Round-Up for September 2021


On Sunday 26th NTR hosted CXNE Round 2 at Gypsies Green, South Shields. It was an awesome day – we had 21 riders across all race categories and an army of supporters cheering everyone on. The weather was also fantastic compared to 2019’s washout – although that brough it’s own challenges for the racers! Congratulations go to Caroline Cunningham who came second in the Female V40s and Lois Jarvis for coming third in the Female Seniors (also her first CX race!).

You can see the results in full navigating to Races > 2021 > Round 2 on the CXNE Results website.

Massive well done and thanks to Steve Cunningham for organising/running the event, all the marshalls, racers and supporters for making it a great day.

NTR Hill Climb

NTR hosted the annual hill climb at Winter’s Gibbet, Elson on Sunday 12th. We had 19 riders across all categories, all putting in some terrific efforts on the 2 mi / 3.5km course. Special commendation to Owen Haggerty who ended up borrowing a bike at least three sizes too small for him, after suffering a mechanical during warmup. Overall it was a great atmosphere with support coming from, and going to, all clubs indiscriminately – it was definitely the boost needed at the half way point!

Full Results Sheet is available via PDF.

Well done to Ian Gallon and Mick Chappel, the marshalls, racers and supports who all ventured up to Elsdon to ensure the event was a success.

Dirty Reiver 2021

NTR veteran Matt Ellis provides us with his first-hand account of this years Dirty Reiver:

A select number of Dirtbags assembled at Kielder Castle for this years Dirty Riever Gravel ride – postponed from April 2020 and then again moved to September 2021. Being in September this year meant the prospect of warmer temperatures and as I set off at 4.30am to drive up to Kielder it was already 16 degrees overnight. So a much warmer DR this year compared to the usual April freeze. Shame about the mozzies !
For those not knowing anything about it – Dirty Reiver is a 200KM gravel ride in the heart of Kielder Forest – 3 routes available – 200KM, 130KM and for this year a new shorter option of 65KM. As a relative novice to gravel i went for the 65 !

Most had camped and on arrival there were plenty of people up and about at the start area/expo village. I quickly signed on, got my number and managed to find Mark Killing & family (Michelle and Michael were helping at the 1st feed stop). We managed to gather a few familiar faces for a quick pre-ride photo before lining up for the roll out from Kielder Castle to the official start line.

The Dirty Reiver is much talked as a tough ride, and it wasn’t long after the neutralized roll-out that we crossed the start line (purple flares marking the start) before turning onto the first section of Kielder gravel. Wow this is serious – and nothing like a tyneside waggonway ! Lots of climbing, decents, boulders, all on very technical bits of road where you could come a cropper at a moments notice.

Although not officially a race there are some serious riders (semi pro’s) wanting to get a good time. So the first 10K was a little crazy with bikes coming at you from all directions. You could easily tell the club riders, polite shouts of on your left/right/coming through/etc were welcome. Some choice words in the first miles for others nearly taking riders out but it soon settled down. It was funny to see the roadies cruising past MTBers up the hills, followed by MTBer’s absolutely hooning past on the descents (I was definitely in camp 1 here taking it ultra cautious downhill – i just don’t have the skills). Choice of 38mm tyres also made me limit my speed to avoid punctures.

I rode with Ian McEwan and Graham Dotchin over the first 30-40KM who were both aiming for the 130 route.  Those who have ridden with Ian will know… he was a machine! But it was good to push myself on and try beat my previous segment times on this route (I did a recce back in April in the freezing cold… not fun…. best not talked about).

At 44km the first feed station came into view (where we also briefly had a 4G signal!) – we were warmly greeted with food and lots of it – water/electrolytes, bananas and “Voom” energy bars – the Lime ones being particularly good. Great seeing Michelle Killing here (with son Michael) along with Tina Howe who were all keeping spirits up. They did a great job of getting riders refreshed and ready for the next section.
Mark had pre-warned me of the tough section followed from 50-60KM – and he wasnt wrong – a 30 minute effort up to Blakehope Nick. But up there, we were rewarded with stunning views over the valley and the prospect of a long descent.

At 65KM my route headed back to Kielder Castle/HQ while the 130/200 riders took a right turn over to the other side of the forest. At base we were rewarded with a non-alcoholic beer (isotonic!), some veg curry and event T-shirt. I’m sure others have other stories of adventure beyond 65KM – i counted at least 50 riders with punctures so it sure is tough on both rider and bike. Next time definitely the 130 though (and more effective mozzie cream).

Congratuations to (apologies if I missed anyone): Andrew English, John Hogg, Tony Carr, Craig Fairburn, Ian McEwan, Graham Dotchin, Mark Killing, Craig Scope, Paul Stenhouse, Craig Alderson, Paul Bestford, Gary Wallace, Lee Williams, Chris Langshaw, plus of course thanks to the superstars Tina, Michelle and Michael. You rock !

PS – Just checked official results – I finished 6th out of 141 in the 65KM category. Nice!

Reminder: Coming up in October

The following events are coming up in October:

Don’t forget that the annual Halloween social will be held towards the end of the month – look out for more info on Facebook

Regular Rides

October will see the following regular ride schedule. Full event details can be found on Facebook shortly beforehand.

  • Mondays
    • Monday Evening Gravel alternating with Destination Dirt [Offroad]
  • Tuesdays
    • Tuesday Night Training
    • Winter HALT
  • Wednesdays
    • Loops and Laps Training
  • Thursdays
    • Power Hour
    • CX Training [Offroad]
  • Saturdays
    • Gravel Grinder (Bi-weekly) [Offroad]
  • Sundays
    • Sunday Club Ride