cycling


The Park’s own cycling volunteers, the QECP Collective, have just run their first successful event. This was one of a National series of downhill time trails which was run with help from British Cycling and attracted over 100 entrants.

The location for the trial was not in the main country park but an adjacent block of Forestry Commission plantation where  pre-booked events as diverse as archery and motorcycle trials take place.

The aim of a downhill trial is simply for riders to race against the clock along a winding stretch of un-surfaced single track. The time taken is typically about 1 minute with riders making several attempts over the course of a day.

Specialist bikes and safety gear are essential for this type of competition and thanks to good organisation and sensible riding the event passed without incident.

It is about 17 years since the last downhill trial at QECP and this will now become an annual event.

The QECP Collective are to run a second mountain bike event on the 21st July. This will be a Gravity Enduro and will again be run in partnership with British Cycling.

A Gravity Enduro involves longer trail sections, each with 3-6 minutes of cycling and also with an element of climb or descent, typically 100m.

A total of 5 timed sections will be added together to form an aggregate score which will determine the winner in each category. For more information and to book in for the event go to http://www.qecptrailcollective.co.uk

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On the 18th/19th May the Park hosted the annual QECP Cycle Festival. Run by Hargroves Cycles this popular event started as a dealer day and has developed into a two day celebration of everything to do with cycling.

This year Cancer Research was the nominated charity which received a substantial donation from Hargroves at the end of the event.

There were all the major manufacturers and suppliers of bikes and parts present including Cube, who had come over from the continent specially for the event, Specialized, Scott and Shimano.

The two permissive mountain bike trails that run through the QE Forest provided the means for potential customers to test out the latest models.

The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday evening Enduro. This was a 4 hour off-road marathon with the entrants individual or team categories had to perform loops of a purpose designed course.

The winner of the individual event was Joahnnes Sickmuller who was racing for the Stevens Team. Johannes has been regularly placed in off-road events at European and World level for several years now, and was also first in last years race.

Alex Smith from the QECP Collective managed a very respectable 22nd place out of a field of over 100 entrants.

The Collective who are the Park’s own volunteer group, are now preparing to run their very first event which will take place in Head Down on the 1st June.

This will be the 4th Round in the National Gravity Project Race Series and will be the first downhill race to take place at QE for 17 years. The Collective have teamed up with British Cycling who also officiated at the Cycle Fest’ Enduro.

For more information about the Cycle Fest’ including a course video and race results go to http://www.qecpcyclefest.co.uk

Details about the forthcoming Gravity Project event can be found at facebook.com/gravityprojectgp   or on the Collective’s twitter @QECP_collective

The A3 Cycle Project continues to make progress. The feasibility study has shown that the route would work well, although the costs seem  much higher than envisaged. Negotiations continue to reduce these where possible so that we are in the right ball park figure to submit the necessary grant application.

The A3 Cycle Route petition will continue for another three weeks until after the QECP Cycle Festival. At this point we hope to have close to 5,000 signatures which is a fantastic total. The petition has been organised by local members from the Cyclist Touring Club (CTC) who are also doing great work analyzing all the data to help make a strong case. If you have not yet signed the petition the link is below.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/cycle-route-through-a3-butser-cutting.html

This 4km route which finishes at the Park Centre begins in a lay-by located on what is known as the Causeway to the south of Petersfield.

A separate cycle route has just been completed and this takes riders out of Petersfield and as far as the same lay-by. At this point the new route will hopefully take over. And finally from the same lay-by there in an existing cycle route which uses Bollinge Farm Lane to go directly to the village of Buriton.

The image below shows the new route and lay-by with Butser Hill in the background.

 

The QECP Cyclefest takes place over the weekend on the 18th/19th May. Many different manufacturers will be present to show off their new models, parts and accessories and the The highlight of the event will be a 4 hour enduro on the Saturday evening.

For more information go to http://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk

 

  

                                                                                                                                                 

Energy workers with a passion for the outdoors braved chill conditions to repair a well-used section of cycle path for mountain bikers at the Queen Elizabeth Park. 

From Southern Electric’s offices in Havant, Dave Goulson, Graham Banks and Damien Baldwin, left their computers for a day to turn themselves into volunteer ground workers. 

