Tag Archives: mayhem

Mayhem, again

This will be the 8th Mayhem for me this year and I think I’m finally getting to grips with it.

Only feeling slightly nervous, no need to buy more stuff, just need to give the bikes one last fettle and I’m ready.

The course is the same as last year, a first I think but a good idea. Last years course improved on the one from the first year at Gatcombe park and it rode really well. All we need now is some decent weather, which may be a bit much to ask of the UK summer.

This year we have 9 teams camping together, the most ever, with around half being newbies. There will be competition amongst the Mayhem veteran teams while the newbies just try and survive so it will be interesting to see the contrast of the riders as the event unfolds.

Personally I’m nowhere near as fit as I was last year having not been feeling well for ages and having lost my mojo for a while.  After last weeks Batchburner both fitness and mojo seem to be coming back, a bit late but it means a steady race for me this year I think.

Lets hope the post race report is a happy one.

Mayhem 2014 Review

Having looked at the draft posts I have I realised I never posted last years Mayhem report – oops only a year late

 

The biggest 24hr race is the first entry in my calendar every year and this year was my 7th and probably the most enjoyable. Gatcombe Park is a great venue and having learned from last years inaugural event there it was a lot better.

The weather help of course. From early morning Friday to well after the event we had glorious sunshine which led to dry fast trails, no bikes to wash, smiles all around and lots and lots of great riding.

Friday

I always take the Friday as holiday so Pete and I trekked over to Coventry to pick up a van, we loaded all the gear up and off we headed around 10.30. I took my Ti hardtail as well as the

Packed and ready to go

Packed and ready to go

Yeti ASR so I had a spare bike. We took several event shelters to make sure we had enough cover as we were camping with 3 other teams as usual. The LWB van looked big enough until we put everything in, despite us both deciding to try and pack light this year.

 

 

We marked out our area in camp site A and put up all the shelters and tents. Sun shone

Carbo loading on Friday

Carbo loading on Friday

down and with no clouds in the sky we decided to opt out a sighting lap and concentrate on carbo loading instead. With a dry short lap to ride we were all going to get lots of laps in so no need to waste energy so early on we thought.

A trip to the arena to register and check out the stands was as active as we got. Shiny bike parts were admired, nerves built, food eaten and much banter was exchanged.

All in all a very typical and enjoyable start to Mayhem.

 

Saturday

I was, by default, down to be first rider out as the others refused to run so after a relaxed breakfast and bike tinkering I headed to the start. I jogged very gently around the run course and set off at a medium pace knowing there would be hold ups at some point and plenty of time for a faster lap later so no need to get worked up at this point.

The course was, in my opinion, the best we’ve had in many years. Fun in places but not too mad for the newbie riders. Steep and challenging in places but all ridable if you had the legs. The run in through the camp site with a fast section and a bit of a jump after a path crossing made it a run run back the arena.

Sunday

The race was one of the smoothest we’ve had, aided by very good weather and fast conditions. This means, of course, that lap times were quick and more laps were there to be ridden. I managed to ride all of all my laps with no unclipping and physically I felt better than I’ve ever probably done.

Result

We managed 27 laps coming 38/80 in Sport men. I did 8 laps sneaking in a final one at the end and could have managed a double had I got back in time. Looking at the results it would have only moved us up one position.

The weather makes such a difference and the new course with trackside camping was a much needed improvement. We will of course be back next year.

Weather Obsessions

The last few days before Mayhem always see an increased number of emails and forum posts about a number of specific subjects

Weather seems to be the top of the list and this year is no different with rain being forecast at some point over the weekend. Fingers crossed it’ll be still and dry Friday morning to get the tents and communal shelters up. After that it can do what it likes.

With weather talk comes tyre talk and the dreaded mud tyres. I’ve got a pair (Medussa’s) and have used them on my local trails a couple of times and soon took them off. To make them worth while you need a lot of deep mud for a lot of your ride. Any tarmac, like on my local loops, and you feel like they are so sticky and energy sapping that it’s hard work. On hard packed ground they feel nervous as the tread moves around but in mud they are immense. Last year I rode them at Mayhem as it was perfect conditions for them (and as a friend said – the right conditions for mud tyres are when you shouldn’t really be riding)
This year I’ll choose the tyres based on whether I want to ride the Tuareg or Yeti. Racing Ralphs and Nobby Nics will be fine so my choice is full sus or HT.

The new venue brings with it new unknowns – One new aspect is that there appears to be less camping space with warnings on reserving too much space. We will have 5 teams so 21 people and probably 20 cars and tents plus the communal stuff – fingers crossed we can get enough space.

With 2 nights to go I’m almost ready – Bikes have been cleaned and fettled, clothing assembled and lights charged – just got to make some pasta and round all the other bits and pieces then 8am Friday it’s Gatcombe Park here we come,

Mountain Mayhem 2012

MM12

As a mountain biker, Mountain Mayhem has become the first date in my calendar every year. It’s been the reason to ride when the weather is bleak and has seemed to dominate my cycling the past 4/5 years or so.

This year will be my 5th, riding in a team of 4, and with it being just over a week away the  nerves are starting to kick in. The Yeti (subject of a future post) is in for a service, the Ti hardtail (another future post) is all fettled, tent all ready and lists of kit/food all reviewed and tweaked.

It’s the original and largest 24hr race in the world and has a carnival atmosphere with around 2500 racers plus friends/family/ support crew making it a massive event.

This year sees Wiggle taking over from Original Source as the headline sponsor so it’ll interesting to see what freebies we get this year. The wet weather means we are likely to have a muddy race.

I’ll post a review when we’re done so fingers crossed for a decent race.