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Ride report: 2010 Marin Dusk til Dawn? More like rain til morn…

Posted by Matt | October 3, 2010 | 37 comments so far

Racing gets underway at the 2010 Marin Dusk til Dawn at Thetford
We’ve just returned from the 2010 Dusk til Dawn in Thetford Forest. After last years’ largely positive experience we can now say we’ve seen the best and worst of riding at Thetford after a night of relentless rain reduced the course to a near unrideable swamp.


It didn’t start out that way. Travelling up to Norfolk the weather was still and calm and it was hard to imagine the predicted rain was going to happen. Arriving at about 4:00 we found a large group of us were already out sampling the course in preparation.

The pit area, sadly devoid of an under-the-weather Paul901 and his espresso shots, was impressively comprehensive with awnings, a caravan and several man-size tents proving all the accommodation we would need. The only lack was none of them had porches which would have helped considerably to keep things dry in the eventual conditions we had to deal with.

I headed out solo while Mark conserved his energy and Tony wisely decided that his solo race effort was going to give him ample chance to familiarise himself with the course in any case.

Dave finishes his pre-lap at the 2010 Marin Dusk til Dawn at Thetford

I found the trails to be in reasonable condition even though it was clear that rain or no rain they were going to cut up badly. At one point I stacked it into a tree, bruising my shoulder quite a bit on the same side I broke my collarbone a couple of years ago but no real harm done. It was certainly a tiring course with a very pumpy nature at racing speed.

By the time I arrived back at base I’d curtailed my speed by falling into a conversation with a guy called Steph who was riding with Street Life Cycles, a local Norfolk based team, but even so I managed a 1 hour lap or so. I reckoned favourable conditions would yield a circa 55 minute lap from me. Ha! as it turned out.

The race start at 8:00 saw the first hints that the rain was coming. By the time the riders were half way round the opening lap the heavens had started to steadily, but unremittingly disgorge a large quantity of water. At no time did it become torrential but it was substantial.

The effect was dramatic. The course, aleady soft, quickly cut up with the many riders and lap times grew and grew. By the time I was out (around the third racing hour), the course was suffering and despite my best efforts I managed just 1:06 after Colin had put in a 1:03 lap and Jem’s (traditionally slower) opening lap had been an impressive 58 minutes.

But the damage to the course continued. Jem’s second lap was 1:29, then Colin put in a 2:09 and my second lap was 2:04 after a spectacular sugar bonk just when I was thinking a 1:30 – 1:45 lap would be creditably possible. Jem finally completed our laps with a 2:09 lap at a point when everyone on the course was doing well to get near to 2 hours. Worse still, the satisfaction normally gained from race laps was entirely absent as the focus switched from racing to simply moving. The stunned, staring shells of broken riders littered the course.

Overall though, thanks to Jem’s final lap we managed to place 17 out of 89 three man teams.

Jem makes a fashion statement at the 2010 Marin Dusk til Dawn at Thetford

Our many other teams suffered equally. Our second three man team of Paul, MarkW and Joe managed 33rd, albeit with a highly dubious final lap time of 41 minutes. Amongst our fours, the Port and Stilton crew of D’AndyC, Keith, DaveC and Darren notched 34 of 58 while MarkJ, SimonM, Lee and JamesH managed just one lap each for 55.

Special mention needs to go to both Jez and Tony who solo managed 4 laps, more than any of the rest of us managed which was an awesome achievement. Their placings of 46 and 48 respectively from 138 soloists was very respectable.

Andy661 and James in the men’s pairs placed 62 of 74 in a brutal introduction to men’s pairs racing (I’m so glad Jem didn’t persuade me!) while Amanda and Adam managed 6th in the mixed pairs, all the more impressive since they were second or third at the time they decided enough was enough.

A very well done for all the survivors!

Race laps and times

Courtesy of Timelaps who provided the race time management.

