Spotted that Gorrick did these types of events while looking for events to do during this year. All of which are based not to far from my sister in Maidenhead and to help justify the 5 hour drive to get there I could take the family and have a weekend away to see my sister and her kids etc.
This would be my sisters (Sarah) first try at this type of event, in fact she does not even own an MTB and she had to borrow one of mine. I was convinced we could win the mixed pairs category but Sarah wouldn’t have a bar of it. As much as I knew she may struggle technically, she was quick on a bike so I was looking forward to seeing what happened.
Thanks to very dry weather and glorious sunshine the conditions were perfect, the ground was bone dry and very hard, was like riding on tarmac for the most part. I took the map and the punch card as Sarah was not to keen to do the map reading because I had done it before. This event differed from the ones I am used to up in Derbyshire as not only was the timing and checkpoints not electronic, but you were given the map upon registration, giving you loads of time to decide upon a route. We decided to go for the big points first and the close to finish small points last in case we had to bale.
Route Taken 12, 11, 16, 19, 4, 15, 17, 20, 5, 10, 9, 14, 13, 1, 18, 6, 2, 7, 3, 8.
It looked like the vast majority of competitors choose to do the route the other way around which was not the best option. We did most of the climbing on the road, which is almost always quicker. Plus we got to do the long off road descents, between points 4 and 17 where a highlight. Point 13 was a pain, not only was it closer to the road than on the map, we missed it and had to go back for it. I then broke my rear mech with a stick that got pulled up into it. It twisted and broke one side of the jokey wheel hanger. Fortunately i was able to bend it back into position and the one side of the mech looked like it would hold provided i left it in small gears at the back, so to not put to much tension on it. It held, but still made me grumpy, a cost i could have done without.
Not that I saw it, but Sarah fell off in the only mud we encountered during the day, which was impressive considering how little of it there was… Maybe she wanted to feel like she had really been mountain biking?
Well to our surprise, we got back to the finish with a clean sweep with around 25 minutes to spare. I think if it had been wet it would have been a lot slower, but thanks to perfect conditions a lot of people were getting them all. We decided to hang around for the prize giving just to see if we had won. Their computers weren’t working so we had no provisional results to go on but I knew we had done well.
It turned out we won quite easily. We were the only mixed pairs to have cleaned up all the points, let alone do it in such a good time. We could have been even faster as Sarah was pacing herself a little more than need be as she didn’t know what to expect. Would be great if we could do another one, just have to justify the cost due to the distance I have to travel to get there.
Thanks to Gorrick for putting on a good event. Full results are here. http://www.gorrick.com/trailtrax/trailtrax250312.htm