For anyone who rode at the Mountain Mayhem, last Sundays (26th June) British MTB Series race at Margam Park saw familiar conditions. Wet, cold…hot, dry. We arrived on the Saturday with the intention of pre-riding, but day long drizzle washed away all enthusiasm. Sunday saw the temperature rise from 18 to over 30 degs – hot, hot, hot! I went for a bit of a pedal around the course – a combination of hard climbs, muddy chutes and generally pretty tough. Add the sudden heatwave into the mix and it looked set to be pretty damn hard work. Think Mayhem on steroids. In an oven. Or a woollen suit. Or a bear outfit if you’re that way inclined. (more…)
Rather than the usual “goodbye” or “see you” for some reason I can’t help saying “keep it real” or “don’t sell out”. Hopefully I will stop it soon, but no doubt will move on to something equally annoying. Anyway, it started me thinking that it is actually a nice thing to do and while I don’t mean anything by it, maybe I should be taking my own candid advice. So, seeing as I race for Retrobike, I have the dilemma of riding old skool, whilst when it comes down to it, actually wanting to win. Perhaps this concept isn’t completely incompatible, but it could take some doing.
So, to come clean right from the start and seeing as this is meant to be a race report, I do have a history of competing in quite a lot of mtb from since around 1992. I would even go so far as to say that I have been consistently mediocre for quite a number of years! Anyway, I officially retired in 2005 after a successful year in the Masters category (if you are remotely interested I can bore you with the details) and ever since then have frankly found mtb racing, well lets say, not very exciting. The thought of pedalling around the same course against the same people for years on end would just about tip me over the edge. Perhaps the flame wasn’t quite extinguished though. I absolutely have to keep fit, and therefore I have dabbled in the odd race since – I may be best known to Retrobike users as the strange chap doing the run and first lap at the start of the Mountain Mayhem in an usual outfit. I most certainly remember the pain of the Raleigh Lizard last year and having my helmet mounted tiger tail stolen on the 1st climb. (more…)