Muddy Moles – Lean and Mean (Male, Team 3)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 17 of 89
1 00:58:39 Jem
2 01:03:35 Colin
3 01:06:25 Matt
4 01:29:04 Jem
5 02:09:57 Colin
6 02:04:34 Matt
7 02:09:11 Jem
Muddy Moles – A Load of Cock and Mole (Male, Team 3)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 33 of 89
1 01:15:57 MarkW
2 01:13:51 MarkW
3 01:26:58 PaulM
4 01:58:27 PaulM
5 02:34:57 Joe
6 00:41:34 MarkW (aborted)
Muddy Moles – Port and Stilton (Male, Team 4)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 34 of 58
1 01:01:13 Keith
2 01:07:01 D’AndyC
3 01:31:38 DaveC
4 01:18:27 Darren
5 01:56:49 Keith
6 02:07:08 D’AndyC
Muddy Moles – Can I Have A P Pleae Bob (Male, Team 4)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 55 of 58
1 01:26:05 SimonM
2 01:47:27 MarkJ
3 01:21:21 Lee
4 01:57:24 JamesH
Muddy Moles – Jez Margetts (Male, Solo)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 46 of 138
1 01:20:25 Jez
2 01:24:41 Jez
3 02:29:40 Jez
4 02:04:39 Jez
Muddy Moles – Tony Gordon (Male, Solo)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 48 of 138
1 01:28:47 Tony
2 01:49:5 Tony
3 02:20:43 Tony
4 02:06:23 Tony
Muddy Moles – 50% Team Asparagus (Male, Pairs)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 62 of 74
1 01:21:05 James
2 01:27:01 James
3 02:07:29 Andy661
4 03:31:03 Andy661
Muddy Moles – The Muppet Show (Mixed, Pairs)
Lap Position Time Rider
Final position: 6 of 10
1 00:48:54 Adam
2 00:47:06 Adam
3 01:12:35 Amanda
4 01:25:46 Amanda

Filed under Racing, Reviews in October 2010

Matt

About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years he's now running a YT Industries Jeffsy 29er with a hardtail waiting to be built up.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2011 Specialized Secteur and a Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

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  1. TurnerGuy says:

    Was thinking of you guys whilst watching the rain – someone in one of the teams must have done something real bad to bring retribution from the gods like that. A plus point to take away is that it must have been a ‘character building’ experience 🙁

  2. DaveW says:

    Sounds a bit like the conditions at Bordon Enduro last year, but all night long! Well done to all of you for sticking with it and giving it your all.

    Hoping to see you all for some leisurely, sociable rides in the near future!

  3. kc says:

    Blood, no sweat and gears!

    My first D2D and sitting here I would not have missed it for all the tea in Bookham. Lap 1 was just great getting off with the mass start and whilst I came off and blooded my leg it was just great fun. The rain had hardly kicked in and the course, whilst greasy, was easily rideable. I followed Jem as we picked off the slower riders where we could but then he ramped up the pace and moved away.

    The rain persisted and Lap 2 was a different story. News was hitting the Mole Camp that it was really bad out on the course. I was due to take over from Darren after a two lap stint and was surprised when he arrived back early. One lap done he had lights that had failed , brakes that did not work and I realised that when he said it was “unbelievable” out there that it was going to be tough. I made my way to the start line and started the course and within a short distance realised it was going to be tough going. The mud was indeed unbelievable. It was difficult to focus on the exercise element of the ride as forever you were more concerned with working out the best route and staying on the bike. Some sections I figured were quicker walked or jogged. So the second lap was spent peddling smoothly; hence the no sweat, and listening to drive chains being eaten alive.

    I was pleased and relieved to find D’Andy at the finish line to take over. It had taken twice as long to do the second lap and I worked out that I would not have to go out again! Result!

    I got back to the Mole Camp to find little activity as most hat chosen to get some shut eye. I laughed at my stupidity as I struggled to take off my wet clothes in the constricted space of my two man tent. Stiff legs and yoga style stretches to get plastered socks off took an age as the cramps kicked in!

    Congrats to all that took part and to the Dorking Cocks who made the podium

    Getting back to the “tea in China” quote. It was a blast and I for one will be back.

  4. Suren says:

    wow, sounds like a epic. I did the brass monkey enduro last year and the weather was the same. did one lap, got half way around the second, got a puncture, pump didnt work, spare tube wouldnt inflate, ended up pushing the bike home! All character building stuff.

