 5Hr 46 mins of ride time we were back. Minutes later swigging a complimentary Guiness from our Commerative glass we kicked back feeling pretty good about the whole days ride. It got better though, about 15 mins later Gav and Paul showed up; having gone the wrong way obviously they were a little suprised to see us, I guess we were 4th home then for the 121Km.
All told the Pegasus was superb, riding with two full bouncers on speed was no problem. At no time did I back off even through some pretty boulder and root strewn descents where we were on the limits of control. Comfort wise it felt good, back ache set in at about the 3 hr dark stage, pushing the 32 T up some stiff drags probably not helping there, but this feeling is no different to Mojo rides anyway.
At the end, I’m pretty sure I felt less battered than the Mojo ride of 2009 which is a result. Amazingly the ride time is exactly the same as last year, freaky! It was a different route this year, and in 09 I rode most of the ride on my own without the windbreak of a few companions.
So which bike for the Kielder 100 later on in the year, I’m still not sure!