Monday, 5 August 2013

Exmoor Explorer 2013

Had a great if somewhat wet and tough time on the Exmoor Explorer this weekend. The 20+ mile mountain bike event that was entered by over 300 people starting from Minehead rugby club in North Devon.

Having not done an organised mountain bike event before I was not quite sure what to expect. Things did not get off to a great start as after the first climb the chain snapped but I was soon back on the trail with a bit of help from Toby with a chain tool. The event route was well selected just about every type of terrain Exmoor has to offer. Some of the downhills on lumpy grass track were perilous resulting in a roll in the heather ( and not in a good way).

The hardest part was getting up Dunkery beacon, the ground was vertical and the rain horizontal. Even after all that effort the view was just misty.  Other parts of the course were better as later on the rain cleared and stunning vistas across Exmoor opened up.

It's important to know your limitations and for me that was getting to the half way tea stop. Most of the return section seemed like an uphill struggle even if the profile shows otherwise. Cramp was biting and grit & mud had got in everywhere. However the best technical sections were on the return leg with a couple of glorious woodland trail descents, just needed a bit more oomph to make the best of them.

By the end of the day the back brake had faded, the rear gears were jamming but the tyres and wheels held up well. For next time I would prep the bike better, remove saddlebag and not bother taking cheese and pickle sandwiches. Flapjack, cake and tea were provided at the tea stop and end of the event. 

Overall was pleased to have finished in around 290 out of 380 position.  Thanks to the organisers for a great event.

1 comment:

Gannett said...

Thanks to Cycles Scuderia of Bideford for referbing the bike at a reasonable cost replacing chain, crank, block, and fixing the brakes.