On the weekend of the 15-16th June I completed the Wiggle Mountain Mayhem 24 hour mountain bike endurance event. With heavy rain on the Friday night, the course wasn’t in the best of shape for the start of the event on the Saturday afternoon.
The race started as usual with a Le Mans style run to your bike. This turned out to be a half mile run around the arena before mounting the bike and setting off for the first lap.
The course was just under 7 miles long and 95% of the lap was contained within the woods on single and double tracks.
For such an ‘all ability’ course I thought the climbs after the midway point were brutal. Seeing professional and top team riders off their bikes and pushing or running with them made me feel a little better when I had to dismount to ascend.
Lap one is always a stop-start affair with the masses of riders bottlenecking on tight parts of the course. Somehow I gained a puncture halfway through the first lap, just as the heavens opened for the first of many times during the weekend.
After changing the tube I had no more mechanical issues and it was simply a case of cycling through boggy and plasticine covered trails for the remaining twenty plus hours!! Having a couple of ‘senior moments’ on the night laps, I decided to rest up for a few hours; have some food and a change of clothes; and check my eyelids for holes. Then I went back out at 4.30am for a couple more laps.
When I finally crossed the finish line at 12.20pm I had completed 10 laps (2 more than last year) and clocked up well over 100km in sticky conditions……I was exhausted but satisfied with that.
I would personally like to say ‘thank-you’ to the sponsors for taking the time to donate for this challenge. At points of the event when things go mentally dark its these donations that kept me spurred on…it very much appreciated.