Thursday the 18th July 2019 saw 17 intrepid mountain bikers set off on epic tour round the Cotswolds to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK. Made up of current and former Dyson employees who regularly ride together, this is now an annual event in it's fifth year.
Le Tour de Dyson started of as a road ride to raise money for Dyson's chosen charity, the mountain bikers then added an off road version. The off road tour used to be in September. This year however it was decided that a date in July would give us better weather and longer daylight hours. On paper this ride should only take around 6-8 hours, but when you factor in a large group and refreshment stops along with the inevitable mechanicals, it ends up as a full day event.
The route for the 2019 tour was made up of sections from our regular wednesday night rides. Starting of in Malmsbury we picked up parts from Avening, Birdlip, Cranham, Grumpy run, Sapperton, Slad and Woodchester, all linked up into one long ride. The first few miles went well and the pace was high, until we hit our first mechanical.
A crank bolt snapping created a little early drama, but with some tie wrap engineering and the close proximity of a bike ship all was not lost. The mechanical failures of the day were limited considering the size of the group and the length of the ride. Although they made up for it in severity, along with a broken crank a destroyed rear mech was the limit of the mechanicals.
So having our first mechanical conveniently close to a bike shop, we didn't get to see how long cable ties and sticks would hold a crank on.
The Bell Inn Selsley was our first stop for more water and refreshment, they are part of the water bottle refill scheme. Appreciation for the water with show by the purchase of beer. Unfortunately our preferred route at this point turned out to be a no go. So instead of a nice ride paste Woodchester mansion, we were faced with a road climb. We still got the ride the super sic single track from the Woodchester ride, so all was not lost.
The body wrecker
Back on the trails of Randwick, Popes wood and Painswick the ride was starting take its toll on riders. The day was heating up and the consumption of water and food was increasing. The mid section of the ride was largely uneventful, a lot of great trails, then a pub stop at the The Woolpack for more water, beer and crisps. We were to early at this pub stop to get chips in so had to settle for alternative salty snacks.
Not long after this stop the second major mechanical of a destroyed XTR mech happened. While the now defunct derailleur was removed and the bike set up as single speed a small detachment left in search of the next pub. Reunited at The Daneway it was onto the home stretch a nice spin along the canal before the final climb out of the Stroud valley and heading back to Malmesbury.
Back in Malmesbury we were greeted with burgers and beers, well deserved after a truly epic day. There were no injuries and only minimal mechanicals. If you would like to donate you can do so here: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/mtdd