Having exhausted / run out of enough gulible friends over the past three MM's I've now cobbled together a team with my two teenage sons & nephew & have hired a team ambulance in anticipation....
Mountain Mayhem Stories
I don't suppose anyone from one of the more ahem "slack" teams wants to write a few words about their or their team preparation do they? Ideally a team who turned up just for the craic, a team who's preparation consisted of buying the beer aisle at Tesco's or something similar...
It's the only event I'll do until I stop riding bikes. NPS, Gorricks, Southerns may go by the wayside as life rolls on but that weekend will be in the calendar forever!
2007, at about earlyish on the Sunday I was on my fourth lap for Ken Dodd's Dad's Dog's Dead Hard (KD4H) in the ferny section on the far side of the course. Came up behind a slower female rider but there wasn't the room to get by.
Sat back for a while before I started to get impatient thinking "Come on girlie, some of us are racing". Managed to get by when I saw her Solo Sticker. "Fair Play" thinks I and engage in chat to offer support.
Me: "How you doing? Had any rest?"
Her: "No, just keeping on going."
Me: "How many laps?"
Her: "This is my eighth. Hoping to do Twelve"
I'll get my coat then.
2008. About 3am after the downpour and I'm just dragging my stumpy round feeling very sorry for myself. Get to the handover tent and the next rider says "We're not going out-it's mental". I almost cried!! Thankfully they did a couple of laps once it dried out. Vowed to get a singlespeed fully rigid bike after that and never do MM24 again!! Thankfully those ideas have faded!!
2009. Team's got entry. Fitness and riding going well. Managed to sh@g my shoulder in a bike crash and am doubtful that I'll be able to get beyond the pits
I don't suppose anyone from one of the more ahem "slack" teams wants to write a few words about their or their team preparation do they?
I can give you an idea of our experience last year...
A couple of us went down on Thursday morning last year and set up our Mexican camp (if you were there you will remember us being not long after the start line...big Poncho Repairs sign...)
Cutting out all the cactii and blowing up all the sombreros took up most of our allotted training time, so we drank. From Thursday morning until the drag race on Friday night.
I came second (dressed as Amy Winehouse, beaten by Chris Akrigg...no shame there), and continued the drinking whilst waiting for the other riders in our team to turn up.
The race came. I think we may have done 3 lapes each, but my most vivid memory is coming back into camp around midnight - being handed a bottle of tequila and a beer, and drinking until it was too late/we were too drunk to ride again.
We left at some point in the morning. Joolze Dymond posted up here that they were looking for us on the finish line - may be something t do with our ace camp - but we had long gone.
Mayhem was never about the riding....
A few stories from our first attempt at MM in ’08, the highs and the lows:
We were riding for Oxford University, but none of us were hugely fast or had done anything like this before so we would be happy just to finish the event, even better in the top half, and not finish last of all the Uni Teams.
Two of us entered the drag race, including myself taking it too seriously in full team lycra (and no seatpost to save weight) and our Austrian whippet in drag with SPD drilled into flip-flops!
We started well, and decreasing lap times took us up to 124th position My fastest lap came when foolhardily heading out on semi-slicks, d regretting it at that large downhill right turn after the Red Bull tent everyone talks about – fortunately with no grip the slide, after the slightest touch of rear brake, was rather graceful.
Our fastest rider (50mins) was also our slowest (2hrs40mins) on account of the fact that when his Panaracers swelled to 3 inches proved the reason why he rides bikes rather than runs cross-country. Our most consistent rider through the night got by on deciding the jump off the bike before the tricky muddy sections and just slide down on his backside. Remember the fun that was the traverse on the first downhill – that turned into a slippery mud trap for all trying to get out!
We were next to the Mexican camp and wondering what we were doing riding in the pouring rain rather than under a Sombrero supping tequila and a beer. I tried to get some sleep in the team caravan but my bed was full of a filthy Cambridge rider.
Remember the wind the following morning? Our gazebo was written off. Had a great time though with the drying course, apart from one moment where the Austrian managed to Endo going uphill in the sticky mud. And so we just kept going – and finished somewhere around 140th position, and somehow we were the second placed university team!
So we collected our medals and sprayed Red Bull over our finishing Austrian (with 7 laps) instead of champagne. However, two of the funniest stories of the weekend occurred after the race had finished. The Austrian, driving home with another Oxford rider from another team, in a bid to keep each other awake kept talking. However, he was so tired he kept forgetting that he still needed to speak in English and kept reverted back to Austrian mid sentence, bemusing the other guy! And I, with all of 30 mins sleep in the last 36 hours forgot to wind up one of the rear stands of the hired caravan. So on driving off the knobbly deer park field managed to rip the stand off, along with a half the rear bumper and panel, and a foot wide hole in the floor. It did take some explaining…
Sadly no MM09 for us, but we’ll be there at SITS (with the Austrian doing it solo)!
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