_45 Mondraker Gravity Rally Day 01

12/07/14

Route map here

Last year I went down to a race on Exmoor in Someset from London on my own as I thought it looked good, it was not too expensive and I found some cheap accommodation and a way to get there. Whilst I was there I found a bunch of great guys to ride with and made some good friends, the nature of an enduro race means that you can spend the whole day riding with your mates but also do the race too, a few minutes of flat out riding for each stage, wait for the guys at the bottom and rave about what just happened, then trundle along to the next stage at a leisurely pace.

This year Rodger, one of the guys I met last year, was asking everyone if they wanted to race and in the end due to other commitments and some people off riding the mega (unlucky for them as their weather was crap and ours was amazing) only me and Rodger raced but it was still a great weekend!

Of course I was totally unprepared the night before and ended up swapping frames over as I had just got my Ibis back from the warranty repair so I think I ended up in bed at around 1:30am before getting a lift from Jim (my hero driving me all the way to Taunton!!) at about 6am.

Bike building the night before going to the race. Always a good idea... Not.
Bike building the night before going to the race. Always a good idea… Not.
Rog cycling over to meet me after the 2nd stage, me shouting at him excitedly about it oblivious to his savage elbow.
Rog cycling over to meet me after the 2nd stage, me shouting at him excitedly about it oblivious to his savage elbow.
Rog's savage elbow from a nice OTB crash, yikes.
Rog’s savage elbow from a nice OTB crash, yikes.

Ididn’t really take any photos of the practice or the first stage but we spent the morning doing laps of stage 1 and 2, 1 was the same as last year and was pretty flat out and we both knew a few of the sneaky lines to take on this one to save some time but 2 they had changed a lot, even though they had added a good bit more pedalling it made the stage much more interesting with some great natural and loamy (at the beginning) stuff at the bottom. One nice drop onto a fire road left Roger with a rather bloody elbow! We ended up taking a trip down to the little local hospital to clean it out properly as it was full of gravel.

Quaint Somerset cottages next to the campsite
Quaint Somerset cottages next to the campsite
Team yellow bike, while waiting for the medics to fix Roger's arm
Team yellow bike, while waiting for the medics to fix Roger’s arm
Everyone chilling out after several laps of the hill during practice and race runs
Everyone chilling out after several laps of the hill during practice and race runs
There was a raffle for some prizes on the saturday evening.
There was a raffle for some prizes on the saturday evening.

In the end I had two runs that felt super fast with no mistakes and hit all the lines I wanted to so I was hoping for some top 5 spots. I ended up with:

Stage 1 – 8th

Stage 2 – Somewhere in the top ten but the organisers screwed up the timing once again so I have no idea?! Was pretty pissed of with that as they did last year too!

 

 

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