Mike Anton writes…
I fancied another MTB race and looking at the Bedgebury Boars website, saw they ran a fairly low key series of events.
I’d never been to Bedgebury and coupled with the small rider fields, thought this would make a pleasant change of a Saturday.
Fabulous hot weather on the day greeted everyone and once Josie and I had worked out where the event actually was in the park, I sorted the bike out and went for a gentle inspection lap.
A few splashy puddles meant the bike and rider got a mud coating but most of the course was bone dry and in trees which was a blessing with the sun and high temps.
Now my last proper MTB race was back in 97 and since then I’ve done the princely sum of three Enduro events. – These are more about stamina and clocking distances as opposed to a 1 hour all out blast. Now doubt some would treat 12 hour events such as the Thetford Dusk 2 Dawn as a full on race but I’m not that competitive.
Come the start I was under no illusions of my current fitness and abilities and decided to start near the back of the field and get used to a ‘race’ race.
For the first two laps I sat in with a group of riders and generally rode the single track quite well by my standards. I was however concious that I wasn’t trying that hard so slowly worked my way past some guys. Laps 3 and 4 I was on my own and mucking up some of the sections as I didn’t have a wheel to follow.
I got lapped by some of the front runners in the latter stages and added a few scrapes to the shoulders with some poor lines through the trees.
On the last lap bell I felt strong enough to put a spurt on to catch one of the other vet rider’s half way round the final lap.
Crossing the finish I still felt quite fresh so perhaps I should have gone harder from the start? Something to bear in mind for next time.
I did 6 laps but at time of writing don’t know where this put me in the results.
Now they’re running a 12 hour night race in late October and I’d been keen to give this a go. Whilst we didn’t explore the rest of the Pinetum it certainly looks like a good place to ride a bike. One of the organisers said the night race takes in a lot more fire track, so there’s no need to worry about hours and hours of avoiding trees.