A few weeks ago my mate Mitch called me about a local event called The Ronde van Vegas.
It’s organised by local bike shop Velotastic and is classified as a Reliability Trial to “challenge and test your skill and stamina”
In a nutshell it was a 100km unsupported, unmarshalled adventure on the quiet roads, byways, and bridleways that surround Velotastic’s home town of Chesterfield.
Entants were supplied with a GPX file of the route and details of the start/finish point at Holmesfield Village Hall.
We arranged to meet up at about 8.00am. Myself and Paul drove up and Mitch, Martin, Pascal (Fluffy), and Daz rode in on their bikes. I was riding my rigid Sonder Frontier 29er mountain bike and the others were astride a variety of gravel bikes.
It started really well; we were soon into a lovely section of singletrack in which my mountain bike proved an advantage (that didn’t last long). At the bottom of the descent Daz suffered the first of his punctures. Much of the early riding was on gravel and bridleways and I had no problems keeping with the group on these sections. The road sections were a little tougher and I was hanging on for grim death at the back at times; my big fat mountainbike tyres were no match for skinny gravel rubber. At the halfway point we pulled into, a deliberately convenient (by the organisers), cafe at the former Pleasley Pit works for a cup of tea or two and a bacon roll (or two); and very nice it was too.
After lunch we spent quite a while riding along converted former railways lines and whizzed along a good pace before rejoining country lanes; at which point I got unceremoniously dropped several times. We did find the time to stop for an ice cream though, I chose Raspberry Ripple and it was delicious.
Finally we crossed Beeley Moor, enjoying the spectacular vistas of The Peak District before finding ourselves back at the village hall in a very comfortable seven hours. The sun was out for most of the day and the riding temperature was very pleasant; it was a good day. Then we ate some cake, which we all agreed rounded things off nicely.
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