Brass Monkeys

  • This topic has 27 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by  robbo.
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  • Brass Monkeys
  • adsh

    Great course, I see Gee won the 4hr and it seems XC is getting very popular.

    Was it me or were there a lot more “have a go” entrants? Is this likely to remain the case in the next rounds? For the mid field 4hr rider the tail of 2hr start was a nightmare. Is it likely to be better at other rounds or should I just get better at passing/except that this is the lot of the mediocre racer.



    Yes, I won, but it was a hard race!

    Today was R1 of the Merida Brass Monkeys winter series, my local series – all the venues are within 15mins of my house! I had prepared well with a nice long 4hr ride the day before… Well it was sunny… I pre rode the lap, which revealed the trails were dry with the occasional slippy bit. The fire roads were a wreck from the logging that has gone on up there recently – the organisers had put in an epic amount of work pre-race to rescue the trails. I decided to stick with Ralphs, most other riders were running knobblier tyres but I was confident the Ralphs were all that was needed – turned out I was right and a dry line quickly developed through the little muddy bits. The lap was pretty brutal at speed – lots of climbing by Minley standards and little in the way of rest. Fantastic lap, though.

    At the start of the race, I sized up the opposition. 4 or 5 contenders for the win, so it was always going to be close. We rode in a group, with me leading, for the first lap. Going into lap 2 I decided to up the pace a little. About half way round the 2nd lap, I absolutely launched it down one of the fire roads to test the group and didn’t look back for a whole lap. This gave me a couple of minutes lead. Uncertain about the state of my opposition, I was hesitant to ease off and so kept on the pace for the rest of the race, paranoid they’d regroup and catch me up. I needn’t have worried though as I ended up growing my lead to win by 7mins, so a great start to this series.

    R2 is mid-December – enter early to avoid disappointment!

    Premier Icon Stiggy

    It was good, 3hr Grand Vet here, I bet as the weather gets worse the numbers will drop off πŸ™‚


    Gee – if you’re not going to even remotely address the question I might not be so accomodating on the passing on r2!


    Mid pack 4hrs here. Great race. My first on a hardtail after swapping the anthem for a scale. Feel seriously beat up a couple of sections were bloody horrible with nasty square edge hits and draggy loam. Actually stopped on the second lap as i thought i had punctured it was so soft. Good christening for the new bike, need to get confident on offcamber flat slippy turns!

    I didnt mind the 2hr riders slowed me up but i needed to recover anyway


    If you hit the bottle neck of the 2hr really depends on the lap length and when you cross the line compared to the 2hr race starting. I think I finished my third lap at 1:50 so didn’t really have any issue with the two hour riders. For the next round the lap will be a different length so who knows if you will get caught up, it evens out overall.

    Well done Gee, you were flying. You did have an impersonator out on course, someone passed me on my 3rd or 4th lap shouting ‘Leading 4hr rider’ which confused me as you guys only lapped me on my 7th lap. Looking at the results he didn’t even finish in the top ten, cheeky git obviously had a problem in the lap before. πŸ™„

    Normally all the rounds sell out so expect similar numbers and enter early.


    I came through the start just as the 3hr riders set off. Cue an entire lap of fairly committed overtaking as this coincided with me just having dropped the other riders in my race.

    An hour later, I came through the start 5mins after the start of the 2hr race. This time I had a bit more of a lead, so wasn’t quite so eager to pass but was still pretty committed.

    The big fields are part and parcel of these events, as is racing with so many riders on the course who aren’t used to being overtaken, and also who don’t really understand what qualifies as a gap. If I could request one thing – when I call on out left, there is no need to take one hand off the bars to point to that side. I realise you are probably only trying to be friendly and helpful, but doing that really scares me as backmarkers riding one handed can result in you wobbling into me… If I’ve called left I know what side it is. I’m also usually alongside you when you wave left with your arm and a couple of times I had to take evasive action around flailing arms!!


    Amazing field today & a great course – was pretty brutal as usual. Had one nasty moment when I underestimated my bar width on that fast downhill swoopy bit between the trees – thanks to everyone that slowed down to check I was ok – some pretty big bruising to my legs, shoulder & pride πŸ™‚

    Left the Ikon on the rear after seeing yesterday’s pics of the course, which was fine. Finished 20th 4hr vets on the singlespeed FF29. Looking forward to the next round.

    Premier Icon richP

    I thought it was great. Once again the organisers had done a fantastic job with the course which was really good fun to ride, and avoided any really wet bits.

    I did really struggled with the traffic, as Gee says the leading 4hr group came through just as the 3hr riders set off and then a few minutes after the 2hr riders started. It wasn’t really the passing people which was the issue, more or less everybody was helpful in letting you through, but the constant change in pace required to pass really took it out of my legs…

    I guess that this was just an unfortunate result of the laptimes we were running. I hope the next course is a little bit longer which should help reduce this.

    Ended up in 4th which I was more than happy with. Looking forward to round 2 now.


    First time for me on one of these, it was proper ace. Really enjoyed it, as others have said it was very well organised and the general atmosphere was really good.

