With no Ride It! event taking place last weekend some of the Ride It! team headed off to Thetford Forest to compete in the Dusk Til Dawn 12 hour race.
After a bit of a disorganised start, what with me thinking Thetford Forest was just a few miles off the M25, us all missing the rider briefing and Keith lining up for the start at the back of the pack with all the soloists, it wasn’t looking too promising for a decent result. Then me falling off on my first lap, brusing my ribs and thinking I might not be able to continue and the weather taking a definite turn for the worst it was starting to look even less likely we’d finish.
The turning point happend when we decided to check the results and see how everyone else was doing. To our surprise we were running in 4th place so with competitive Jon getting a sniff of a podium finish we all pulled ourselves together and settled in for a night of getting cold, wet and muddy and trying to make up at least one place to get on the podium.
As the course got more and more muddy and as we all wore through our disk pads lap times dropped from under the hour for the first couple to around the 1h20-1h30 mark to complete the 10 mile lap. I think we all felt we were going slow but judging by the amount of people walking round rather than riding I think everyone was finding it tough going. You really had to be there to believe the mud in some parts of the course.
Thanks to spare disk pads, mud tyres, pizza and Gore waterproof shorts we eventually managed to complete 10 laps and moved up into 2nd place by the end of the race (30 minutes or so behind the winners, Salsa Factory Racing). Hats off to Huw who joined us on the team, despite riding his 1990′s Specialized Stumpjumper with v brakes, a borrowed light and the sole hanging off his shoe, he still managed to put in competitive lap times.
As well as a rather fancy trophy we also won some Torq goodies and a new USE Exposure Flare rear light each. Thanks to the guys at USE not only for the prizes but also for keeping our lights charged all through the event.