  5. stevend says:

    Gentlemen, well done. I sat in front of the telly hearing the rain coming down full of admiration for you for even entering the D2D, I raised a glass and toasted you (my wife gave me a strange look). I had been to Swinley that morning (sadly just missing Andrew), conditions were very muddy and gooey early on, we (the bike and myself) came home as mucky as can be, covering only 24 miles in about 4 hours – I felt knackered, and thought.. I have nothing on you guys, how do you do it ? Bravo.

    With experience of the Moles’ sunday ride pace I just cannot imagine how tough it must have been if Mole lap was taking over two hours. I just hope that whatever event you do next year is much drier.

  6. Jez says:

    4 laps in 7 hours….! Amazingly I finished higher than last year despite doing half the numbers of laps and quitting!

    Just horrendous conditions. I went from feeling positive (just rather wet) after 2 laps to both me and bike being destroyed 2 laps later.

    The solo tent was a sorry state of broken souls. Each (slow) lap I saw people pulling out which made pushing on harder. Crashed once on my third lap then twice on the fourth so realised enough was enough.

    I was there two years ago which was another famous wet one but I think the course was much worse this time around.

  7. Dave says:

    Aftere getting there and spending a lot of time setting up Mole HQ the lap I did at about 3pm was a real joy, much more so than last year. By the time I rode the teams 3rd lap though it was very, very different. After two miles my hands ached from gripping the bars so tight in an effort to keep the bike going roughly where it was pointing. One moment I’m following a soloist down a tree lined section os straight singletrack then next I’m on the ground with the bike across the track.

    I approached the drops with some trepidation but by this time I’d worked out that some rider may have fitness but little familiarity for these conditions. So when I let a light from behind passed and chatted with the chap who said he had no skill in these conditions I was somewhat eleated to turn another corner to fin him on one side of a sharp climb, another rider on the other and I just put the pedal down and rode up between them. That probably kept me going for a few miles even though they both passed me on the fireroad shortly afterwards.

    Anyway, after that and Simon turning back from his second lap i decided I didn’t need to hurt myself and was happy throwing in the towel.

    I don;t feel as negative about the event as I did last year but next year I’ll try and get the Moles to do something nearer or at least a different event.

  8. tony says:

    Just to add a few points.

    Each lap was 11miles. Hence by the middle of the night we were averaging about 5mph. Why? Well it was the consistency of the mud, which was so thick and deep that you kept no momentum (DaveW -much, much harder than Borden). Bascially there was no freewheeling on just about the entire course (downhills included). It was only when you got off to push that you realised that a. cycling was only marginally quicker than walking b. it was incredibly hard to even walk a bike through the mud.

    Just for those of you checking the results. Andy661’s final lap was really 3.5hrs. Amazing effort to finish Andy.

    Also if you take a look at my laps. lap 2 and lap 3 both took about 15-20mins extra because I had to change pads. It was bike carnage.

    By the end of my 4th lap. I just wasn’t enjoying it any more. I slipped off a couple of times and was absolutely covered in mud. I’d run out of pads and although I’m sure I could have done another lap I simply didn’t feel like it!

    I did enjoy the whole solo-ing experience though. Bring it on next year – although a little less muddy please.

    Finally I can confirm that the Conti Speedking was definitely not the correct tyre choice for D2D.

  9. Mark J says:

    I am disappointed that I only mamaged one lap, and it is super kudos to everyone who went round more than once.

    I am actually quiet impressed with my lap time if I take off the 20mins I spent sorting out my jammed chain and fixing the bastard thing when it broke. By my standards I was flying along the fire roads, but the gloop on almost all the singletrack was an absolute killer.

    I have beautiful bruises on the inside of both my knees from being hit by my crossbar while falling none to gracefully off my bike during the first few miles of my lap, and I obviously sussed that it was better to just let the bike slide where it wanted, rather than trying to steer normally.

    I was shocked by the number of riders I passed on the course, many of them walking, as I am no whippet at the best of times.

    All in all it was an experience, but one I would rather not repeat if I can possibly help it.

    D2D 2011, ask me agin in 6 months time!

  10. Dandy says:

    As a chap who has experienced a fair bit in life, I’m still constantly delighted when I experience something that I’ve never encountered before ! They don’t have to be pleasant experiences, just different; and this was different and certainly not pleasant.

