Thursday, March 27, 2008



I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and the snow didn’t dampen your spirits or stop you from riding your favourite trails across the weekend. Ian and I spent Easter in one of my favourite areas of the UK world, Church Stretton. The annual AQR Spring weekend became the AQR Easter weekend this year, and what a wonderful turn out of bikers who weren’t put off by the depressing weather reports leading up to the weekend. Thirty riders joined the AQR boys Ian, Jon, Paul and one AQR lady, that be moi, for a weekend on the Long Mynd. As promised the sun followed the AQR crew around for most of the weekend with only the occasional blizzard, but to my huge relief no snowflake stopped our mountain bike tracks and we managed two full days of riding.

I have to admit the week leading up to the AQR Easter weekend was filled with KP worry. I’m a worry-wort at the best of times. But…I don’t know if I’m allowed to start a sentence off with BUT, but I will any way because my BUT wants emphasis. BUT when every news channel has severe weather warnings; and there is a huge black blanket of cloud covering the area where AQR will be guiding on a weekend trip that I organised…then you would be worried too! I had visions of 30 unhappy guests who had paid for an Easter Spring mountain bike weekend, who had been promised sunshine and dry trails. Naturally I’m the optimistic one in the Potter relationship (for those who know Ian I’m sure you will agree, Ian doesn’t do optimism, luckily for me he doesn’t bother reading my blogs). BUT I knew my optimism could now land me in a trail of trouble. Ian warned me not to promise UK sunshine. I had jinxed our weekend trip and now it looked like AQR’s Easter Spring ride could be a bleak one.

When Ian and I arrived on Good Friday morning we had planned to check out Saturdays ride. The Potters had arrived in sunshine, but as we took off to ride the Carding Mill climb it started snowing. As we headed up the first climb it started blowing a gale and I couldn’t ride my bike. I was fighting the wind, and even when I thought I was on the right line I ended up being blown back down the hill or even worse, being blown off my bike…this is when a light bike is not an advantage.

Once we reached the top Ian and I were screaming at each other, not because we were mad, but because the wind was so strong we couldn’t hear each other. I couldn’t read Ian’s lips either as he is a mumbler and has a strange accent…he needs to learn some proper aussie-english. Although I think Ian quite enjoyed some KP silence for a change. By the time we had descended down the other side the weather had worsened. My lips had turned a shade of blue and I couldn’t see too far out in front as the snow was blinding. I wasn’t too sure how to ride my bike either, as the wind was taking control of it and I was merely the passenger. I might have been laughing and enjoying the situation had I worn my winter thermals, but silly me was saving them for the next day. Who needs finger tips and toes anyway...mmmmm.

Well we returned back to the B&B as fast as the wind would take us, and I mean that literally. It was time to face the guests glowing glare who were expecting a spring mountain bike ride…….

Well who was worried about the weather? As promised AQR delivered! Considering there were the darkest of clouds lingering in the distance, the sun gods heard my prayers. Both days were filled with as much riding as people wanted, a couple of snowmen and just one blizzard to test our thermals…. And this time I was ready!

Stay tuned as I will be posting photos shortly……Niall I need your help for that one please.

Before I log off I just want to say a huge thankyou to Martyn Brookes for all your help on the weekend, really appreciated it. Also due to popular demand AQR will try and organise a summer weekend trip in August or you could just come and see Ian and I in Luchon if you would like some biking in proper mountains. The Annual Xmas weekend will be on again too, so check out for more info on that one.

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