    That course was so much fun. Lots of rooty little singletrack, no big climbs (or descents) but really felt like you were getting a lot for your peddling. I want to go back just have a mooch around now! (Can you?)

    I’ve not done a short solo XC race, (2hr) usually do the 60-80km enduro type stuff or race as part of a 4 or pairs. And climbing is not my eerrr strength. So was expecting mid table obscurity in the 2hr and that’s where I ended up. I could have made the cut for one more lap but was a bit naughty and bimbled over 14 seconds after the cut. Hey, it’s winter… Looking back I didn’t start quick enough, got a bit trapped in traffic. I was soo determined not to blow up in the early stages that probably went out the blocks not quick enough. Just didn’t fancy puking but lesson learn’t.

    Good fun, well up for doing some more. And kudos to the fast crew at the sharp end, seriously quick. I also thought Gee passed me because I got the ‘leading 4hr’ shout but maybe that was the imposter!

    I thought passing was really good. Much better than recent Bikefests/Oktoberfests. Didn’t have any real bother and everyone was fair.

    All in all great day out and already looking at the diary for another one πŸ™‚

    Lots of very polite behaviour out on course today, I had no issues either overtaking or being overtaken.

    Course played to all my weaknesses, flat and bumpy and eventually ended up like plasticine in places, I suffered like a dog and starting too fast didn’t help!

    Anyone know who the various photographers out there were?

    Premier Icon frogstomp

    Great course.. tough, but fun. Managed 39th in the Vets category for, hopefully, my first ever series points (assuming it’s still top 40)! πŸ™‚

    Usually several photographers on course, but Joolz Dymond is the usual official one..

    Didn’t see Joolze today, maybe it was her other half.


    The photographer wasn’t Joolze or Dave. Didn’t recognise them.


    I’ll mtfu, feel better after more food.

    Premier Icon robbo

    Kevin Sheldrake was taking photos. Look for him on Flickr – he got some great shots from the Banjo Rampage races so these should be good.

    I enjoyed it mostly but all that soft loamy stuff really was hard work.

    Premier Icon Yak

    Great race today! Thanks to ACU/Gorrick.

    I got 6 laps in for 38th in the 4hr male. Pretty happy with that as I’d paced it well enough for me without under or overcooking it. Course was great and rode well on a singlespeed. The sharp end boys and girls were seriously fast and well done to Gee.

    Yeah, I ran into the back of the 2hr start too, but not really a problem – passed when I could or sat up for a breather when I couldn’t. Not going to worry me or my mid-field finish much! Everyone seemed pretty friendly and polite too. All good.

    See you all at the next one.

    Premier Icon mccraque

    Was a great event- I finished mid field in the 2 hour. Had a great tussle with a chap for most of lap 3 and pipped him on the last bend having lost the position 100m earlier. Made all the difference between 49th and 50th!!

    My back inexplicably went into spasm post race – so thanks to the ambulance guy for the ice pack. My cousin was out taking photos… Will see if he’ll stick a gallery up

    It was fab I was the slow girl on the singlespeed and some really friendly racers were great letting me know they were passing, although one twerp did swear at me on sponge bob!
    Well done to all that rode it I enjoyed the four hours!


    Great race, great course considerin all of the last minute changes. They certainly know how to organise an event.

    I’d been ill all week and was on the verge of pulling put. Glad I gave it a go though for my 56th place. Could easily have been 55th on another day πŸ˜‰

    18th 4hr Vet here on my white Tomac singlespeed with red rims. Bikes are so much easier to identify than faces. I remember swapping places a couple of times with john_I on his FF29.

    I had a number of slidy moments on the off camber pine needly corners so I’m happy I wasn’t over using the brakes. One huge slide on the short, greasy fire road after the steep pine needle drop just by moving out to pass another rider.

    The dragginess of the loamy sections was seriously hard work. I could see the trail dipping and springing back a couple of inches as the wheels of the rider in front of me passed over it.

    My 12 year old son did the 1 hour fun race and was in third until a dropped chain cost him 7 minutes or so. He eventually got 7th.


    Gutted to have missed this – I could barely get out of bed on Sunday, so don’t think racing would have done me too well!
    I was looking at the results, and the top lot were pretty fast πŸ™‚

    All entered for round 2 – lets see what ailment I can get for this one!


    Premier Icon mccraque

    had a number of slidy moments on the off camber pine needly corners

    Me too – I saw my life flashing before me as I hurtled towards a tree having slid out at pace on one of the corner. Half unclipped, plums on top tube and feet dragging on floor behind bike – I evaded trees like a jedi on a speeder bike. Goodness knows how I got away with that one. “You did well not to bin that one” came the cheerful shout of a chap behind.

    I was wheezing along on a black on-one race29..


    Good effort Gee, and to everybody who raced, for fun or for points!

    Been back out on the course today on the ‘cross bike for my lunchtime PT session (work in the Manor…), course is still quite sticky in parts but fortunately the logging people haven’t started ripping things up again, yet… Very pleased to see little by way of litter – picked up maybe a handful of gels at most, thanks!

    Pants did a great job on the course, considering the damage that’s been done by the felling the last week or so. Look forward to round 2!

    Dave, ACU CX Sec

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