    James ‘The Pro’ and I enjoyed our mid afternoon practice lap; we tried to complete it without breaking a sweat, and came back in around an hour and 10 minutes. I was pleased with how well the CrossMarks were behaving in terms of grip and speed, given the rain that had fallen on Friday, and was thinking that maybe 55 minute laps were possible once I started racing.

    I was the second rider for Team Port ‘n Stilton, and after Keith’s great start I was surprised at how much my CrossMarks were now sliding all over the place after just an hour’s worth of rain. Climbing the far side of the bombholes was now impossible, and my Shimano ‘freeride style’ shoes lack the studs that were required to get a grip and push the bike up the slopes. So much so that at one point a chap had to shove me up the step as I was scrabbling around in front of him.

    I thought my time of just over the hour was respectable, given the deteriorating conditions, but at this stage was still thinking that with Darren in our team there was a chance Team Port ‘n Stilton might get 12 laps in. Hilarious optimism being my ‘stock in trade’, of course.

    I couldn’t understand why Dave and then Darren’s time were just getting slower, but by the time Colin then Keith were turning in 2 hour laps, I knew that as I started my second lap at 3am it was going to be a battle of mental strength as much as physical.

    The initial firetrack section was slippery, with the CrossMarks spinning occasionally if I strayed off the narrow, solid line; but I could get up a good speed and the occasional speedway style slide kept me awake. Of course I should have realized that if this was what was happening on the firetrack, then the singletrack was going to be a whole heap worse. The first singletrack section found me spinning through 6” of mud for 10 minutes to cover half a mile. This would explain the dozen or so riders that I’d passed who were heading back to the start ‘the wrong way’. Broken by the thought of another 10 miles of muddy ‘treacle’. Towards the end of this section, I gave up and pushed. Even though I knew five minutes earlier that this would be a quicker and less strenuous option, I resisted because I was in a bike race and had a bike, and it would feel like cheating if walked. This pride was rapidly abandoned as I realized that it had taken me 30 minutes to cover the easier first 3 miles of the course. Matt span past me on a fire road section, having started 5-10 minutes after me. I knew I had to follow my own pace, and quickly subdued the slight competitive urge to try and keep pace with him.

    And this was how it was for the remaining 90+ minutes of the lap. Searching for slightly solid ground in the pouring rain, slipping sideways, picking myself up, pushing, trying to get going again. I found myself mentally singing the same song over and over (‘Fire’ by Kasabian, if you want to know) in an effort to keep myself going and fall into some kind of rhythm. Somehow I managed to get up the far side of the ‘Hal’s Pit’ bombhole without having to push, but this was then followed by a sharp left turn after a short downward slope. The wheel and the bike went sideways, but with no grip I just went straight on, sideways!

    The 3 miles to go sign cheered me up, and with my watch showing 4.30am, I was aiming to beat the 2 hour barrier. Unfortunately this was the start of several sections of unrelenting mud that my sleep and energy deprived legs struggled to cycle through. I staggered into the finish area just over 2 hours after I’d started, but with a feeling of satisfaction that I’d ‘dug deep’ for the team and eager to hand over the baton to our next rider. At 0515 in ‘Mole HQ’ there was just Matt and Jem discussing the conditions, with Jem psyching himself up to start a third lap. Team Port ‘n Stilton had wisely retired for the night.

    My immediate feeling was of disappointment, and that the team had let me down. I’d been pushing myself to keep going and not give up, only to find that they’s thrown in the towel. However, the conditions weren’t just punishing for the riders. Drivetrains and brakes were also taking a hammering. Dave and I had helped change several sets of pads on various bikes earlier in the night, and my one spare set had already been used on my rear brakes, and with the front set now making ominous grinding noises another lap could prove expensive in terms of impact on the rotor. Wisely, the team had accepted that there was no point in punishing themselves and their equipment for two hours of very unpleasant riding and retired for the night. Once I’d taken chatted to Matt and Jem, I realized that the team had made a sensible decision. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t enjoyable, it wasn’t even riding, it was just a struggle. I did think about taking an hour’s rest and attempting a third lap, but I knew in my heart that this was not going to happen. After 2 glasses of port and some stilton, I fell asleep in the chair and woke up at 0645 with the daylight and a strange silence, on account of it having stopped raining and there was no sound of raindrops on the tent roof.

