Friday, 29 June 2012

Wiggle Mountain Mayhem 2012
Mountain Mayhem has the prestigous title of the largest 24hr bike race in the UK with literally 1000's of riders pitting themselves against each other.
This year I had the privalage of being in a team with Matt Page, Josh Ibbot and Rich Rothwell together we formed team Wiggle / Exposure in the expert catergory.
Due to the adverse weather conditions, tyre choice would play a crutial part on lap times.
I used 1.5inch Schwalbe Black Shark mud tyres and they were faultless cutting through the mud and holding in the sloppy corners .
Matt lead us out with a solid run and a 1st swift lap. Already the ground was sodden and with such heavy traffic it was only going to get worse. Full suss out, hardtail in.
Josh and rich continued the theme with consistant laps, we all knew that these conditions favoured us as we are all 24hr racers used to slogging it out through the night.
At 1am when Rich arrived in the pit we didn't even recognise him all we could see was his white teeth it was hilarious and then I realised I would be out in it soon enough.
Ben (mechanic), Nia (Matt's amazingly understanding wife) and Anne the physio ( all worked  incredably hard. cleaning the bikes every lap and Anne worked on each of us every lap, it was such a treat having such a professional and efficient team everything was ready without needing to utter a word, I couldn't think of a better team to work with.
I was glad of the heavy rain because wet mud is better than slightly claggy mud, I am now offically a mud connoisseur, sometimes the river of mud is a better choice than the obvious line.
Every member of our team just got on with it, I guess together we have a fare few years of expierience when it comes to managing pain and pushing on, we just knew we could rely on each other- no worries, there are no quitters here.
thanks to the exposure lights riding at night was great they stood up to the insesant downpours and lumps of crap.
As the sun rose the nights deluge was very apparent the track was as wide as a motor way with riders trying to find dry lines, some puddles were hub deep and all the roots were submerged beneath a carpet of brown sludge, cascades of brown water slid down the hill side it was carnage, it was a bit funny really.
Josh wrapped things up nicely with the final lap and his tall slender figure slid around tthe final corner and we all stood in the finishing straight cheering him on through the finish.
 finishing 3rd, we could leave content . Everyone who stuck it out then had to face the mountain of dirty washing ahead that in itself was a test of endurance!
Happy days ;)

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