Wiggle Mountain Mayhem 2012 - The good, the bad and the ugly

Well, it was our first time at the Mountain Mayhem at Eastnor castle, and it was a tough one !    The weather made the whole thing more a matter of survival than of competition.    A few thoughts about the event are below..

The Good.

  • A great atmosphere and spirit around the site.

  • Giving kids high-fives as you plodded round the campsite sections of the course in your granny gears, and getting a huge smile from each one.

  • Having a laugh with other competitors after falling flat on your face for the fifteenth time because it was so slippery.

  • Riding like a man-possessed on the downhill from the obelisk, knowing the lap was nearly over (and that my brakes were essentially useless in those conditions anyway).

  • The marshals around the course, who, despite sitting out there for hours on end were still helpful, encouraging and happy.

  • The 'jump of doom' at the bottom of the campsite, and getting a huge cheer as I went over it.

  • Seeing the kids races on Friday night.

  • The group of people at the bottom of the site helping to push, pull and tow other people out.

  • The experience of surviving the thing !

The bad.

  • The weather ! It turned a tough course into an un-rideable one. Can't be helped I guess

  • Having to carry my bike so much because my wheels, mech and chain simply wouldn't go round.

  • Virtually no information before the event aside from occasional posts on Facebook / Twitter pointing us to the website. We all provided email addresses, so were really expecting some event updates in the lead up.

  • The few obnoxious riders who seemed to be of the opinion that nobody else should be on 'their' course and barged past.

  • The course overall... lots of work and not a lot of reward... even in the dry, I'm not sure how much 'fun' it would be.

  • Having to walk so much of the lap.

  • Seeing my poor girlfriend valiantly ride into the arena and finish her lap after falling off and cracking a rib on the course.

And the ugly

  • A rider from a fairly prominent team who was amazingly rude on the course as he came past me and the guy in front of me and then proceeded to have a go at the next guy who had the audacity to slide across the track in front of him (on his face).

  • A rider who, upon encountering my aforementioned girlfriend lying on the course having fallen off and cracked her rib, nearly rode into her, told her she should get out of the way because she was blocking the course, and rode off. (It's probably just as well I don't know who it is)

Not our first MTB competition, but it was our first Mayhem, we're undecided if it will be our last. The course felt like it would be pretty dismal even in the dry. I'm glad we did it, it was an experience.. we'll see what happens next time.   I'm not sure the point of a 24h endurance race is to knacker all the riders on the first lap, and I did feel that the course could have been less demanding and still presented a real endurance challenge.