    Would I do it again, even if I knew it was likely to rain? I think the answer might be ‘yes’. Does that mean I enjoyed myself, despite the conditions? Again, yes. Maybe a Team Port ‘n Stilton pairs next year then, Keith?

  11. Jez says:

    Blimey after all that you two are still up for more and talk of pairs. Clearly you’re both still in some kind of trauma induced delirium.

  12. Matt says:

    Great to hear your individual experiences guys. Yes it was hell and I have an overriding sense of disappointment that I didn’t have the strength for a third lap after Jem but I was broken after the sugar crash. I knew when I arrived back at MoleHQ I had nothing left.

    I still don’t know how it happened, energy gels beforehand and plenty of good eating failed to stave it off; I guess that just shows I was trying and that I’d failed to carry spare gels with me :o)

    In fact, looking at my laps I feel some pride – the first was a good time for the third hour of the race and the second was going very well until the sugar dip – picking inventive lines through and round trouble was yielding a lot of places, hence my catching D’Andy and many others. To see very fit guys looking broken showed that we were all suffering.

    But ultimately, D’Andy’s time was not far off my second lap time so I doff my cap Andy. Next year, energy drink in the Camelbak!! And yes, I think there will be a next year too…

  13. kc says:

    I will definitely be there next year either alone or with a buddy or two or three.

    The positives out weigh the negatives by far.

    Nothing worth doing is easy and nothing appears easy today.

  14. TurnerGuy says:

    The D2D 2011 thread has been started in the ride forum…

  15. Jem says:

    “Stop’s at skin”

    was a northern exspession I once heard on a summer holiday some years ago on a usually sun drenched beach on a greek island, as it pi55ed down whilst sitting at a bar having a drink with a chap from Huddersfield.

    Whilst people were running to take cover, he calmly said- ” Once your wet your wet, it stops at skin”!

    This phrase certainly rang in my head this weekend.

    So here we were, Keith and I waiting together at the back of the line up for the start, chatting about bikes, lights, WATER BOTTLES!! and of the young lady in front of us, who appeared very fit.

    Her steed was a Charge Duster Ti a bike I have often thought I would like to own. Also wearing a Charge team jersey I realised this was the gal who races for them, Her name escaped me at the time but now remembered Abi Greenaway. She was racing in the female pairs and they won the category, nice to know that we were competing with some accomplished

    competitors across the board.

    Despite the conditions I really enjoyed the race, it was a nice sensation on the final stages of my last lap as the dawn broke (a first for me) which happened fairly much on-cue as my borrowed light went flat leaving me with just my head light which was on low due to the battery being on low reserve.

    Feeling not bad today, a bit tired. Those energy, recovery drinks really seem to work!

    A BIG thankyou to my team and everyone who was envolved in team Moles, you will look back next year and remember WE WERE THERE!

    Anyone fancy Borden Enduro???!!!

    http://www.xcracer.com/raceentry/viewevent.php?event_id=99

  16. Toby says:

    Thanks KC for your mention of us ‘Cocks’. Seems we had a very similar experience to you guys. We had to persuade a few individuals to come and then use even more persuasive tactics to keep them motivated once the rain started and energy sapping 1st laps were completed.

    Our mixed team on seeing they were 3rd had all the motivation they needed but in the end only clinched that spot by 9 minutes or so. This was largely thanks to old John (he is 62) putting in a storming 1.39 or so last lap.

    In the other team Simons enthusiasm mean’t the other 3 daren’t let him down and hence they all just got on with it and ended a very good 13th in the mens team 4’s category.

    Well done to you guys, it was an achievment just to see the race out. I would certianly do it again but much preferably in dry conditions.

  17. Matt says:

    Even the Pros like Abi Greenaway we reduced to 1:40 laps by the middle of the night in those conditions so let’s not beat ourselves up too much.

    The Borden Enduro might be worth a punt, the two hour race is just £16 and provided it doesn’t rain (!!) was a cracking course last year.

    A sensible approach might see us having some fun. But remember, NO THIRD LAP!!

  18. Jem says:

    Hi Toby,

    Massively impressed with old Johns last lap time.

    So it’s true Ale is full of carb’s.

    I must start training sessions with you guys in the pub!!

