Everybody should have a bucket list. I have one, a very long one in fact. I've always thought that my bucket list should reflect my personality - quirky, hair-brained at times with a couple of teeth gritting challenges thrown in.
Here is a taste of what I think is worthy of a mountain biker's bucket list! Do feel free to get in touch with additional suggestions!
[part title="Wiggle Mountain Mayhem"]
20-23 June 2014
Considered as an inspiration for 24 hour events around the world, the Mountain Mayhem is the largest participation mountain biking event in the UK. Now in its sixteenth year, the organisers know what makes a good race and deliver year on year.
The Mountain Mayhem is one of the largest participation events in the UK. Over 2,400 riders of all abilities from weekend warriors and have-a-go-heroes to national champions and Olympians, this race has them all. Every rider will push themselves to their limits on the course which this year will be set in Gatcombe Park in Gloucestshire.
Event organisers promise this year will be ever bigger and better than years gone by, now that is a big statement to make!
[part title="Red Kite Bash and Cider Cycle"]
08-10 August 2014
Following the success of the first Summer Cider Cycle last August, this is set to become a permanent event in the Llanwrtyd Wells calendar. This event is very casual and open to all levels of rider with a 14 and 25 mile route through the surrounding hills and forests on offer.
Refreshment stops will feature on both routes. These aren’t your average refreshments though, cider will take the place of water!
Camping is available for those who wish, or there is a wide range of accommodation featured on the town website for those who prefer a little more comfort. Live music will be laid on every evening and there will be a constant flow of cider in the local pubs.
[part title="Brighton Big Dog"]
16 August 2014
This is undoubtedly one of the best marathon bike races in the UK. Competitors (solo or relay teams of two) have six hours to complete as many laps of the twisty and fun singletrack laden course as possible.The reward at the end? Fish and chips on the beach and one hell of a party!
With a host of accolades to its name this race sells out year after year so be sure to snap up an entry sooner rather than later! Bike Magic deemed it an event that every rider should do once, but it seems those who do give it a try return year after year!
[part title="Bluegrass Enduro Series, Women’s Only Event"]
16 August 2014
This women’s only enduro race gives riders of varied abilities an opportunity to ride some of the fantastic trails that Ireland has to offer. There is even a section from the National Series and a waterfall thrown in for good measure.
Competitors will head from the seaside resort of Bray in Co Wicklow to the heavily forested area of Kindlestown before heading up to the top of the Dublin and Wicklow mountains. Let’s just say the view of Dublin city below will not be the only breath-taking element.
16-23 August 2014
A brand new event in the MTB calendar, the Xcalibre is pro-am tour with a wild west feel. Taking place over seven days in three of Britain’s most scenic national parks – Pembrokeshire Coast, the Brecon Beacons and Exmoor, the event aims to test all elements of mountain biking from cross country to enduro and downhill.
Teams will consist of two competitors each and there are 500 places in total. The event which is due to be televised in ITV does come with a pretty hefty price tag - £1,800 per team. Ouch! But race organisers promise the all-inclusive package will be worth it and are urging competitors of all ability to get involved. Of course it does go without saying that a pretty high level of fitness and competence are required to complete this challenging event.
[part title="Manx Telecom End to End MTB Challenge"]
7 September 2014
This race offers you the opportunity to ride from one end of the Isle of Man to the other. Sounds simple. But don’t be fooled, this 75km route has some sizeable peaks along the way making it quite a challenge.
The good news is that you will be rewarded for your efforts. The course combines 1,500m of climb with a thrilling mixture of fast fire roads, sweeping moorland paths, country lanes and some singletrack thrown in for good measure.
The field does feature a couple of top riders, but the bulk of competitors are weekend riders looking for a challenge and a bit of fun. The leaders tend to complete the course in about three hours, while those out for a more leisurely ride at the back of the pack can take anything up to about six hours. Over 1,500 people are expected to compete so a good atmosphere is guaranteed.
[part title=" The Red Bull Foxhunt"]
October 2014 (Date TBC)
Not for the faint-hearted this race sees traditional foxhunting turned on its head. The fox, AKA mountain biking legend Gee Atherton chases the hunters.
The 400-strong group of hunters are set loose in a mass start. Ranging in ability from novice to seasoned pro, they want to beat the ‘fox’ who is released shortly after them to the bottom of the hill.
Two years ago just one rider managed to beat Gee Atherton, multiple World Cup winner, across the line. Last year 13 managed to cross the line before him. Are you up for the challenge?
[part title="The MTB Chariot Racing World Championships"]
10 January 2015
To say this race is a touch quirky would be the world’s greatest understatement! Two mountain bikes will pull a third team member in a traditional Roman chariot. You should be prepared for a couple of spills at this race but we have no doubt you will be howling with laughter from the moment the start gun sounds to the moment you cross the very muddy finish line.
Fancy dress is optional, but very strongly encouraged. Think Roman goddess meets gnarly mountain biker and you’ll probably nail the dress code!