Thursday, 31 May 2012

10UTB 2012

MJS_2596 by martysavalas
It's almost 14 years since I first took part an endurance MTB race - when the Psychonauts took on Red Bull Mountain Mayhem in 1998. The Psychonauts became TSPC and then were bought out by VCM. RBMM became SSMM and then GT-MMM. SITS, 10UTB, 10@K, BBF, G7 all taken on in a mix of fours, pairs or solo. 21 races for a conservative estimate of 142 hours of racing.

I have never taken a wrong turn before. But I did on Saturday at 10UTB.

Someone up front went left rather than right when we hit the Puggy Line and a whole herd of sheep rode past the arrow pointing the other way chasing the wheel in front. I was about 15 back from the front of this peloton of twats when we hit the railway at Alcan (i.e. almost into Fort William) and collectively realised that we'd fucked up. 4 miles and 20 minutes gone on the first lap...

Breathe. That's that. I've dried my eyes.

Niall (McDougals RT) and I paired up for the 2012 edition and it was a scorcher. One of those unusually warm spells that we sometimes get at the end of spring and which gets hopes up for long, hot summer.

The course was different to my last 10UTB - alongside young JohnVCM - in 2008. Based on the Relentless course apparently, which seemed to involve slightly more fireroad, but a included a hoot of a rarely used singletrack section at the tail end and two fairly steep singletrack climbs to completely blow the legs to bits.

After a couple of sweltering laps, I turned to a 2 Calipo per rest period strategy and then latterly 1 Calipo, 1 Becks, 1 jammy pancake to supplement oodles of gels, bars and water. This worked well, but should have introduced the Becks earlier.

9 laps in total for us meant 5th in Male Vet Pairs. Nae bad. Plans for slightly less pre-race refreshments, fewer amuse-bouche (in Fort William!) and even the T word have been mentioned for 2013.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tweedlove King of the Hill

Dust photo pinched off of Alpine Bikes Facebook - ta! 

VCM minor royalty of The Hill  ; )


There was a trio of VCM representing at the TweedLove King & Queen of the Hill Enduro this weekend.

Firstly, the format of the event:  Go for a ride around Glentress from Peebles, rag it around fun bits of old and new trail, suffer on the fire-road climbs, eat cake, get timed.

7th(16th) , 13th(31st) and 16th(36th) in class (and overall) for Andy, Grieg and mysel' respectively.

Not forgetting Mr Walker getting the fastest times on both of the climbing stages...  : )

Winners Crowns went on the nappers of some locals - Andy Barlow and Katie Winton.

A different feel from the Innerleithen MTB enduros, with the climbing stages and because the temperature was in double figures and the dust! I also think the  trees are planted closer to each other further down the Valley as I did not feel the need to hug one at any point on Sunday...

Highlight of the course had to be the final descent from the end of the red singletrack climb all the way back down the ridge to Race HQ on the putting green outside the Peebles Hydro. Flat out rooty rocky madness of Ho Chi Min, sinuous Zoom or Bust for a turn every 2 pedal strokes then a red-line beast of a wee climb by the fort to drop into some ace 'built by kids' singletrack to be spat out at the bottom of Janet's Brae and back to the Hotel.  A little bit of eveything and a whole lot of fun...

Hats off to the event crew for a good do - hopefully it will be back again.