    Respect.

  19. Toby says:

    Jem – Its official, Beer is good for you. John is the living proof being a 10 pint a day man (of real Ale of course).

    Funny but he was the only person who was smileing on returning from his 1st lap, he loved it. Must have been the lunchtime session he had at a local pub before joining us at the event centre in the afternoon.

    Beer ride sounds good, I’m sure we can sort a Tuesday evening ride out sometime followed by beer if you fancy it.

  20. Paul says:

    Oh yes, a glass of the old vitamin G certainly helped me when an estimated 2hrs for 2 consecutive laps turned out to be nearly 3.5hrs!

    I think these are great results all round especially when you reflect on the challenges we faced both as teams and individuals. Just finishing one lap in those conditions was tough and eventful, never mind contemplating another!

    I really have to congratulate Keith and D’andy on their opening laptimes – not bad for the old boys at all 🙂

    Respect to all that had a go and all that helped us do it!!

  21. Markymark says:

    “I seen some bad ass bush before, but nothin’ like this.”

    “I hear ya. This shit’s somethin. Makes Cambodia look like Kansas.”

    Jesus! Mega effort chaps. Hats off! Makes MUC-OFF-8 looks like August in Richmond Park.

  22. JR says:

    Well done to you all. I thought of you when the rain was coming down in Surrey and was glad to be at home. But it sounds like each one of you could have written a great ride report with the experiences you each had.

    I just hope when I have a go, it is not quite so character building.

  23. paul901 says:

    Fantastic effort by everyone and I suspect it strengthened the bond between you all greatly. Well done to all. I had a restless night and was awake several times due to flu symptoms or toothache just to compound things. Each time I woke I thought of the teams on the their 2nd, 3rd or 4th rides (unaware of the 2 hr laptimes), listened to the rain and put my head back under the covers. Sounds so tough this year I suspect even Barrie would have worn a T-shirt if he’d been there!

  24. Adam_ski says:

    What a race…!?

    I remember the conditions from two years ago and said it was the worst race I have ever done.

    However, this year was… er, even worse!

    Having really bad memories from previous d2d we decided not to go through this again. Brake pads only lasted 2 and a half laps and the noise from my new drivetrain was just too much…

    Our tactic was to do two laps each and then switching to one each as we get tired.

    Unfortunately we didn’t get to that point as after second Amanda’s lap we decided we are not going to make it because of brake pads we didn’t have and all other parts we would have to replace afterwards. Having said that, I entered my 3rd lap anyway to see if I can get another one. The conditions got a lot worse and around half way through at the first bomb hole some poor guy in front of me landed his front wheel on some roots and got thrown straight into a tree. Result – possibly broken collarbone as he was in a lot of pain. Luckily there was a marshal point nearby where we got some help and called a medic through walkie-talkie. At this point my pads were finished and I pulled out of this mud fest. Injured guy was taken away and I took a fire road back to the main arena. As you probably noticed this section got cut off as they decided it was too dangerous.

    Congratulations to everyone who took part for great effort and mental strength…

    Not too sure if I will ever enter it again. Or maybe ‘third time lucky’?

  25. tony says:

    Well the guy who hit the tree at first bomb hole definitely bust his collarbone.

    http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/dusk-til-dawn-1/page/2

    See picture half way down the page.

    I went over the bars at the same pit but luckily just landed in a about a foot of wet mud 🙁

  26. Jez says:

    That pit took me out too and I saw a few others fall victim but nothing as serious.

    I haven’t bothered looking at the bike yet to see how bad it is under the mud. The grinding metal noises sounded expensive.

    I’m feeling a bit rough myself which might be to do with all the mud I no doubt ingested. Right hand seems bruised too.

    No doubt we’ll enjoy the memory more than the reality…

  27. Adam_ski says:

    Just had a look at the times above… Keith’s 1:01:13… impressed! I did notice within the last few weeks you got a lot faster… Any training tips?

  28. kc says:

    Adam I shall live off your praise for weeks.

    My tip is simple, commit to a minimum of 100 miles per week for 10 weeks and avoid junk mileage where you can. If it feels tough do more on the road than XC.

    It is having you guys around that has lifted my performance immensely.

