Today's Weather
Church Stretton
23 November, 2017, 12:54 pm
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
8°C
real feel: 1°C
current pressure: 99 mb
humidity: 75%
wind speed: 10 m/s SW
wind gusts: 10 m/s
sunrise: 7:47 am
sunset: 4:08 pm
 

Events

2015 Batch Burner Challenge

The 2015 Batch Burner will take place on Saturday 6th June.

Entries open on Sunday 25th January at 6pm.

Entry form is here: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/124969/LongMynd-Batch-Burner

Established in 2013, The Long Mynd Batch Burner takes place on the first Saturday in June each year. Organised and run by volunteers the Batch Burner promises to be the most fun and friendly Mountain Bike Challenge event that you can enter.

Batch Burner

The Background

Local councils are pulling funds away from small rural primary schools making it harder for them to survive but with the help of the PTA, the local community and a little bike shop with a big heart we are not going to let them win.

So on 11th May 2013 the first Long Mynd Batch Burner challenge mtb event took place on the Long Mynd in Shropshire. Showcasing 48k and 4000ft of the best of the Long Mynd’s trails it left you with sore legs and huge grins.

A collision of circumstance has brought together the PTA of Norbury Primary School (a tiny rural school located behind the Mynd) with Church Stretton’s local cycle shop Plush Hill Cycles to organise the event. Also building on the work of the local mountain bike community and the major land owner National Trust everything has come together to offer what promises to be a well organised and relaxed event taking in all of the best singletrack in the area.

The event will be a mass start challenge event, so no racing, it’s all about having fun and raising funds for Norbury Primary School (all profits will go to the School). Places are limited to 350 riders in 2014 to minimise the impact on the natural trails and avoid singletrack bottle necks. Your entry fee will include the usual race support and on arrival back at base live music and a barbeque plus a Batch Burner goodie bag. There will be a bar and plenty of cake too.

Tour d’Arts Alive Sportive

On yer Bike! The inaugural Tour d’Arts Alive event. A day of two wheeled fun, whatever your age – Sunday 28th of June 2015. Coupling a sportive with FREE family friendly activities, to create a cycling event that the whole family can enjoy!

Whether you are a Wannabe Wiggo or more of a part time pedaller, whether you ride a Pinarello or a vintage velo, Arts Alive, Flicks in the Sticks and professional bike tour company Rideventures have combined forces to create a day of cycling, fresh air and fun in the beautiful south Shropshire hills. This will be a family friendly event with something for everyone.

The Tour d’Arts Alive is a fund raising event for Arts Alive and Flicks in the Sticks, the charities that bring professional live performances, big screen films and live satellite screenings to communities all over Shropshire and Herefordshire. By taking part you will be helping the charities to continue to deliver high quality arts events to this rural area.

The Clun Sportive will be clearly signed through the beautiful South Shropshire landscape. Choose between two different routes (in Kilometres):

The Clun 100 – for the dedicated cyclist who likes a challenge
The Clun 50  – a shorter route with less climbing

Entry fee £20 per cyclist (includes homemade cakes), all family events are FREE.
Entry via https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/123915/The-Clun-Sportive

Arts Alive

RideVentures Logo

Ludlow Cycling Festival

Ludlow Cycling Festival takes place on 21st September 2014 at Ludlow Rugby Club.

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/ludlow-cycling-festival/

The festival is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and events taking place include:

South Shropshire Tors – 100km road ride to the Welsh borders and back.
Beginners/Family ride – A led 11km ride to Ludlow Food Centre
The Orchard Ride – A led 30km ride to Tenbury Wells
Mountain Bike Rides: Off-road rides in Mortimer Forest

Turbo Trainer Time Trail
Win an Islabike

Live Music
Cakes
Trampolines
Face Painting
Bouncy Castle
Hot and Cold Food
Licensed Bar

More details and booking forms can be found here: http://ludlowcc.org.uk/ludlow-cycling-festival/

Long Mynd Cycling Festival

lm_cycling_festival

The Long Mynd Cycling Festival is a Church Stretton and Cardingmill Valley based cycling festival which is taking place from Saturday 7th June 2014 to Saturday 14th June 2014.
It will feature road and mountain biking events for all the family.

