Cheddar Challenge Report

Ok - Windsurfing it isn't. This is the mountain bikers splinter group for when the wind don't blow!

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Cheddar Challenge Report

Post by RaV »

At the expense of a long winded ramble, Here’s a list of salient points in (vaguely) chronological order . . . (read slightly shorter ramble)

Paul and I had entered the 10 hour pairs race on the Sunday, there were a couple other teams of 4 we were with in our group.

Arrived Friday pm and set up camp at a decent trackside position a short trot from the start/stop/transition area.

Paul and Nikki arrived shortly after and we set off for a practice lap – before which we were brimming with confidence and enthusiasm, and after which we were nervous wrecks faced with the magnitude of the task ahead of us . . .

Friday night – in true purist race preparation we went to the pub and met Ian & Neroli who forced us into drinking more under the pretence of carb loading.

Saturday morning – I lined up for the le-mans style running start around the BMX course. Mental note to self – don’t wear rigid carbon soled shoes for running up and down concrete ramps.

Strategy was to do two laps each at a time. We were placed 17th out of 50 or so teams after the 2nd lap. Now it gets a bit unconventional. Paul set out on lap 3 at somewhere exceeding mach 2 up the main climb. 2nd note to self – reduce speed from mach 2 when entering a real tricky descent for the first time in a big group of riders. So, one terminally wrecked tyre later, Paul arrived back at base sporting a range of colourful expletives and a broken finger – so endeth our attempt at world (starting with Cheddar) domination.

And no – there was no way on this planet I was going to go solo for the next 9 hours . . . We hereby officially retired our team from the proceedings.

It so happens that one of our teams of 4 was a man down, so I decided to make up number with them – ‘hot chip and co’ was the new (for today at least) RideTheQuantocks.

Accident theme continues. Part of the course was cordoned off as someone broke a leg after failing to apply brakes at the bottom of ‘the devils drop’. One of our team (Anna) aka Chip took a nasty tumble on the big descent but soldiered on in a fashion that ‘the charge of the light brigade’ would’ve been proud of. Several more hospitalisations during the day focused the mind of those techy bits.

However, with Nikki now at the tactical helm of our modified team and doubling as head chef, we were holding a solid 7th out of 16th place being a consistent 13 mins behind 6th place with 1 hour to go. Then, in a stoke of luck that (whilst welcome) was still someway short of compensating us for our earlier misfortunes, the team ahead had an uber slow lap (presumably a mechanical?) and let us slip discreetly up into 6th. With a slight tactical change of team order (sending out Dan – our light speed whippet) we managed to protect our slender margin and finished in a well deserved 6th.

With a further race planned for Sunday, Saturday evening started with one small beer and ended 15 mins later with me unconscious in the tent, although there were some fish and chips in there somewhere as well.

Sunday started with a bang as the car next to us backfired at about 06:30am. Vicky and myself were due to do battle in the mixed pairs. With my legs still not quite working from the previous day (see one small beer above), Vicky was elected (by me) to do the running start while I mused on strategy over a torq bar.

As the day wore on, there was a marked shift in the number of folk cycling to the number of folk walking. Those hills got steeper every lap and the obligatory accidents were all too evident as the concentration waned. That’ll be my queue for more performance enhancers (aka a 2nd torq bar)

After some inspired race tactics (I needed at least two laps break to go back to the car to get my 3rd torq bar) we finished in a podium-tastic 3rd place, after the help of some rocket fuel from the Torq stand. After one prize given, two medals and 3 prize DVDs and a 4th torq bar, we packed up and headed for home.

Stats. Paul and Anna consumed enough pain killers to keep RUH in business on a Saturday night after a local rugby match.

Rob consumed enough caffeine products to keep him awake for the next 2 weeks.

Nikki made us enough tea and coffee to put starbucks out of business.

Average lap – 23.something mins. My fastest lap – 20 mins 8s. Our fastest team lap – 17 mins 20 something seconds (Dan). Fastest lap of the event - 14 mins dead (yeti-goldtec team).

Results times posted on

Now I've just got to wait for the caffeine to wear zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Ian Long
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Post by Ian Long »

Eventful weekend!

Well done.

The sum total of my cycling over the weekend consisted of riding my nephew's hard tail over a ditch & tree stump. Still, atleast I managed to return it to him in one piece despite his attempts to break it the day before when he mis judged a double jump :shock:
If found, please return to the pub.
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