I started riding in 2012 with Badbrainsmbc in Wakefield on Tuesday and Thursday nights, eventually this was not enough and I was in need of a challenge … The event that set me off was the Kielder 50 in 2013 which was the only year they did a 50, I finished 3rd in the event and the taste for some competitive riding began…….
Donna was not far behind within a few months she was into mountain biking and the love for cycling eventually gripped her and she’s well into strava!! We both like to do the local challenge events for charities including the overgate hospice and events to support the scouts.
In 2014 we decide to have a go at 24hr racing and entered Bontrager Twentyfour12
Donna riding in a (3 woman team) for Stubbing mtb
and me in Stubbing2 (4 man team)
Donna proved to be a real solid performer and really impressed with multiple back to back laps to secure 2nd in the womens category…..so proud:)
Stubbing 1 took an impressive 2nd place and we were 9th in the mens category
The following month Donna had booked on for Torq in the solo 6hr category and I was down as pit “bitch”(but this changed)I was able to enter the 6hr solo in the morning and had done zero prep!!
This actually relieved all the pressure,I was out just to have fun being the only single speed rider in the category.To cut it short we both did well and got 2nd in male and female categories.
The drive to succeed was there now “maybe we could be good at this sort of event”
and then Strathpuffer 2015
Strathpuffer is a amazing event from beginning to end the whole adventure starts with the journey up there its epic!
The weather had been very mild for the time of year and it was warmer in Scotland than down here.But then a few days before the event the snow started and on the way up the weather report was monitored every hour or so.
Once we passed Perth things started getting tricky the snow was piled at the side of the road and a duel carriageway was reduced to 1 lane with temperatures dropping into the minus.
well we got there 3hrs early to square wheels
A few hours passed and we began chatting to other early victims and a cue began to form…..fast forward a few hours and we had cued and signed on then a rush to the venue. The gate opened then like a heard of crazy cows we scrambled on to the fire road climb and set up camp with the shibden lads about 150 yards from transition.
That evening was a bit unsettled freezing cold in a old army tent with a few lads that where in sleeping bags that weren’t quite up to the conditions!
Anyway race day came and we were up early and ready to go(not). La mans style starts are just not my thing but add to the interest a 200m run then onto the bike for the first lap chasing lee Craige me and Ant from Shibden but in a good first lap getting into a unobstructed position. From what I remember the first few laps were quite crisp and good trail conditions but as time went on the trail became a giant slush puppy!
I did a 2 lap start then donna went out for a lap we then went back to back well into darkness, at this point we were comfortably 2nd I put in a few double laps over the night to give donna a bit of rest and all looked good The condition changed from 1 lap to the next with fluctuating temperature down to -10
As dawn broke the lift to my spirits gave me the boost I needed to get a few more laps in. At 9am we were uncatchable in 2nd place and no chance of 1st so decided to sit around the fire for the last hour…
The event was fantastic and coming second to a super fast Lee Craigie and partner was acceptable 😉