Rewind twelve months ago, and after three scorching weeks of rooster-tailing down hardpacked trails, we are back in the grip of constant rain. The Mucky Crew and I are in the forest weekend after weekend improving the drainage at the boggiest parts of the course, building causeways and trimming gorse and branches in time for Muckmedden. I have slowly morphed into the haunted love child of Uncle Fester and Ronnie Corbett as the organisation process takes its toll on my model-like appearance.
So here we are in April 2013, the boyish good looks are back and there are TWO brand spanking new Muckmedden events to get excited about this year. I’ve also planted the seed for a night race in Highland Perthshire early in 2014 which has provisionally been given the green light! How nice.
Anyway, back to 2013 and the first event to happen will be The Eliminator, that’s Eliminat-OR if you’re American…..
If you don’t know what The Eliminator is click here for a full description: http://www.muckmedden.co.uk/the-eliminator/
The date is still to be set in stone, but it’s looking increasingly like July 27th and 28th due to a number of factors. Firstly we have to avoid as many other MTB races and local events as possible (not easy), and avoid clashing with the schools starting back after the summer hols. Even more importantly than this though, the barley for the Crazy Crops slalom has to be ripe enough to be high and mighty so it flows in the wind and riders can carve their way down a bit of a tunnel to the finish, but not so ripe that it droops over and gets in the way.
The Crazy Crops slalom had to be marked out and logged on GPS and paper before the field was ploughed, as we can’t go onto the field without wrecking the crops once they’ve grown. Once the barley has grown, we’ll only get one chance to mark out the course for the race, so we spent hours marking different slaloms with pin flags, riding it, moving the flags and sessioning it until we felt we had the perfect blend of rhythm, speed and flow. Who the Muck would have thought riding a bike in a field could be so scientific?!
As well as all this “fairmery” stuff, we’ve been recceing the site for parking, camping, entry and exits, and figuring out the best uplift route to get the bikes to the top of the hill. After all that it was time to work out how long an average run would take, how many riders the course can handle, how long an uplift takes, how many riders can be uplifted at the same time, how many runs everyone will get in a set amount of time, how to work out different race categories………..blah, blah Muckin’ blah.
Tune in next time for a thrilling update on risk assessments, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, figuring out entry costs, catering, portaloos and showers and arranging suitable insurance.
Do you really care about all this stuff? Please say you don’t because your job as a Mucker is to turn up with your bike/mates/family/life-partner, throw yourself down a big hill a few times (not literally I hope), have the craic at your tent in the evening and generally enjoy a chilled out weekend. And who knows, if it all goes well you might win something at the end of it!
After recovering from The Eliminator it’s time to get ready for THE BIG CHEESE, THE DON, THE BIG YIN - it’s Fair City Enduro.
I’m in “Top Secret” negotiations with Morrocco Media and some of the wildlife organisations about a massive, hairy badger at the moment, the reason will hopefully become clear in the Spring – keep ‘em peeled Muckers! Other points of interest are small people riding tiny bikes through the back of a van – or was that one a dream? Gareth Christie has also agreed to design some posh new logo’s for each event which will no doubt be as brilliant as all the artwork he did for Muckmedden last year.
If I’m honest, it’s these things I find the most enjoyable out of the whole organisation process, the race is for everybody else to enjoy while I just freak out until it’s over.
Fair City Enduro takes place on Halloween week, so it would be fantastic to have as people in fancy dress as possible, including marshals, riders and spectators. I want to see Osama Bin Laden pulling a no-hander on the big tabletop on stage 3, and Ghandi sticking it up the inside of Maggie Thatcher at turn one…..maybe not that second one actually, but come on, who wouldn’t want to be ushered into the car park by a fat Lady Gaga?
The next few months will be spent conducting risk assessments, arranging insurance, forming site evacuation plans, trail-building and finalising sponsors for each event before the posters and flyers are put together and the website is updated. I’ll be looking to book a park & ride shuttle bus to take spectators from the South Inch hub up to the forest and back, arranging on-line entry for both events, designing the “Special Stage” with the SMBC……………
Sorry I forgot you’re not interested in any of this, but it’s been good therapy for me.
Thanks for not listening Muckers!