Anything 4 A Ride MTB Club / Race Team
Mud Sweat & Gears Rnd3 Langdon Hill  22/09/09
Graeme Spreadbury
   Just me off into Essex just south of Basildon to Langdon Park. I saw this race on the BCF website and it looked pretty good. Only decided to go on the Sunday so left to get there early with my Dad so as to sign on. Had the choice of 1 or 2 hour race and choose the 2 hour seeing as my endurance should still be there since TransWales. Only trouble is this was the 1st event since puncturing my calf muscle.

The event was actually quite big and as the afternoon wore on more people showed up. There was a 20min race for the kids, then @ 2pm the 2hour set off with the 1 hour and 40min Enduros 5 mins later.

Looking round on the start line there was quite a mix of pro looking xc whippets and beginners. I lined up on the 2nd row and when the gun went set off at a steady pace. A lot of people sprinted off the line, as soon as we hit the first climb though quite few people blew out. Guess they got caught up in the excitement of the 1st lap.

After the 1st climb there was a nice (but short) downhill single track with some tight rooty turns. This lead into a slightly downhill double track that was nice and fast, then into a long but steady climb. This was a good place to make up a few places. The course then turned out of the woods into a gravel road downhill which was very fast (35mph+) . This lead into a 90o right hander which I almost lost it on every lap, should slow down more! Across a field and into the steepest uphill of the course. A lot of people walked this, but it was nice and steady. This lead into a long fast downhill section that was flowy, but pretty loose. Then into some singletrack where every root had been spray painted orange. The Epic just flew over these without even flinching. This lead onto the last gravel road section with a 90o left hander that could just about be taken at speed, although as the race wore on the exit of the it got more and more sandy, then a short sharp climb back up to the finish area.

I managed pretty much 20min every lap so done 6 laps. I come over the line about 20secs after the 2 hours. Every lap was pretty much the same as I went at a steady pace, taking a go-gel every 30mins. I had no idea at the end where I came but it felt good.

I used a new combination (for me) of tyres. A Schwalbe Rocket Ron on the front and a Conti Race King Supersonic on the rear. This was brilliant and the bike stuck to the course like a limpet. The event was really good, well organised and I had a great time. Thanks to Dad for coming along to support.

Graeme Spreadbury   No#: 712    6 Laps  2:00:18
                                    35/104   Overall
                                    20/49     in Class (Senior)