Events for Adults

Saturday 7 June – The Long Mynd Batch Burner

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/long-mynd-batch-burner-2014/

A 48 km Mountain Bike Challenge over the Long Mynd and surrounding hills. SOLD OUT.
www.batchburner.org.uk

Sunday 8 June – The Long Mynd 2000 Sportive

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/the-long-mynd-2000-sportif/

Choose between a 55 mile or 92 mile route which take in some of Shropshire’s most challenging climbs. Departs from Carding Mill Valley between 8.30 and 9.30am.
www.mtb-marathon.co.uk/non-series-events/the-long-mynd-2000.html

Monday 9 June – Free Women Only Breeze Rides

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/free-women-only-breeze-rides/

Choose between a 20 mile route departing from the Chalet Pavilion in Carding Mill Valley at 10am or a 10 mile route departing from the same location at 7pm.
www.goskyride.com/breeze

Tuesday 10 June – The Burway Hill Climb

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/the-burway-hill-climb/

Come and watch or join local cyclists taking on the Burway road in an evening Hill Climb event being organised by the Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club. To enter the event or find out more details please visit the club’s website.
www.wolverhamptonwheelers.co.uk

Wednesday 11 June – Free Mountain Bike Ride

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/free-guided-mountain-bike-ride/

A guided ride over the Long Mynd led by qualified mountain bike leaders – Come and join Kate and Allen on a gentle guided mountain bike ride starting at the Chalet Pavilion in Carding Mill Valley at 6.30pm.
www.plushhillcycles.co.uk

Thursday 12 June – The Brewery Trip

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/three-tuns-brewery-trip/

10am Thurs 12th June from Plush Hill Cycles, Church Stretton – ride to the Three Tuns, Bishop’s Castle, take a tour of the brewery, lunch at the pub and return – back by 3pm

£5 (covers the brewery tour).

Vintage bikes and clobber option – break out your old bike and vintage racing jersey to take the trip in style.

Free Family Events

Thursday 12 June – Evening Family Bike Ride

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/evening-family-bike-ride/

A guided family bike ride led by qualified ride leaders. The 16 mile route takes you on gently rolling, quiet country roads. The ride is suitable for adults and children aged 12 and over (children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult). Meet at the Chalet Pavilion in Carding Mill Valley at 6pm.
www.travelshropshire.co.uk/long-mynd

Saturday 14 June – Family Day in Carding Mill Valley

http://strettonhillsbiking.org.uk/events/757/

Fun starts at 10am!
Create bike powered artwork and smoothies.
Power the Cycle Cinema.
Visit the bike demo stands.
Young children can ride around their own traffic free circuit and take part in the slow bike race.
Free Travel Shropshire learn to ride sessions at Teme Leisure in Church Stretton, book a place at: www.travelshropshire.co.uk/long-mynd

Plus lots more family activities.
For more information visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carding-mill-valley-and-shropshire-hills/things-to-see-and-do/events/

The National Trust Travel Shropshire Sustrans-logo-RGB-2005_b Plush Hill Cycles

2014 Batch Burner

Batch Burner 2014 Booking Form

Established in 2013, the Long Mynd Batch Burner is returning in 2014! The event will take place on Saturday 7th June, 2014.

Organised and run by volunteers the Batch Burner promises to be the most fun and friendly Mountain Bike challenge event that you can enter.

On 11th May 2013 the first Long Mynd Batch Burner challenge mtb event took place on the Long Mynd in Shropshire, to raise funds for Norbury Primary School in South Shropshire. It encompassed 48 kilometres and 4000ft of the best of the Long Mynd’s trails and left the riders with tired legs and huge grins.

The event is organised by the PTA of Norbury Primary School (a tiny rural school located behind the Long Mynd) together with Church Stretton’s local cycle shop Plush Hill Cycles. Building on the work already accomplished by the local mountain bike community and the major land owner the National Trust, everything has come together to offer what promises to be a well organised and relaxed event, taking in all of the best singletrack in the area.