  29. kc says:

    Oh! Just realised 100 miles per week is bound to be a reduction for Adam so ignore that bit!

  30. Markw says:

    What an event erh! looking back really enjoyed myself although I would to have loved to tackle that single track in the dry. For reference my 40min lap consisted of running off the racing line where the trail was rideable! just not totally within the rule book.

    A big shout to my team mates as you normally wouldn’t be out in such bad weather!

    See you all soon.

    Mark

  31. Andy661 says:

    Thanks Tony for your kind words.

    Was a relief to see you in the wee hours, esp to tell James to stop waiting!

    I was initially disappointed with my lap count of 2 after some hard earned miles gained on Mach3 and The Beast at cyb.

    But on reflection i kept going and by doing back to back laps during the worst weather did 5 and a half hours of continuous riding. Apart from in the pits. And where even my Edge tyre just span at stand still!

    Was a bit epic but as i found in army days its good to have memories like that in the Moral Fibre reserve account!

    Cos next time it gets a bit tough you know it won’t be as bad as d2d 2010!

    Not that affected the outcome but after seeing Tony i rode up to a bloke running alongside his bike which had a total flat. He’d been in such a hurry he’d forgotten his back pack at changeover so had run the last 7 miles!

    I sorted him out with a spare tube and pump [that sounds wrong…]. He was an army triathlete and said the riding conditions were completely beyond him.

    Good to his word he left a replacement tube at the registration desk.

    In summary, did enjoy it, although now have one hell of a cold!

  32. Andy661 says:

    For clarity i rode from 2300hrs to 0430hrs. Lol

  33. James(pro)H says:

    Well 260 mile round trip to ride 2 laps and one was a test lap with D’Andy!

    Really enjoyed? the event, great company and was the last out so expected to run at about 11pm. Well Mark had a breakdown and came back with a time of 1hr 40 which pushed us back. I then added an hour on and headed to wait for Lee to finish his lap. Lee finished and handed me the wrist band, its hard he said, keep it spinning in a low gear like a roadie.

    So I shot off with a little drifting! Caught up a few riders and shot past them, was also passed by a really fast guy so settled my sights on him and went for it. Fine until the bike started to slide around a bit. Then saw the sign for the single track and got stuck in, how different the track was, I was panting after 10 minutes and just kept pushing. Never have I ridden so hard and so slow, it was like slow motion as I passed and got passed by the same riders as we struggled for the best traction lines. All the time the sound of pads and grit. After an hour I had only done half a lap with twice as much energy as doing the whole lap at 4pm. I downed a torq gel to keep me going and battled on.

    The miles counted down slowly but I eventually got home in just under 2 hours and about 02.30 hrs in the morning exhausted. I really couldn’t physically do another lap and as I changed over to Simon I told him not to bother as it was dangerous and too exhausting to continue.

    Walked back to camp and chated to a fellow rider who said his laps had doubled in time since the first laps, feeling a bit better that I was not just riding slow! Eventually hitting the sack at 05.30 hrs for a 2 hour rest/kip.

    Really got the bug to race, I am not competitive and never liked the idea of racing but after my first race I enjoyed the “being in a team” and look forward to our next race.

    D2D next year? Only if its dry.

  34. Dazzler says:

    well that was the worst race that i’ve ever done!!! Rain & mud, what could be worse. my Lupine stoped working at the 6 miles to go mark, then had to follow riders the rest of the way. now my poor light that cost £450 have stopped working, plus i’ve never had a set of brake pads wear out on one lap……

    so we think it hard to ride in mud like that, try following someone 10 foot in front of you when you’ve not got lights in thick mud!!

    never again……. I’ll stick to my guns when i say “no rain”

    but still good fun…

  35. Andy661 says:

    Darren, i’m pleased to report that my TWO 900 lumen Dealextreme lights which costs £55 IN TOTAL 😛 are working just fine.

    Admittedly i did have to change the batteries as they went after 1.5-2hrs on full beam but having applied a little grease to the screw thread everything stayed water tight. Had lap times and conditions been normal they’d have lasted fine.

    Work has been crazy so still to look at the bike and find out what’s worn away!

  36. Wow – sounds miserable and hard core. I like it!

    Alastair

  37. Pingback: Thoughts from Mayhem 2012 | Muddymoles

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