Mountain Mayhem 2014

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  • Mountain Mayhem 2014
  • Premier Icon jonny m
    Subscriber

    Enjoyed this event solo for the last few years, but just not feeling like entering it again this year.
    Not that keen on the new venue, for a few reasons really, a bit further south, didn’t really enjoy the course, camping last year too far from course, lack of atmosphere etc etc
    Anyone else feeling the same or is it just me?
    For some reason they’ve restricted the entries this year too, not sure what that’s all about.
    trouble is it’s my only option to get a 24 hr race in this year as sleepless isn’t on again.
    How are all you mayhem veterans feeling about it? Looking forward to it or debating the same?

    jimw
    Member

    No, we are not going as a group this year. We have entered two or three teams and a few occasional soloists for the past 8 years or so. Same reasons as you – course, venue, no camping in centre of course robs a lot of atmosphere and it is more difficult for us to get to. Interestingly we all had pretty much made the decision individually before even talking about it as a group and i was quite relieved I wasn’t the only one who was not going to enter.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    For some reason they’ve restricted the entries this year too, not sure what that’s all about.

    What do you mean? Entries have always been limited, and used to sell out on day 1, last couple of years it’s not filled up.

    I didn’t really enjoy Gatcombe Park, but I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and hopefully the improvements will be worth it. Sure I’d read they’re doing trackside camping etc, I agree the atmosphere was lacking last year.

    ti456neal
    Member

    I’ve not done MM before but a group of us are doing it this year instead of our usual pilgrimage to the bonty twentyfour12. As you mentioned about your experiences with last years mayhem, we thought the atmosphere at the bonty last year was non existent. Shame really as we’ve done every year since they moved to newnham park and it’s got progressively more dull.
    Hopefully it’s not the way the 24hr events are going. πŸ™

    ciderinsport
    Member

    we thought the atmosphere at the bonty last year was non existent.

    Oh.. as a MM regular for many years, I did twentyfour12 instead last year, and the whole experience was a million times better than any mayhem!

    Have fun πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    What ciderinsport said…

    Atmosphere at Mayhem has got progressively more lacking year on year, the move to Gatcombe didn’t help that either sadly. 24/12 is a much smaller event, but it makes up for it with a much better atmosphere, and a vastly more interesting course.

    Another one on the “can’t really be arsed with mayhem” list this year I’m afraid. With the number of half decent 6/8/12 hour Enduro events cropping up all over the place, and the pretty epic demise of events like Mayhem and SITS, you’ve got to conclude that the big 24hr events have had their day, and people are moving on for various reasons.

    For anybody moaning that Mayhem is too far South now, my advice is thus… Enter Bonty 24/12, book the Thursday and Friday before and Monday/Tues/Weds after off work, and make a weeks holiday of it, going home via North Devon and Somerset over a few days, making a mini break of it. Yes, Newnham Park is bloody miles away from most of the uk, but it’s a great course, a great event, and if you’re not constrained by work commitments either side of the weekend you can enjoy getting down there and coming home over a few days.

    pete68
    Member

    Also given up on mayhem. I wasn’t going to go last year either, but thought I’d give the new venue a go. Wish I hadn’t bothered. Already entered 24/12 and will be doing the Erlestoke 12 and torq/gorrick events as well.

    Premier Icon DaveRambo
    Subscriber

    We might have been to a different Mayhem last year.

    The camping on average was a lot closer than at Eastnor. Soloists could camp trackside at the start of the lap.

    This year they are going to have some trackside camping which should improve the atmosphere but to be honest for me it was largely similar – It’s nice to ride through the campsite but it’s a small part of the lap.

    For the first year at a new venue I thought it was pretty good – this year should be better as lessons are learned etc

    I’ll be there as a 4 and with 3 other teams as well.

    Premier Icon votchy
    Subscriber

    Another no to this years MM here, have done the last 8 and I didn’t enjoy last years event much. There was no real reward on the course as most of the downhill was fireroad and with no trackside camping a distinct lack of atmosphere too. What has happened to 24hr DJ’s and people dressed in gorilla suits wandering through the woods at 24hr events, the jump of doom and the blow up dolls lining the course, marshalls shouting encouragement throughout the event etc – all things that I have experienced at Eastnor in the past (admittedly they have not been present at the last couple) seem to be distinctley lacking and used to add to the fun and atmosphere of the event.

    I enjoyed last year as previous ones i’ve been too,

    This year taking a team of 10, including a few mayhem virgins. Its never really been about a top quality course or the campsite but about having a great time with mates at a lighthearted event.

    If it was i’d go for a weekend in scotland at a proper campsite. Compromises need to be met for an event. I personally thought the course was good for what it was a 24hr race. The campsite was what it is at all events a field.

    ndthornton
    Member

    Gash course – not doing it
    bring back Eastnor

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    This is the first year since the very fitst ever MM that as a group we have made the concious decision not do the race. In other years there have been clashes etc that have prevented us, but this is the first time the course, location and cost has made us think no.