And after a day of digging, shovelling, raking and laying hardcore aggregate, they had repaired a muddy section of the cycle trail to make it much easier to ride and to extend its lifespan. 

Dave Goulson, who is also part of the cycle trails’ committee at the Queen Elizabeth Park, explained: “The park has two mountain bike trails, one of which has been upgraded over the last two to three years by volunteers.  We opened it last year and it’s been a huge success with the park seeing a massive increase in usage by cyclists. 

“After a year of hard use, it needs repair in some sections and this is what we were doing, removing very muddy sections by digging down to the base chalk layer and filling it with hardcore aggregate, which should provide a weatherproof and enjoyable trail to ride. 

“It certainly made a complete change from our normal day job!  We shifted about one ton of aggregate through the day, which was hard graft, and we all had aching muscles afterwards, but it was well worth all the effort.  More work will be required to improve the second trail, which we are hoping to start later this year. 

The team from Southern Electric was able to volunteer its services as part of the company’s Community at Heart scheme, which gives employees a day away from the office to help out in the community.  

Southern Electric is a leading UK-owned provider of electricity and gas. Its principal centres of operation are in Havant, Reading, Portsmouth and Basingstoke. Southern Electric’s parent company, SSE, supplies more than 9 million customers through its retail brands, Southern Electric, SWALEC, Scottish Hydro and Atlantic. SSE is one the UK’s largest generators of electricity with over 13,000 MW of generation capacity in total (UK and Ireland). More information at http://www.sse.com/Home/

For more details on the QECP Cycle Collective go to www.qecptrailcollective.co.uk 

 

The cycle volunteers otherwise known as the QECP Collective continue their good work across the site. They have been carrying out maintenance on the new Red Bike Route and are busy planning the up-grade of the old Purple Route.

In addition the group are helping with three cycle events for 2013. A a repeat of last years Night Time Enduro and two new events which will take place in an adjacent forest block.

For more images of the last of their monthly work weekend see the link below;

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gqv3nt8ce5tnco2/rioAllRFC4

For those who are up with the latest fads and sensations on the world-wide web, and who can recognise a ‘internet meme’ when they see one the QECP Collective have just performed their own version of the ‘Harlem Shake’. This is effectively a comedy sketch accompanied by a short excerpt from the song of the same name.

The concept originated in Australia at the beginning of February so the Collective are officially only 1 month behind the trend. See the link to the clip and for more information about the group and how to get involved.

http://www.qecptrailcollective.co.uk/2013/02/harlem-shake-qecp-collective-style/

 

Various different training providers use the facilities at QECP to put on sessions for the public. These can cover an amazing range of subjects from gilding to painting and chainsaw use.

This weekend a local trainer, Phil Quill, was taking a small enthusiastic group of cyclists through the MIAS Mountain Bike Leader course. The course aim was to promote safe enjoyment of all aspects of mountainbiking in an on or off road environment.

The MIAS sylabus (Mountain Bike Instructors Scheme) provides training and assessment in the technical and group management skills required by those who wish to lead groups in the UK.

More details of this and other courses offered by Phil go to his Hampshire Training web-site on www.hantstraining.co.uk

The next six months of events and activities, covering the period from the start of April through to the end of the Summer, is currently being put together by Park staff. This will be avaliable shortly in hard copy from the Visitor Centre of on the web-site at www.hants.gov.uk/qecp

 

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http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/cycle-route-through-a3-butser-cutting.html

 

Some months ago the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) set up a petition looking for support with a project to build a new cycleway along the side of the A3 from the Park Centre north to Petersfield. The idea being to create a safe route which would suit all cyclists whether they were commuting to work or passing through as recreational users.

At the point 2,000 people had signed that petition funds were raised to carry out an outline feasibility. The total is now well over 3,000.

Today the project team met on site to review progress and for a site visit. The 1,400 metre route has now been surveyed and the problem areas identified for further investigation.

The feasibility report will be published between April and June this year and then partners can meet to discuss funding and a way forward.

Public support is vital if this project is to succeed and the above link will take you to the on-line petition. A hard copy signature sheet can be found in the QECP Visitor Centre.

 

 

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