The flatulent four go to Brissol....and it was lush!!

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After weeks of hot and dry weather it wouldn't have been much to ask for it to last just 3 more days, or so you'd think!
We travelled up on Friday evening with the faint hope that maybe the forecast of heavy rain all day on Saturday was just the usual met office covering themselves, but overnight on friday we decided for once they might be right. The rain was beating at the roof of our van trying its best to get through but it did have more luck against the thin sheets of Dans' tent. Dan had obviously not got his 'putting up a tent' badge at cub scouts as he made the schoolboy error of not maintaining the gap between the fly sheet and inner sheet of his tent. Water running down the channels in his airbed reminded him of his mistake!
We decided to have a team tactics meeting on Friday evening in Robs awning and our professional attitude towards the forthcoming event led us to restrict our alcohol intake to just a dozen or so beers and a bottle of wine between us. We did have a 'pick a straw' team order selection process, which due to the fact I picked the shortest, i.e would go first, the royal 'we' decided that the result should be declared null and void due to it being arranged by Robs missus, Alli, and i'm sure I heard a cough and spotted a wink when Rob made his selection!
The order was settled with Rob first, then Mark, then me and finally Dan(giving him time to dry off from his overnight dampness).
 Saturday morning dawned with rain and inevitably Rob kitted up and ready for a practice/warm up lap. We waved him off, dreary eyed and a bit concerned by the look of his new Maxxis tyres obviously purchased before the change in the weather, as grip looked like the furthest thing from his mind. (I haven't checked but he may have had to buy them due to contractural reasons with his Mountain Mayhem elite team) Still he came back about 40mins later and we helped take off the afforementioned tyres and fit some faithful and more suitable 'nobby nics'.
The race started 1/2 hour late due to some late arrivals but off they went with Rob 'enjoying' the run to the bike and then completing his first lap in his usual racey style, he handed over to Mark as the rain finally stopped giving way to some brighter clouds.So we were away and all found the course to be challenging and quite technical with lots of rocky and rooty sections 'spiced' up by the overnight rain. The sheer amount of riders soon created drier lines ad we all grew to really enjoy it. This showed with our lap times improving almost every lap, despite our tiring bodies, and we started to creep up the leader board lying a very creditable 21st place in our catagory with about 3 hours to go. Seeing this we all discovered our competitive side, except Rob who never lost his, and made a push for a fast finish. In Dan's case this turned out to be a push to far and on what I felt was the trickiest technical descent on the course, he tried a new line and his bike was grabbed by a hidden branch sending him over the bars. ( It did pass my mind that it could have been one of the army cadet 'helpers' taking Dan out with a stick in his spokes )Dan picked himself up, checked his pride and joy for damage ( I'll let you decide what his pride and joy is!) and still managed to put in a superb lap time, followed by Rob who steamed round to set his best time of the day, just 3 mins off the best time set for the whole race! This left Faggy to bring us home in style, again setting a personal best laptime and putting us in an amazing and completely unexpected 18th place out of 146!!
We celebrated our achievement with some well earned beer and burgers although we didn't join in the festivities in the event marquee with the 'top' Brissol band as I found it an indistinguishable noise! Some say that this shows my age but honestly, you couldn't even hear the words!!
We had been very lucky with the weather during the race as overnight on Saturday yet again it hurled it down and yet again Dan got the worst of it. Still that won't happen again as the tent was 're-erected' by a slightly sore and damp Dan on Sunday morning in the nearest skip!!
So it was a successful weekend and I'd like to thank Rob, Mark and Dan for representing Mud, Sweat & Gears in such an excellent way and I think I speak for us all in saying we had a smashing time, bring on Brissol Bikefest 2010!
We'll now look forward to better weather (please) and Mountain mayhem, or as it will now be known by us, thanks to Robs' daughter Amys' suggestion,    'Brokeback Mayhem'.

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  1. Jasper Heinrich

    Thanks Dan for finally taking my name off the top of the crasher of the week page. Well done to you all for great finish and as shown on some excellent lap times. Bring on Brokeback mayhem.

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