Howardian Hills – Organiser’s Comments

It was great to see 110 riders at Terrington on a Bank Holiday Saturday. Dave and Danny had planned an excellent course with plenty of route choice and the bulk of the controls were in the woods along the central ridge. It really is a beautiful area, the tracks were unbelievably dry despite last week’s snowfall and the sun came out for the afternoon. Thanks to Jens for another excellent map, the helpers for making everything run smoothly and the volunteers who collected all the controls while you were on your way home. Terrington village hall made an excellent event centre – although it meant an uphill finish from every direction.

We didn’t have to pay for access this month so we have donated £110 to Yorkshire Air Ambulance to thank them for helping Michael and Nick last month. They are both back home and recovering well after surgery. Hopefully, we will see them at an event before the end of the season – as well as Adrian Baskerville who had a serious bike accident last month.

I enjoyed my ride as always but could only get out for 2½ hours as I needed to download the Start block and get back for the first finishers. I picked a scenic route so rode around Castle Howard then along the wooded ridge north of Terrington before coming back past Wiganthorpe so was very relieved to find the final track across the field was easy to ride.

Congratulations to the category winners especially Andy Conn for clearing all 30 controls in just over 4 hours; John Dixon winning M60 with his best ride for a long time and 4th overall; Martin & Max Vesty continuing their winter form and winning the Generation class and 5th overall; John Galway winning M50 at his first event in over 2 years – welcome back; Steph Fountain & Richard Schumaker beating all of the other mixed teams.

Unfortunately, there were a couple of problems. A number of riders couldn’t find the start of a bridleway from the B1257 and unwisely decided to climb over a nearby locked gate. Obviously, this is unacceptable and naturally annoyed the farmer who I spoke to later to apologise on your behalf. Bridleway gates are rarely locked and, if one is, you would be told about it as you were told about an electric fence across a bridleway on another part of the course. The same farmer was spraying a field when he saw a rider using the old railway line which is a marked as a footpath (and overmarked as out of bounds). I don’t think this was a lost rider but someone trying to cheat which is why we issue bike numbers. Unfortunately, the farmer couldn’t see his/her number but if he had he/she would have been disqualified. I also saw 2 riders open a gate in front of me despite a bright yellow 6x2ft sign marked private with a bridlegate 5m to the right. Fortunately, I was able to stop them before they reached the farmyard but, please remember that we have no right to use a track just because it’s there. Please stay on the bridleways or stay away. Our reputation as mountain bikers is not enhanced by this type of behaviour and makes permission to use private tracks unlikely in future.

Finally, but far less importantly, I am sorry for the wait at registration for riders who had paid and pre-entered. We are still coming to terms with coping without Dave & Sue. There will be an extra desk next month for paid pre-entries who have their own SI dibbers!!

I hope some/most of you will make the trip up to Blanchland for the first NEMBOS event of the season next Saturday (14th April). It’s a brilliant area and Martin Edwards has again got permission to ride many private estate tracks – including another couple that we couldn’t use last year. There are also a few controls inSlaleyForest for the orienteers amongst you so hope to see you there.



It’s busy next month with 4 events in a week!!

Saturday 12th May Keldy Cabins, Pickering Forest

Andrew Windrum has planned a Medium MBO event in the morning as part of the BMBO National League using Dave Evans’ controls for the NYMBO 3 hour Score event in the afternoon. You can ride in both but if you ride in the morning you have to enter non-competitively in the afternoon.

Wednesday 16th May George & Dragon, Hudswell, Richmond

2 hour NYMBO Summer evening Score event around Swaledale

Saturday 19th May Grassholme Reservoir, Teesdale

4 hour NEMBOS league event – same area as last year but all new control sites and even more private estate tracks to ride

Hope to see you at one or all of them.

Steve Willis

PS Our apartment in Samoens is still available for a few weeks in the summer and the chairlifts are open to mountain bikes in July and August!!

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