Archive for November, 2010


December Dig Day

Comments Off   Posted by Neil |  Category:Committee, Digging, Maintenance, News, Trails

The next opportunity to learn how to develop and maintain safe, sustainable trails that rock is here (well, not actually here as this is a website - it’ll be at Aston Hill on Sunday 12th December).

Ian and John will be taking the December trail maintenance and development session, and will be sharing their years of acquired trail development knowledge. It’s going to be a full-on morning of getting your hands dirty, so come dressed to dig with warm clothes and gloves (protective footwear and eyewear is also advised).

The plan is to meet at 10am in the Aston Hill carpark and then work through ’til 1pm when it’ll be time to down tools and warm up with some festive mince pies and mulled wine!

Drop a line to if you want to get involved and join the digging list to be kept up to date about forthcoming trail sessions.

Top of the Black Run at Aston Hill

 | Tags: December, , maintenance

Weather update for weekend 27th November

Comments Off   Posted by Neil |  Category:Weather and conditions

Unsurprisingly, for late November, it’s cold and it’s damp.

It hasn’t rained for a few days so it won’t be sloppy, but unless the ground stays frozen (which is possible on the north-facing elements of the Hill) conditions are going to be damp, so riding will either be incredible fun or downright madness (depending on your point of view). Wrap up warm, take food and hot drinks with you, and enjoy!

It is practically winter now, so well-treaded tyres are a must and dedicated winter/mud tyres are a good idea. As ever, read the essentials and the frequently asked questions if it’s your first time winter riding on the Hill - Aston Hill is a very different beast when the temperatures drop.

The tune of the week may surprise some of you as it’s no get-you-stoked-on-a-roadtrip number, but look a little deeper. The video is a cult classic conspiracy film called C’etait un Rendez-vous and begs the question - would driving a quick car at high speed through Paris get you stoked? I thought so. Oh yes - and Snow Patrol have the word ‘snow’ in their name, which could possibly fit the weather. And let’s face it - they are better than Coldplay!

Weather at Aston Hill for weekend of 27th November 2010

 | Tags: cold,

Government to sell off Forestry Commission sites

5 Comments »   Posted by Neil |  Category:Forestry Commission, Media, News

Forestry land is under threat

You may have already heard, but the new government is intending to sell off land currently owned by the Forestry Commission to private enterprises and a period of consultation has now been entered. (Edit: 28/1/11)

 | Tags: government, politics, privatisation, sell off

Freewheelin’ Cycles offer 10% discount to members

Comments Off   Posted by Neil |  Category:Bikes, Kit, News, Other

Freewheelin’ Cycles of High Wycombe have been in touch to let us know that they are offering a 10% discount* to all Aston Hill members on presentation of membership a card. Have a peek at their site and keep an eye on their Facebook page, where they announce a lot of last minute deals.

They’re in fine company: have a look at the facilities page to see other shops that also offer discounts.

With Christmas only a month away there’s no better time to be taking advantage of this!


 | Tags: discount, shops

Weather update for weekend of November 20th

Comments Off   Posted by Aston Hillbilly |  Category:Trails, Weather and conditions

You know what? It ain’t looking half bad.

As expected at the end of November, the temperatures aren’t too high and there’s been some pretty biblical rain, but today is bright and cheerful and this looks set to continue.

The northerly wind on Sunday will make the temperature dip, but will help to dry the Hill out a little. Wrap up well in the car park!

It will be muddy up there and well-treaded tyres are a must. As ever, read the essentials and the frequently asked questions if it’s your first time winter riding on the Hill - Aston Hill is a very different beast in the wet.

Overall though, it’s looking pretty damn good for the time of year - get up there and enjoy.

These guys are one of Neil’s favourite bands. He’s off to see them tonight. If he’s lucky they may even play this.
Weather for Aston Hill weekend of 20th November 2010

 | Tags: bright, Therapy?,

Remembrance Sunday

Comments Off   Posted by Aston Hillbilly |  Category:News, Uncategorized

Remembering those who have fallen, especially those who we have known, ridden and laughed with.

Unfortunately this past year has seen it come a little closer to home.

Spare a thought for those gone and those left behind.

Poppy in field

 | Tags: friends, poppy, remembrance day, remembrance Sunday

Aston Hill gets a new guvnor

Comments Off   Posted by Neil |  Category:Committee, News

As you no doubt know, it was the Aston Hill annual general meeting on Thursday last week.

This was a chance for guys and gals in the club to have a say about Aston Hill in an open forum. It was also the opportunity for vacant roles in the Committee (the group responsible for the everyday running of Aston Hill) to be filled by those wishing to have a direct role in pushing the Hill forward.

After nearly three years of relentless hard work on behalf of the Hill, Richard Abbott stepped down as Chairman and was voted in as a Trail Manager (which will hopefully give him some time to get back on the race circuit!) Neil Cain also resigned from the Secretary post to concentrate on being Marketing Officer.

The husband and wife team of Peter and Nicole Way were voted in as Chairman and Secretary respectively. They bring a wealth of experience in organisational roles within the RAF and managing Armed Forces clubs, and a whole load of enthusiasm for mountain biking. If you see them about (and no doubt end up talking to Peter - he’s a very sociable fellow) please give them a warm welcome!

Pete Way

Peter Way*

 | Tags: chairman, new chair, secretary

Weather for weekend 13th November

Comments Off   Posted by Neil |  Category:Trails, Weather and conditions

I hate to say this, but it’s going to be a wet one.

While the wind has been doing a great job of drying everything out, after a few days of heavy rain I think we’ll be lucky to see a dry Hill. Sunday is looking a little damp: mud tyres it is then.

On the plus side, the leaves are falling in their thousands and adding a whole new element to the riding - cutting through lines doesn’t get more colourful (and there’s a new section of trail to ride)!

Again, it’s worth pointing out that we’re heading towards winter. Aston Hill is a technically challenging venue; due to the abundance of roots and chalk-based soil it becomes even more challenging in the wet. Always ride within your limits on a well maintained bike, as described on the essentials page.

Tune of the week? A cover of a classic.

Weather at Aston Hill for weekend 13th November 2010

 | Tags: , damp, leaves,

A new trail is born


The first Hillbilly Trail Crew meet happened on Sunday 7th November with a very specific objective in mind: to get an old ‘secret’ piece of the XC route open and linking into the bottom of the Red Run. 22 people showed up at stupid o’clock on a positively autumnal morning with a combination of wild enthusiasm, hot coffee and hangovers, and got kitted up with shovels, mattocks, leaf-blowers and rakes.

Aston Hill trail maintenance


 | Tags: , maintenance, new trail

RAF Downhill Champs and coaching day

Comments Off   Posted by Neil |  Category:4-2-3, DH3, Media, News, Race, Trails, Video

Video edit of Wednesday’s RAF MTB DH Discovery Day (which was followed by the RAF Downhill Champs - write up here):


 | Tags: Army, champs, military, , RAF, training, Video