Summer’s here: and so’s the cycling festival season
The weather is warming-up, the evenings are longer, and we’re all hunting for our shorts and flip flops from the back of the wardrobe. Now’s a great time to get out and ride for sure, but also just to enjoy relaxing in the great outdoors; eating, drinking and enjoying some banter with your mates. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that combining the two would make for a great time.
The good news is that a number of the UK’s off-road event organisers have done just that, bringing you simply fantastic cycling challenges with a party atmosphere thrown in. And as ever here at Pedal Planner, we’re delighted to do the hard work of bringing all that information together, so you can get on with the riding without the hassle of the googling… Read on and find a stand-out event for you and your mates that will last long in the memory, from our listing of mtb cycling festivals 2015…
Swig while you’re winning…
Alongside Glastonbury, the Munich beer festival has to be one of the biggest festivals on the planet. But were you aware that there’s a mountain biking Oktoberfest right here in the UK? The brainchild of Paul & Mike at BikeFest, the Oktoberfest is the Bavarian brother of the June BikeFest event which sports ‘events within the event’ to suit all appetites; 3, 6 and 12 hour races plus the already infamous ‘Steve Worland ride singletrack hard & drink a swig of cider per lap memorial cup’.
Oktoberfest includes 4 and hour ride options. For both events you can take on the all-weather Aston Court singletrack as an individual, or as a team of 2, 3 or 4. Central to both however, is the party atmosphere; the racing is close, fast & furious for sure, but the high point has to be the post race party – helped along by great musical line-ups, the bottomless bar and high quality catering. There’s onsite camping trackside and adjacent to the event village, so what’s stopping you getting involved with Bikefest in 2015? There are even demo bikes to try, so your partner can do the Christmas shopping!
Why grimace when you could be grinning?
We wouldn’t be into mountain biking if we didn’t like a challenge, and indeed many events promote and name themselves on the basis that the challenge will be super-tough: the Brecon Beast, Hell of the North Cotswolds and the Longest Day, Longest Ride to name but three.
We love these events and others like them at Pedal Planner, but we also enjoy events where the nature of the challenge is multifaceted.
Enter the Cream O’ the Croft mountain biking festival, organised by our friends north of the boarder Muckmedden. They have cunningly devised a ‘decathlon’ mtb event as an excuse for all the other more frivolous entertainment laid on. Over the weekend riders will compete in various disciplines (hill climb, dual slalom, pumptrack, downhill, cross-country, etc.) to determine who really has the bragging rights as best all-round rider.
Younger cycling festival goers: fill your boots
So what of the aforementioned frivolous entertainment at Cream O’ the Croft? In addition to the obligatory excellent music, food and booze, the organisers are laying on various accommodation options, from camping to glamping and farmstead rooms.
Younger cycling festival goers can fill their boots, too: there are bush-craft sessions, a giant water-slide, balance bike sessions and kids bike races. For the aspiring young Danny MacAskills out there, there’s even a stunt airbag … . And there’s retail action on hand, with trade stands and a bike jumble. Even the culture vultures are catered for, with a Scottish movie premiere – shown in a pedal powered cinema, of course!
Can you survive ‘The Wobble’?
Further 2015 cycling festival highlights include The Real Ale Wobble which marks the start of the 10 day long mid Wales beer festival (now there’s a test of stamina!). May in Aberystwyth hails the Abercyclefest, where the downhill course runs right onto the seafront promenade, plus the amazing MTB marathon series races – these guys always put on a great show, with superb riding. North of the border, Scotland’s Tweed Valley hosts Tweedlove in late May, where more than 20 events are being put-on, from bike specific Pilates sessions to a bivvy night.
So whatever your bag, we’re confident that there’s an off road cycling festival out there to suit you. And as we’ve brought all the information together for you, all you need to worry about now, is where you left those flip-flops!
Our thanks to Mike at BikeFest and Jon Brookes of rightplacerighttime for the images in this article.