Mountain Mayhem 24hr 2014

 This years Mountain Mayhem 24hr race Was held at Gatcombe park again but it couldn’t be much different than last year. For one the sun came out and stayed out for the whole event. It actually reached 27 degrees at one point. The second was that there was barely a breeze which was such a relief after last years gale force wind, The third was that the course had been re designed after last year and was 100% better, more downhills and the climbs were shorter.
 Friday night is always party night at mayhem and after a scorching day setting up camp what better way to relax than to have a beer? Dan and I went for a recce lap first and found the course had great single track descents and climbs, plenty of passing places, a few technical sections but nothing to catch anyone out and although the climbs were tough they were manageable.
 We were Joined by Judy and Roy from who sponsor us with their recycles bike goodies and we also met Ellis from Fibrax Ltd who gave us brake pads and cables. Bruce from Mudhugger was away racing himself so couldn’t join us.
At 12 noon on Saturday the klaxon sounded and Andy started the LeMans style run to his bike. It was time for me to return to the tent to get ready as I was out on the course next. It was so hot that i just wore a base layer, the team shirt and shorts.
 The first half of the lap had some sweet twisty sections where, if you had a clear run you could let the brakes off and swoop through. I did over do it at one hairpin corner though and went through the marking tape barrier and narrowly avoided hitting a Marshall. there was a tight section past the lake but mostly there was lots of room to over take and to let faster people through. There were a couple of grassy sections which were red hot as the sun beat down on them and there were more climbs in the last third but overall this years course was 100% better than last years. The finish stretch was through the camp site and the cheers, offers of energy drink or a squirt from a super soaker  were amazingly motivating at the end of a hard lap. I even saw a very attractive lady hoola hooping at one point, or i might have been hallucinating from the heat!
We kept going taking turns to do laps until nearly 1 am and had a break, I then went out at 0430 and the laps (after breakfast!) started again. there was some great banter out on the course and we all had a few battles where we were either faster up hill or downhill to other riders
 when the clock finally ticked down to 12 noon on Sunday we had done 20 laps, no where near the podium but I;m sure we did our best, we came in the final 3rd of our categorie but no where near last. I wish i had gone for another lap at night and then the early one but it does give me motivation for next time. Although I’m in two minds whether to do it again as the weather can’t be this good again could it? we had a fantastic time and the sunshine was the icing on the cake
 We have to say a massive thanks to our Pit Area Manager Melba for looking after us all weekend, brewing tea and making meals, with the assistance of Andy and little Oliver her 8 month old son, we couldn’t do it with out her!
<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>Ride 90
40 miles

Total 1734

commute 445

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