Anything 4 A Ride MTB Club / Race Team

Exposure Lights Big Night Out 10/04/10

   Paul and Graeme up for the 1st race of the season, the Exposure Big Night out in Builth Wells; Wales. This year we had Kaite and Keith come along for the ride to. 4 adults, 2 bikes, 3 tents and a weekends worth of camping gear is quite a squeeze in a little Rover 200, but it just added to the adventure. We arrived @ the National
Welsh Showground just after midnight, setup camp and settle in with a few beers.

   After a bit a lie in we walked into town to pickup some breakfast and spent the rest of the afternoon prepping the bikes etc ready for the race, well Paul and I did, Katie and Keith just cracked open the beers J. Power dinner of Pasta, Pesto and Pepperami and we were set. When 7:00pm finally come round we lined up near the front ready for the off.

Graeme Report

   Usual prerace nerves/tension was building as we waited for dusk to settle and the race to begin. I was feeling good and ready to go, until Paul announced 5mins before the start that his rear brake was binding, great! “Whip off the wheel and prise them apart” but that didn’t help. Oh well 50km with a dragging back brake will be good training. Because it was still light come 7:30pm the race was postponed until around 7:45pm.

   When the horn went we were off, straight into the front pack behind the Pace van. The van wasn’t going all that quick and it was easy to coast in this group, however after about 3km I looked back and couldn’t see Paul, so pulled over to wait. His back brake was binding heavily and slowing him down. See seeing as this was not strictly a race we’d already decided to ride together, so I dropped back and rode alongside. After a few km of road it was straight into a steep off road climb up onto the top of the moors of Llandeilo Hill, it was here I decided to turn my front lights on. The climb rewarded us with a nice downhill just as it was getting properly dark, which turned into a short climb, then downhill over a rather large and unexpected drop-off onto the road at the bottom. Here I waited for Paul and we cycled along the next few kms of road. By this time Paul’s back brake had started squeaking, so much so that as we went passed a farm, loads of dog started barking. The next hill was a steep piece of double track that was very dusty. Took quite a few riders up here but waited at the top. When Paul arrived we went into the downhill, straight into the 1st proper bit of mud I’d seen all ride. A bit of over enthusiastic riding on the dry tyres and I was off “supermaning” down the trail. Great, at least I didn’t land on my collar bone. Picked myself up quick and was back on the bike before Paul saw.

   At the top of the next climb was the refreshment stop. I stop to pick up some High-5 for my bottle, but was offered tea and cakes to. Yumm! It was 10pm(ish), cold, pitch black and I’m having tea and cake on top of a mountain in mid Wales, random!

   Paul had a go at fixing his bike and we were off again. We rode along the top of Aberedw Hill, this soon turned into a slippy downhill with a 120o switchback that suddenly came up. Bit of emergency braking and a bunny hop to get round in one piece. The ride then contoured along the side of the hill on a path about 6inches wide. In places the trail had fallen away, which is just what my back tyre was trying to do (Conti Speed King Supersonics never seem to handle this type of terrain, unlike my Rocket Ron on the front which was gripping like a limpet). We eventually arrived at some woods where there was some singletrack through the trees. This was quite rooty and it was more by luck than judgement I got through there at speed. Out of this and we were onto the last climb. Quick gel to keep the fuel tank topped up and we were back out onto the road to Builth. Paul and I crossed the line together to be greeted by Katie and Keith.

   Back to the tent after a quick shower and it was time for a well earned beer or two. Seeing as our supporters had been drinking since 1 it was only us riders who managed to stay up for some. It was a great event, that’s turning into my fave race/event of the year.