    Shame really.

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    Some quick news.

    This year..

    Much of the course run in reverse to how it was run last year.
    As was explained by the organisers last year, trackside camping wasn’t possible for complicated land usage reasons. This year that’s been sorted. Trackside camping is being made available.

    monkeychild
    Member

    Is it the ridiculous climbs (to mere mortals) that have been reversed πŸ™‚

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Mark – Im not convinced thats a selling point unfortunately. You cant get away from the fact that its all one steep hill side, which means steep up to steep down, to steep up to steep down… get my drift.

    Good for practicing walking skillz up hill whilst pushing bikes (and that was the leaders too, not just crap people)

    ndthornton
    Member

    The problem is its all fire road.
    Unless they have cut some decent singletrack it will be just as rubbish as last year. But they probably wont be allowed to do this for fear of more swamp like conditions.

    Personally I preferred (only slightly) Eastnor bog trotting to Gatcombe zzzzzzzzz.

    At least at Eastnor you new if you did get nice weather it would be ace – and it was worth the entry for this reason alone.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I think slagging off an event in its first year at a new venue is a bit off – I’m sure they had to convince the powers that be that the event wasn’t going to trash the place and they only had a limited amount of land to play with initially.

    Sounds like they’ve succeeded in proving the event is worth having there and come to some sort of arrangement about opening up extra bits of land. And the event is always going to involve compromise – it has to deal with everyone from Elites to first timers, allow overtaking, have reasonable drainage etc and the venue has to be easily accessible for every type of vehicle, have space for hundreds of tents, motorhomes, cars… Kind of limited options there.

    That said, I can see how the event loses it’s appeal after a while – I did the first 8 or so MMs right from Year 1 and each year it got harder to convince friends/team-mates etc that it was worth doing. I don’t race them anymore but I often go down to pit-bitch for friends. Might be tempted to get back into it again but the problem with doing that is I’d want to do well and that would involve training…

    pete68
    Member

    Turning the course round and adding trackside camping isn’t going to make it any more all weather though is it. A bit of rain the night before and the whole course turned into a complete claggfest.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Aww, I was looking forward to the challenge of riding up that grassy slope this year, I thought the course was ok, track side camping will be good, if Wiggle actually bring a component you can buy it’d be even better. Hoping for less wind this year!

    As for the mud moaners, did you not ride the last Eastnor mudfest? anyway mtb’d are allowed in mud you know, this winter has been the ideal training for it

    Premier Icon mr_stru
    Subscriber

    If we can round up the bodies we’ll be going. Seemed a bit more low key last year in some ways but I quite liked that. And I really don’t think the climbs were that much worse than those at Eastnor.

    As rocketdog says, if you think that course was a claggfest then you have clearly been riding under the protection of better deities than me πŸ™‚

    And hey, if there wasn’t moaning about the course, camping, stands, weather, wheel sizes, condiment provision and the colour of the course tape then it wouldn’t be Mayhem.

    gringojimi
    Member

    Went last year and have done a couple at Eastnor, found atmosphere lacking and courses disappointing.
    Gatcombe did nothing for me and the cost compared to similar events is far too steep. I won’t be going back in a hurry.

    After the demise of Sleepless I decided to give Bontrager 24/12 a shot and found the whole set up was a lot better.
    It’s a long way to drive for a race but as mentioned by others it is worth making a holiday of it and exploring Devon.

    Pooley
    Member

    I’d just like to add, last year at Gatcombe, in the Marshall’s defence (Votchy) a pair of young ladies were particularly vocal in their encouragement! Last climby bit if I recollect. Not too bad for us at new venue

    michaelmcc
    Member

    Slight hijack – What is the course like at the new venue? I remember thinking the old course was as boring as watching paint dry.

    oldgit
    Member

    I’m thinking of going, solo if my lot can’t get their act together.
    I did loads from 2000 on, then one day minutes before the start I just couldn’t be bothered. I recognised it was me that had gone stale not the event.
    I sat there listening to the rain starting to fall and became full of dread, yet the first timers were all full of joy.

    I was thinking that all events seem to be a bit miserable these days, people I reckon.

    goldenwonder
    Member

    Knowing what Gatcombe can be like in places, I thought the course was very good last year.
    Nice difficult climbs, fast open bits & didn’t get anywhere near as sticky as it could have done!

    I did think it was lacking a bit of atmosphere, but that could easily have been down to the layout with the new venue & needed tweaking.
    Having said all that, I’m not riding this year as I’m working πŸ™
    Only the 2nd one in 12 years I won’t have been to

    brakes
    Member

    who’s in then?
    I’m entering in a team of 4.
    first ever 24hr race.

    first race since I was in my teens in the 90s on the Eston Hills – back when you did an XC race and a DH race on the same bike!

    david47
    Member

    Also given up on mayhem. We weren’t going to go last year either, but thought we’d give the new venue a go and wish we hadn’t bothered. (Did like the early descent though, stood there for a few hours watching lots making a mess of it…) Going to give the Erlestoke 12 a go… Would have done the torq, but the wife/kids have other ideas!

