Mid February is an odd time of the year for me. My Birthday is early Feb, so that’s done and dusted, I’ve got over the New Year blues we all get and am usually back into the swing of work and I’m starting to think of some new challenges for the year.
Then we have the end of Feb deadline. Mayhem entries.
This will be my 6th year riding as a part of a 4 man team with no pretensions of winning, indeed a top half finish is our aim as well as beating the other 3 or 4 or so teams we camp with. As a bunch of middle aged men who get to ride once a week, twice at best we do pretty well and the past few years have beaten the other teams of much lower average age than us.
I’m looking forward to this year, the second at Gatcombe park should be a good one. Lessons will have been learned, there will be trackside camping and we seem to have recruited a new team of graduates to ride with us.
Having a team of new people is good for the soul, my soul that is. On the surface a 7 or 8 mile loop with a few hours rest doesn’t sound particularly hard. Riding at night sounds, and is, fun. Being a part of a massive event is brilliant so how hard can it all be, right ?
Those of us who have done it know how hard it can be. Physically it’s hard but mentally it’s harder so I look forward to the banter with the graduates, watching some crumble and some relish the challenge. Our second longest team, on their 2nd or 3rd Mayhem struggled with the mental resolve to get out in the rain and cold to do another lap last year. It’s knowing that however hard I’m finding it, there are others who are finding it much harder that makes it good for the soul. If you give them all banter and wind them up, you can’t roll over in your sleeping bag and go back to sleep.
So with less than 2 weeks until entries are due, the anticipation and excitement starts to build.