Anything 4 A Ride MTB Club / Race Team
Marin Dusk til Dawn 08/10/11
7th year in a row for our trip up to Thetford Forest for the Marin Dusk til Dawn night race. Dave, Jon and Graeme up for this one. Not matter what we were determined to finish it this year.  We got there early Friday evening and setup camp at a good spot near to the arena. Traditional pre-race dinner of Spaghetti Bolognese and a few beers.  Next morning up for quite a bit of bike fettling and then a recce lap of the course. Course was quite dry and fast but not very technical. Rested for the rest of the day then it was onto the race, just as it started raining!

Graeme Report

I volunteered to do the 1st lap, Dusk til Dawn 1st laps are always good fun! Lining up on the start line the weather turned and it started to rain, great another wet Dusk til Dawn. The horn went and it was full pelt, they took us on a rather long pre lap to spread the field out, then it was into the 1st lap proper. Sprinted down the long fire road section and up the “Drag Strip” into the 1st bit of singletrack. Inevitable 1st lap congestion through here, but was near the front of the field so it wasn’t too bad. Took a couple of people on the next fireroad then into some more singletrack. At this point a small deer jumped out in front of me and started to run in front of me down the trail. I shouted at the guy in front “watch out Bambi’s behind you”, he pulled in and the deer ran on ahead passing loads of riders on the straight up to the bomb hole. The course was getting a little muddier further into the lap due to the rain, however it was still fast at this point. I stayed at full chat for most of the lap and come into the change over area on the hour. Handed over to Jon who had only just got down there in time and he headed off in to the darkness. Back at the tent I had a recovery shake and some Chicken Satay sticks (food of champions) and waited for my turn to come round again. Jon came in from his lap and Dave headed out. Jon had had a couple of issues on his lap including losing his light for a bit. I gave Dave 50mins and headed down to the pits to wait for him. He came in just over the hour and handed over to me.

I set off on my 2nd lap and couldn’t get my main light to work, so I rode with just the Joystick working until I reached the “Drag Strip” then my main light just started working, must of got a bit wet. The course was a tad slower at this point due to all the mud. I slogged round at a reasonable pace and came into the pits in just over an hour to hand over to Jon. More recovery shake and some “Rocket Fuel” coffee ready for the graveyard shift @ 3:30am when had to go out again. I laid down til it was time to go out but didn’t get any sleep. I went down to the pits giving Dave an hour for his lap. He came in in an hour and 30mins as he’d punctured out on the course and it was now very cut up and muddy.

I set off on my 3rd lap, half expecting it to be my final one due to the lap times getting a lot longer. The course was now very muddy and pretty slow, I still had my dry tyres on and was surfing round on the slick mud. I had a bit of chain suck on the “Waynes Ridge” section and had to run it but apart from that just slogged it out to complete the lap. I got to the pits in an hour 26mins but Jon wasn’t there, he was with Dave getting the pads changed on his bike. Just a min later he came up to the changeover area and he was off on his final lap. I went back to the tent and put my head down for a bit. As the lap times had grown Dave’s lap was gonna be the last. He changed his tyres for mud tyres and changed over with Jon after an hour 45min lap.

When it neared 8am, we headed down to the Finish (with a couple of celebratory beers) to cheer Dave over the line. He came in a few seconds before 8am, blast I could of got another lap in (I really wanted to)!

We had a great race although I think Dave has announced his retirement from Dusk til Dawn after his 5th wet race in a row. Thanks to Rosie and Katie for staying up and keeping us fed and watered throughout the night.
Position: 27/57 Mens Team 3
Laps: 9
Time: 11:59:34
Graeme Spreadbury 
Jon Bacca 
David James