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My legs are still killing me today but I guess that’s what happens when you enter an Enduro somewhere as hilly as mid Wales. It’s self-inflicted pain and i shouldn’t really be moaning or making those achy leg noises every time I get up from my desk but I do, and will continue too for the rest of the day.

On Sunday, myself and two friends Josh and Rune turned up at the brilliant trail center Brechfa at 7:45 am with bleary eyes and a feeling of excitement that the day ahead would be filled with riding our bikes, and generally having a good time.

This year’s enduro had a slightly different format because it would be the three timed stages that counted towards the final positioning, rather than trying to get round the whole course as quick as poss. I really like this, as it meant you could take it easier on the in-between bits and then give it the beans on each stage.

With a staggered start it meant less congestion at the beginning, and gave people time to get sorted. Us three being keen as custard got going straight away and set out to conquer the 30 km course with big smiles on our faces!

The first timed section was the 3 minute downhill which was super fast and flowing with some tight corners that made you squeal. I love riding downhill quick so I gave it some welly and managed to get down to the bottom in one piece with only a couple of near misses. Our smiles were even bigger now!

The second time section was the undulating stage, this consisted of a horrible switch back climb that makes your legs and arms burn, followed by a swooping downhill that required concentration and momentum. For me this was the hardest part because after the  climb, my body felt like jelly but my bike was accelerating downwards at a rate of knots, so I just hung on and flowed through all the twists and turns!

Three quarters of the way round was a feed station with banana’s galore. We loaded up on these and stood around speculating about where the final stage could be. The general vibe was great too and everyone looked like they were having fun. Fueled up, we continued onwards to the final leg.

Who ever planned the course must have been having a chuckle to them self because the last part just seemed to go up hill. I can only imagine the amount of colorful words being spoken from tired mountain bikers! The final timed checkpoint was an 8 minute climb!

I maintained a comfortable pace and reached the top with a time that I was pleased with. That’s the hard part done, now just got to reach the finish…

The final section back to the finish was a fire road decent, which if you let off the brakes you could really cut loose. I followed a guy called Paul who drives trains; he was a great person to be behind because he just had no fear! Ace fun indeed!

Through the finish line I got off my bike and stood there with the same smile that I started with. I’ve been riding mountains bikes for 16 years and it just doesn’t get boring, I still get that great feeling!! Buzzing.

And to top off an already top day, I managed to take the overall win in the women’s category. It was Tracey Mosley who presented the prizes which was amazing! She’s awesome, definitely a rider I look up to!

I’ve rattled on for long enough now sorry, but what can I say MTB’s are just rad!!

Thank you to Bike Brechfa and Brechfa bike club for putting on such an ace event. To Josh and Rune for being top riding companions, and to all the marshal who stood out in the freezing conditions.  Roll on next year!!

Hazel
howies Clothing Designer & Technician