Marston Vale Forest Park is a bit of a misnomer at the moment as the ‘forest’ was only planted a few years ago on some of the ex Marston Vale brickworks site. It has been landscaped in preparation with some lakes and laid out walks but the trees at the moment are only a few feet high. There is a nice visitor centre and cafe which is where we head to for our cafe stop.
The map probably appears quite confusing as I rode from home to Stony Stratford for the start of the ride and the ride retraced some of my route back as far as Tyringham and then turned right then left, and began a circuit almost back to Olney via a different route and to Newton Blossomville across to Cranfield and down to Marston. We then retraced the route back to Cranfield then headed for North Crawley and Chicheley where I left the group who were headed back to Stony Stratford and for me it was home to Olney. I rode just under 50 miles in total.
The group at the start was around 30 riders so we split into two groups so as not to form a mobile road block for other traffic on the road. It was a misty November morning for the start of the day and stayed that way until around 11am when the sun broke through just before we had the cafe stop. It still wasnt any warmer though but at least it looked better.
The bike performed well after the modifications I am pleased to say so no further work required on it. I can now set about stripping down the Felt bike and cleaning, maintaining and rebuilding it over the winter and no doubt a few bits will need replacing as I go along. My plan will be to start riding it again after we change the clocks in spring. Meanwhile I will be using the Specialized, the Kona Mountain bike and the Fixie through the winter months as seems appropriate.