The event will be a mass start challenge event, so it is not a race; it’s all about having fun and raising funds for Norbury Primary School (all profits will go to the School). Places are limited to 350 riders in 2014 to minimise the impact on the natural trails and avoid singletrack bottle necks. Your entry fee will include the usual race support and on arrival back at base live music and a barbeque plus a Batch Burner goodie bag. There will be a bar and plenty of cake too.

2013 Batch Burner start

Last Year’s Batch Burner Start

Batch Burner 2014 Booking Form

Sponsored by:

national_trust_logo1  logovw_logo
torqmont_spring_waterplush_hill_logo
sealskinz_logoshrophsire_council_logo

 

2013 Batch Burner Review

The day started early, for a Saturday. I awoke at 7am and wandered downstairs to make a cup of tea. I had slept badly, probably due to the anticipation of the day ahead. I drank my tea and made some toast for breakfast, wondering if I should be having toast before such an event. The weather looked rather changeable. It was dry but cloudy and the forecast was saying that there could be some heavy showers.

After double checking that I had everything I was likely to need, I loaded my bike onto the car and set off to pick up my friend from his house. We added his bike to the bike rack and drove to Norbury Village Hall, which was to be the starting place for the 2013 Long Mynd Batch Burner. After a bit of a detour down some country lanes we arrived at the venue. With still nearly an hour to go before the start, there were already over 100 riders present.

The venue had been professionally set up, with ample car parking in an adjacent field and the registration area in the village hall itself. Outside the hall there were marquees, sponsors’ stands, a refreshment stall and a stage for the afternoon’s entertainment.

Team Bike Stretton!

Team Bike Stretton!

After registering we applied our official numbers to our bikes and found our friends who were also taking part in the event.

At 10:00am we all made out way over to the starting point and listened to some final instructions and guidelines. After a countdown by the children of Norbury Primary School, we were off, on the first leg of a gruelling 30 mile trek up and down the Shropshire Hills.

With a group start of over 200 riders, it was a case of making sure you didn’t crash into one another at the beginning. Some riders got away and were setting a very fast pace. Those of us that have cycled these hills every week smiled wryly, knowing that it was more important to pace oneself for the duration.

Start of the 2013 Batch Burner

Start of the 2013 Batch Burner

After three miles of country road followed by a farmer’s track we arrived at the first of four climbs, a long steep rocky track which took us from the west side of the Long Mynd to Pole Cottage. The mile long climb was around 800ft and lasted for around 20 minutes, but it was tough and some people found it too much and had decided to walk it. I got into a rhythm and although my legs were burning I forced myself to keep going, despite the rocks trying their hardest to disrupt me. This is what I had trained for and I knew I could do this section.

The First Climb to Pole Cottage

The First Climb to Pole Cottage

As we were climbing, the sun came out and I quickly felt over dressed. Finally the end of the climb was in sight and we arrived at Pole Cottage to be greeted by a team of marshals who shouted encouragement at us for completing the section. We decided to regroup and wait for all of our group to arrive there and I was able to jettison one of my layers to one of the marshal’s vehicles.

Pole Bank

The highest point on the Long Mynd

 

Next followed a short climb to Pole Bank, the highest point on the Long Mynd and the fourth highest point in Shropshire. That meant that there had to be a downhill section to follow and indeed there was. We accelerated down the trail to Shooting Box and then along towards the Port Way. This was fast dry trail and we were soon at the Batch Valley section of the event, specifically Jonathan’s Hollow, a section that had been granted special access for the day by the National Trust.

 

Jonathan’s Hollow is a narrow trail, which is technical in places. It involved a hairpin turn on a steep slope, at the start and a marshal was warning us of the sharp left turn. Just after this was a tricky rocky section which had been made even trickier by the previous days’ rain. It was here that I had my only mishap of the day, when my front wheel decided to stop dead whilst I carried on over the handle bars. Fortunately I didn’t sustain anything more than bruised knees and a bruised ego. I was soon back on my bike and continued down the windy track to the bottom of Batch Valley.

Next followed a windy singletrack section, climbing up over Novers Hill and down to the back of the Water Factory. Then we crossed the golf course and descended into Cardingmill Valley.

None of us was looking forward to the next part of the route. The climb to the top of Motts Road was extremely difficult at the best of times. There are parts of it that none of us have ever cycled, due to the rocky terrain and the gradient of the track. The wind had increased significantly and this had made it even more difficult. I was happy to walk this part, although even this wasn’t easy fighting against the wind.

