by Wil Barrett
September 23, 2016
Almost 80 riders descended on Allerford, a small village in the Exmoor National Park nested between Minehead and Porlock for the 2016 THE EX presented by DMRBIKES. Allerford would be the base for this new event and would offer the perfect place to refresh and re-charge the batteries after a long day’s ride…and on top of that it has some amazing trails running almost all the way back to the venue.
T HE EX presented by DMRBIKES is a new 3 day enduro event in the Exmoor National Park, taking in some amazing views and scenery but on top of that lung bursting climbs followed by a sheer endless amount of spine tingling enduro tracks.
Almost 20 stages were on the menu over the weekend offering a huge variety of rocky, rooty technical trails, super steep loamy tracks, flowy single track and even former national series DH routes.
After arriving on site Thursday night (and already enjoying a free pre event drink – all food and drink was included) or on Friday morning, the riders got briefed and started heading out onto the hills helped along by the daily uplift that would tip the climbing and descending balance firmly towards descending.
5 stages and 38km were on the program for the Friday and after some close racing throughout the day the favourites for the rest of the weekend already started to show. Greeted back by Exmoor Ale and some amazing food provided by Ian Luff and his crew and all spiced up with some mellow tunes in the marquee, the riders enjoyed a well deserved night’s rest – ready for the big day ahead.
Saturday greeted the riders with blue sky, dry trails and perfect riding temperatures and as soon as the morning uplift bus arrived the excitement kicked in. 48km and 8 stages were waiting for the riders. For Saturday and Sunday the start of the rides would be Dunkery Beacon, the highest elevation in Exmoor (519m above sea level) – perfect to start the day with some long, fast and sometimes rather technical descents. Besides the huge number of special stages another highlight for the riders was the vintage tea stop where the team was waiting with ‘lashings of tea (from bone china cups & saucers), cake, sandwiches and calzone’. And to make it extra special – the tea spot was to be visited twice in one day. After up to 8hours of being out on the trails, riders descended on one of the highlight stages back into the venue for a well deserved rest, a few more Exmoor Ales and some more chilling out around the event venue and camp fire.
After yet another scrumptious breakfast the last ride of THE EX was waiting for the riders. A mix of 5 stages spread out over 32km were up for grabs, 3 of them run around and through the feed station – allowing riders to refuel almost after every stage. After the final climb of the day (yet again up to the feed station for more chilled drinks, cake and sandwiches) the riders entered the final stage of the event before having a relaxed ride along the levels to make their way back to the venue. Going by the tired yet happy faces, the last day certainly did not disappoint and after the final prize giving (including lots of spot prices from DMR and our beautifully crafted THE EX trophies) the riders headed their separate ways, all stating their intention to come back to little Allerford for some more THE EX presented by DMRBIKES fun in 2017.
Exmoor left a lasting impression on the riders – most of them being surprised by its beauty, the quality of trails on offer and the huge variety of terrain. It clearly shows THE EX is here to stay.
What people thought
Rory Hitchens Senior Brand & Marketing Manager at Upgrade/DMR said: ‘We are extremely pleased with the way our first event ran and the feedback has already been fantastic. Roll on 2017 and more Enduro on Exmoor with THE EX.
THE-EX firmly places the DMR BIKES brand at the forefront of UK mountain bike Enduro. Our “Alpine Division” range of components is engineered for the rigours of multi day riding and with more exciting product in the pipeline for 2017, THE EX is a perfect platform to showcase DMR’s passion for trail riding at it’s UK finest.’
‘Just wanted to say thanks again for the best three days I’ve ever had on a bicycle.’ Rob Hoyles, Senior sub editor and features writer, Cycling Weekly & Mountain Bike Rider
‘Cheers guys, absolutely amazing event!’ Tim Monks, Bristol.
‘Thanks all for the best event ever!’ Chris Schröder, Wales
‘One of the best events I’ve ever done! Thanks guys, definitely be back next year. :)’ David Goulson, Denmead
‘Awesome weekend. Great riding, great food and fantastic atmosphere! Thanks to everyone involved.’ Jase Curle, Wotton under Edge
‘Absolutely Endurotastic event, Exmoor is a Beautiful place to ride.’ Pip Sowden, Bristol
‘It was a great weekend in every way cheers all.’ Dan East, Devon
‘I can’t say thank you enough for such a wonderful weekend. The venue, course, food, atmosphere – everything was spot on. The Ex is what mountain biking should be about: having fun, ripping up trails, exploring, laughing and being challenged. + great food and booze of course! Really well done and big thanks to you and your team for all the hard work put in. A massive success.’ Alexis Mackie, Bristol
Preparations for the next THE EX presented by DMRBIKES have already started with the likely date for the 2017 to be September again. With a maximum of 80 places up for grabs we are going to have a pre-registration list again. Everybody on that list will get a 48h time window before the entry opens to the public where they can secure their place. Riders who took part in the 2016 event will have priority treatment if they put themselves on the list. To register for THE EX 2017 please email email@example.com