Mountain Mayhem Stories

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  • Mountain Mayhem Stories
  • Overshoot

    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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