Forest of Dean Enduro 2013

in the post Mayhen 24hr race euphoria and disappointment I agreed to enter the FoD enduro race with Dan and his two friends Ant and Craig. It seemed so far away as Mayhem was in June and this was in September, so i had plenty of time to begin to regret the enthusiasm and impetuousness of that decision. As today grew nearer i began to doubt my ability to be competitive with the others especially after my poor showing in the Single speed race, i kept telling myself that that rubbish was because of the cold i had at the time and the intense heat of early summer. So i will admit to suffering butterflys as i lined up at the start, our warm up ride didn’t instil much confidence either as i seemed to struggle up the hill to the start of the final downhill on the verderers trail (you may remember last time i was on that trail i had a bit of an accident, losing 40 minutes of memory) it was good however to exorcise some demons on that trail.
So, to the start, it wasn’t as hectic as i thought, it began on a wide fire road which allowed a selection to take place before we reached the first singletrack. Dan and Ant disappeared into the distance and i began to pick off riders until i turned off onto a rooty section. About 3 riders fell off infront of me in the first mile, they had trouble with the very slippery roots and at least two others lost their chain trying to change down for the climbs. i passed one rider on a very fast down hill and more on the fireroad sections, I’m pleased to say the only people who passed me were the very fast guys racing the four laps, they were as fast downhill too, I’ve got to admire their skills on what must very very light, stiff and twitchy hard tails. I managed to catch Ant and passed him when i took the technical route and he took a longer one, i was preying there was no smooth section after that as i know he would have caught and passed me if there had of been. Not knowing the course it was very hard to pace oneself and i was trying to keep some energy in reserve as the finish line came into sight, which as a shame as i finished only just over 1 minute after Dan, i wish i’d empted the tank to the line going full gas. other than this i was very pleased with how things went.
the course was technical enough to be a challenge but mild enough to be totally rideable all the way around and was a lot of fun, i think we’ll be adding some of the singletrack to our rides here in the future.
At one point our team was in first place but sadly Craig had a nightmare of a race suffering a puncture, broken spoke and a broken chain costing him over 35 minutes, but that’s racing i guess. The bonus though was that we had celebratory cake for free at the finish. Even though i might regret it now, I’ve indicated that I’d like to be back for another go
Thanks to Ant for the idea and organising it and for Him, Dan and Craig for letting me join in.

results are now in, I placed 20th out of 68, Dan 19th, Ant 21st and Craig 51st

ride 121
13 miles
total 2564
Sept 250
commute 1013

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