Another year, another outstanding Retrobike raid on Mountain Mayhem. The weather may have made the main event a little flat but the retrobike camp was bigger and better than ever –we’ve almost got our own event within an event
First up some thanks
-All the retrobikers, friends and family for making this is our biggest and best event of the year.
-Bikefood for their excellent support once again. Know the gels, bottles and ‘turbo honey’ were gratefully received.
-Spencer and Church End brewery for the ale. The two barrels which it was hoped would last all weekend were more or less polished off Friday night. Legendary stuff.
-Jon W aka TheGreenRabbit from gingerhorticulture for food and drinks for the Saturday night BBQ.
-Jonnyboy and RekiB for getting their early doors on Weds to grab our great sport.
-EdEdwards for hospitality Thursday.
-DSP and all the team captains for their organisation over the last few weeks.
-The rest of my ten man team aka Retrobike Swiss Family Herring.
-Gump aka DJ App, Makster aka DJ Intruder and MrK aka DJ Bernard for bringing their equipment and spinning tunes at various points over the weekend.
-The coffee van
-Gravy Monster aka James for bringing the bike stand and passing it over at the end.
-DSP for bringing the two event shelters.
-Grannygrinder aka Mike aka Leo Swayer for his mad BBQ skills.
-CK and the other user (doh, forgot name, sorry) for the lighting.
Mayhem for me started fairly early. Spent beautiful sunny days digging out camping equipment, and gazebos out of storage, bbqs, running errarnds, buying generators and packing the car like a giant tetris puzzle.
Car finally packed with sufficient room to allow a driver and the gear stick to get all forward gears (reverse an issue). Arrived at Eastnor Weds afternoon in the glorious June sunshine. It seemed almost improbable sitting under the gazebo supping an ale in the late evening sunshine what had been forecast and did indeed come to pass would do. Jonnyboy and RekiB had arrived before me and bagged a great spot which was duly fenced off with barrier tape and laminated signs. The gazebos were pitched and all that remained was to chase off intruders.
The rain finally arrived overnight, awoke at 3 am with rain and wind lashing the tent and a flat airbed. Looked out the tent convinced the gazebos would be blown down (again). They hadn’t but saw someone busy around Jonnyboy’s tent, hoped it was him and went back to sleep.
The day arrived and it looked wet - but it hindsight dry. People started to arrive during the day and the campsite slowly filled. The intruder docked mid afternoon. Bailed later in the afternoon to pick some stuff up in Hereford and pike a night under canvas by staying with EdEdwards.
More rain. Picked up some shopping and got back to Eastnor around lunch. What had seemed an impossibly large area was more or less full with more and more retrobikers arriving all the time – will have to think on for next year
The beer arrived with Spencer and tunes with Andy and the afternoon and evening commenced. Some of the planned entertainment didn’t quite pan out due to the arduous weather but the BBQ was fired up and plenty of booze and food consumed. The evening went well and the spirit was excellent. This was despite the generator needing maintence work and having to be moved thanks to Bernard Bresslaw poking his head out of his tent and whining about it. Surely if you camp near us you’ll expect some noise – it’s like buying a house under the Heathrow flight path and complaining about aircraft.
The race began. Swiss Family Herring team leader donned his court suit and battle commenced. Three hours later he arrived back with tales of mojitos, teenage mutant ninja turtles, sumo wrestlers and mud.
Despite two soldering iron kits arriving and the valiant efforts of James the megaphone could not be saved. Gus was especially gutted, poor Tad.
Spirit in camp remained good and after a quick amp change the tunes, smoke, beer, bbq and heckling went on late into the night.
Decided I’d do a lap on the Mirage around 19:30 after a window and the heavens opened up. Almost hit the floor riding to the arena, my decision to run the excellent Chen Shin centre ridge tyres seemed less good. First half lap was fine although some climbs were a little trickier than they might have been due to the super long chainstays and tyres. As were the descents. Coming back through the arena and over the bridge great to have the support from the retrobike tent. Second half was much like the first apart from my modern shoe braking it’s Boa lace. On a few occasions I had to back track to pull it from the mud having sunk a socked foot into the mire. Other than that it was fine, even met Chris on his Mirage, when was the last time two 501 Mirages raced Eastnor. Some pushing and river of slurry riding later arrived back to the arena. Most trackside tents seemed subdued, not retrobike, plenty of encouragement (abuse) on the way past. Finally it was over, only 47 mins slower than last year. Quick shower and picked up a well deserved ale. The rain continued. Never did find out if Andy’s 3am meeting came off.
More rain. Last few laps completed (including Dave J on his shopper) and heckling . The rb village was packed and people pushed out of the mud to freedom!
All in all an awesome weekend for retrobike. Sadly despite rather than because of the weather, makes it more memorable or something. Bring on 2013