If you are a Mountain Biker and have never heard of Mountain Mayhem then I guess you have been living in a cave for the last 14 years or perhaps you are new to the Sport?
For the uninitiated Mountain Mayhem is quite simply the biggest and best event on the MTB calendar, drawing riders from all disciplines, backgrounds and fitness levels together for what is best described as a festival of Mountain Biking. A 24 hour race open to teams of varying sizes and soloists, for some it is a race, for others it is a challenge but for many it is simply a great weekend.
What started back in 1998 as a whacky idea by Patrick Adams has evolved to be far more than just the 24hr cycling event. This year will see many off shoots including a road sportive, kids race, midnight run, K9 racing as well as a huge trade arena. There really is something for everyone and there is a real friendly family vibe to the whole event.
I have been to every Mountain Mayhem since 2004, it is the only event that I have done each and every year and I plan to be there again in 2012 when Wiggle will be the title sponsor. I have been part of a team on 5 occasions and a soloist on 3. It holds many great memories for me, especially winning the solo title in 2010 and proposing to my now wife Nia on the finish line.
It is hard to describe the atmosphere on site at the fantastic Eastnor Park, but there is something special that keeps me and many thousands of others coming back year after year. Entries open at Midnight February 29th, but you will need to be very quick if you want a place as it sells out within days and some people even make an annual pilgrimage to Patricks house to hand over the entry form to guarantee the place. Weather you simply want a great weekend away with your mates with some fun riding on top or you have a fast team wanting to challenge for the podium spot the event will give you what you need.
The course is usually around 10-12 miles long and cleverly designed to be easy enough for the beginner to ride but challenging enough to make the pro riders suffer! Lap times are usually 1-2 hours, so should you be in a team of 10 then you can expect to do just a few laps where as the top soloists will cover a staggering 24 or more laps, cycling well over 200 miles!
It would be hard to talk about Mountain Mayhem without discussing the weather and how it changes things. 2003 was wet, 2004 was torrential as was 2009, a narrow mud tyre is a very wise consideration to the spares box! There have been some dry years and 2007 in particular was a scorcher! No matter how bad it gets the race goes on and if I am honest I have more memories (good and bad) from the wetter years.
Wiggle Mountain Mayhem 2012 is set to be the biggest and best to date, who else is going to be there on the start line with me?