Ok, here’s some thoughts with incriminating photos later (I can be induced to ‘lose’ some of these).
- 7 nationalities this year, just one down on last year. As Barry Davies would have it, “but where were the Germans?”. Indeed.
- The Tim and Mark Show. Tim Davies had a blinder with stories and anecdotes from racing at the very highest level in the early 90s, more than ably backed up by the amiable host channelling all the interviewing greats – more gravitas than Paxman, prettier than Church, camper than O’Grady.
- The Guvnor on Saturday night, cutting loose. I’ll leave it for others to fill in the details but suffice it to say that by midnight his mechanism had gone and, at 2.30 a.m. and 7,500rpm (“come on, we can get to 8”), so had the the engine in my wife’s car. Legend.
- Ruddock photographing a naked Bruce Willis from the widescreen TV in the bar. Blue Zeus indeed.
- the reaction of Gav to being the OWMTBC10 Champion. When he was first called up as the winner he didn’t move and I was a little concerned that he’d popped to the bar. A totally worthy Champion and here’s to him defending his crown in 2011.
- Tim Davies, class act. Some ex-pros turn up, do a Q and A, show off their bike and that’s it. Not Tim. He turned with his dad (his mechanic BITD and a really nice chap to talk to.) and family and threw himself wholeheartedly into the complete event. Marshalling at the end of the 2nd XC Stage, I’ll always remember him screeching to a halt, buzzing with the fun of riding the Ti Mega for the first time in 18 years. The Spirit of the Event award has found a new home.
- discovering from a Retrobike Quiz answer that Gary Coleman not only starred as Arnold in ‘Different Strokes’ but also rode for the all conquering early 90s Raleigh team. Who knew.
- loads of great bikes which made judging the Concours d’Elegance on the Friday night pretty tough. Mel presided over affairs with a firm hand and a critical eye for fine detail with one prominent member of the site having his bike’s provenance queried; “do you have a certificate of authenticity with you?” Picking a winner was tough but in the end it had to be Chris Jackson’s 1986 Mountain Goat WhiskeyTown Racer http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=114512
which he then ragged round the trails the next day.
- Ruddock swinging the lead by disappearing to a nearby spa for some pampering during the XC part of the event (ok, he said that he took Steve to hospital with a dislocated shoulder but as they strolled in smelling of jojoba and kelp bang on 9 p.m. for the prize giving that had been delayed just for them I have my doubts).
- Kean and Jonnyboy willing to do anything at anytime, no questions asked. Chaps, there’s always work for the pair of you in Brighton......
- the Sunday ‘Hair of the Dog’ ride which, despite two maps and two GPS, ended up not as a relaxing hour or so on the Penmachno singletrack but two and a half hours of fireroad climbing heaven. Singletrack is for fools.
I’ve probably forgotten loads of people and incidents but then if I could remember it accurately, I probably wouldn’t have been there. A final thanks however go to Max, Neil and Mel.