Once at the top of Motts Road, we followed the trail back down to Pole Cottage where we had our official food station stop. Much needed nourishment was taken on board in the form of flapjacks, jelly babies and bananas. By this time the wind was bitterly cold and rain was definitely in the air.

Batch Burner Food Station

Official Food Station – Photo by Richard Harley

After our brief refreshment break we set off down Callow Descent towards Little Stretton. A group of us had completed some trail maintenance on this section a week prior to the event. This had made the track much faster, by getting rid of the surface water and ruts that spoiled this particular trail. This section has to be one of the most picturesque parts of the Long Mynd and it is always difficult to keep ones eyes on the trail because of the wonderful view.

Batch Burner Callow Descent

Callow Descent down to Little Stretton – Photo by Gerwaine Draper

At Little Stretton we joined the road for a mile or so of tarmac finishing in a steep climb up to the top of Minton Hill. After a quick regroup, we headed up through the gate and began the climb of Packetstone Hill. The first part of this was not cyclable. I would describe it as resembling a bomb crater, so a dismount was necessary for the first part. Once past this initial section we climbed back on and began the ascent of this steep hill. Whilst I was climbing this section, it dawned on me that we were well over half way and the reminder of the route was relatively straight forward. After all it was over an area that was very familiar to those of us that regularly cycle the Long Mynd.

Batch Burner - Minton Hill

Minton Hill – photo by Gerwaine Draper

Twenty minutes later we reached the top of Packetstone. We decided to regroup again. However at that moment we were engulfed by a squalling shower of rain and hail, made worse by the bitterly cold wind. We therefore decide to wait until we got to the bottom of the next decent before regrouping. We then followed a mile or so of windy singletrack across Yapsel Bank to the top of the infamous Minton Batch. Here stood a marshal warning us of the tricky nature of this part of the course.

Minton Batch is a rocky, uneven, twisting trail that requires undivided attention right from the word go. With the exception of a small wooden bridge that crosses some boggy ground it is an entirely natural descent. In places you really have to have your wits about you, as one mistake could see you tumbling down the bank into the stream that runs adjacent to the trail.

It’s always a relief to complete Minton Batch unscathed and as I tend to take things quite slowly descent wise, I found the rest of my group waiting for me at the bottom.

After a quick drink we continued along the narrow country lane towards Hamperley and then up to Priors Holt. There we picked up the forest trail, which is a mile long stoney ascent towards the West Midlands Gliding Club. Whilst not particularly steep, this section always seems to take longer than it should do. However we knew that this was the last climb for the day and once at the top, it was literally all down hill to the finish.

Batch Burner - Forest Trail

Looking back down the Forest Trail

Another regroup at the top of the forestry and then we set off down towards “Trail 2”, which is a narrow zig-zag descent with several hairpin turns in it. This is a fun track although full concentration is needed down here or it is possible to get carried away and have a nasty spill. At the bottom of this section a kind marshal gave us some encouragement and told us that there were only three miles to go.

These three miles were a mixture of narrow road and unmade farmers tracks. Just when we though we’d had the worst of the weather, the heavens opened, while we were crossing an exposed area of farmer’s field. The wind drove the cold rain into our faces stinging like hail stones. It didn’t matter. We were nearly home, after 4 hours, 30 miles and 4000 feet of tough biking.

When we turned into Village Hall grounds we were met with applause and cheers from parents and children. I felt a great sense of achievement having completed what was probably physically the hardest thing I had ever done.

Batch Burner - Bike Wash

Norbury School pupils provided the bike wash!

After checking in, we were given a “goody” bag each and we tucked into a well deserved hot dog and pint, whilst listening to music from Fight the Bear, whose album was the official album of the 2013 Long Mynd Batch Burner.

The event had been superbly organised by Norbury Primary School, with the route planning by Plush Hill Cycles and a massive thank you must of course go to all those involved in the arranging of the event.

I would definitely recommend that anyone who is interested in mountain biking should enter next year’s event!

2013 Batch Burner Route

The 2013 Batch Burner Route

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