    Premier Icon jonny m
    Subscriber

    Still undecided….

    Premier Icon teamslug
    Subscriber

    I’m in..was at Pats at daft o clock last night.First ever solo race. Did 2012 and 2013 as a team of 4. Enjoyed both…will be nice to have more trackside camping for the atmosphere.

    Premier Icon jonny m
    Subscriber

    In a strange sort of way I found solo “easier” than as a team, less pressure if you know what I mean, just got to keep going, keep eating and drinking, rest as little as possible, and reduced the intensity etc.
    No team mates to worry about.
    Just one man and his machine for one day!
    The way I looked at it was that was able to ride my bike as much as I wanted for a whole day! Who doesn’t enjoy that….
    I might enter it again now….:)

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    I’m not at all motivated this year.

    Did team of 10 last year but apathy rules and in general we have nobody looking keen. If some of my buddies get excited about it I am persuadable but I am not going to organise it because I don’t care.

    It was a bit of a clag fest, there wasn’t the atmosphere that you might like, there weren’t enough bike washes and the course was a bit rubbish.

    slowjo
    Member

    Slight tangent here.

    A lot of the ‘endurance’ events seem to be disappearing, there are certainly fewer now than there used to be.

    Could it be that the ‘epic’ endurance race is drinking in the last chance saloon? I may be wrong but they do seem to be selling the same old, same old, year after year and tbh, it does get a little boring. Change of venue is not necessarily enough. After a few hours, one stretch of fire road/ singletrack is very much like another and chugging round in traffic for 24 hours is sort of dull.

    I don’t have any bright ideas about how to spice up the whole experience but there again, I’m not a race promoter.

    gringojimi
    Member

    Slowjo,

    Events like Mayhem are just getting too expensive to draw the crowds I think.
    Β£80 for a solo entry? Take a hike.

    Bonty 24/12 had a far more exciting course and a great atmosphere and was only Β£55.

    24hr events seem to be reducing in numbers (another recession victim maybe?) but there are still a good number of 12hr events still attracting the crowds such as Erlestoke, Torq, Dusk ‘ Dawn and the Thetford Summer Enduro (alright, that last one is only 10 hours!).

    I think the organisers of the Exposure 24 are involved in that XCaliber stage race nonsense this year, which at Β£1800 doesn’t appeal to me or many others I expect.

    slowjo
    Member

    @gringojimi agreed but tbh what sort of progression have you seen in any of these events? Stick a crowd in a field and let them chug round venue x for a while. Relieve them of large mounts of cash and repeat year after year. D2D for example has hardly changed since Ken Ward put the first one on back in the mists of time. I tell a lie, it is in October now and often wet and nasty whereas the old one used to be late summer and generally awesome!

    Not getting at D2D organisers here, just using it as an example of a race I have participated in on and off, since it first started.

    To summarise then: the format is no longer as fresh as it used to be. The cost is edging towards prohibitive in some cases, just expensive in others. Hardly a recipe for enduring success is it?

    gringojimi
    Member

    Dusk ’til Dawn is a tricky one for me as it’s a ‘home race’ seeing as it’s just down the road.

    Parts of the course have usually been used in other local race series or during a weekend slog round Thetford, so the feeling of monotony has usually sunk in before I’ve reached the start line.

    Its true that any endurance race consisting of repeat laps is going to have that sense of repetition when you’ve been going round and round in circles for hours on end, but that’s part of the challenge; to switch off and zone out πŸ˜‰

    Some courses have certain parts that never get boring though and give you something to look forward to no matter how many times you’ve slogged round. It all depends if the organiser is doing it as they have a passion for the event or are just in it to make a quick buck.

    Couple of hours to go until online.

    Team of 10 this year for me too sort.

    Looking forward to it.

    slowjo
    Member

    Interesting concept, having a passion for an event. From an organisational pov, I wonder how that manifests itself for the riders.

    It would be interesting to hear whether riders could identify whether races they have entered have been put on by a ‘passionate’ organisational team, or one where the sole objective is relieving peeps of their ‘hard earned’.

    Maybe some form of feedback questionnaire would help organisers find out what riders really think of their events instead of finding out next year when they vote with their feet. Forms to be returned no sooner than a month after (so the endorphin buzz will have subsided). A free entry for the first form drawn out of the hat before the race.

    Silly idea really, asking punters what they want πŸ˜‰

    kristoff
    Member

    Was going to enter a 4man team but after seeing the prices decided on doing 24/12 instead.

    For me mountain mayhem has got far too costly.

    brakes
    Member

    Silly idea really, asking punters what they want

    forums such as this probably provide a reasonable perspective – at least about what was wrong with the event.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Entering 4 man team, with all the moaners not turning up we might win!

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 387 total)

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