Team JMC’s mountain bike racers invaded Bristol last week to take part in the Bristol Bikefest – a 12 hour endurance race on Saturday followed by a 6 hour race the day after.

Saturday’s race was very much the ‘main event’ – a few hundred competitors, including Sally and Andrew Burgess racing in the mixed pairs category and the male pairs duo of Dave Powell and Jason Miles, started the 12 hour race at 9am and raced until sunset.

Andrew and Sally put in some strong consistent laps and finished in 5th place in their category….

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“Following my birthday in May, I joined my wife Sally in the V50 category and, having never raced together as a pair, we thought it might be fun to enter the 12-hour Bike Fest pairs category with a view to seeing whether we could give the young ‘uns a run for their money.  The course was a belter, treacherously slippy in places but fast and swoopy and barring the first couple of hours the weather was relatively kind.

At the finish we were chuffed to have managed 18 laps in just over 11.5 hours and got ourselves up to 5th position out of all the mixed pair age categories – frustratingly only 4 minutes off 4th place.  Not sure how we raced in the V50 category as the organisers didn’t segment the class, however we certainly looked older than everyone else so we are claiming the win 🙂

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Highlights were no crashes for either of us, Sally banging in some incredibly consistent lap times despite her relative inexperience of mountain bike racing, no mechanicals despite riding bikes that I had built and playing name that  tune every lap with the distant strains from the 1980s festival in the next field.  Fade to Grey by Visage was the one that seemed the most appropriate for us! “

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Meanwhile, Dave and Jason had an up and down sort of day – they were riding fast laps and were climbing up the leaderboard until Jase snapped a chain and lost a lot of time. Down to 8th they went. More fast laps followed until Dave suffered a double puncture and had to run around the remaining 4 miles of the course. Down to 9th that time. More fast laps and the lads climbed back to 4th place but then the race was over. No podium this time but the constant battle to stay in contention in spite of their fair share of setbacks was good fun.

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The following day saw Jacqui Simcock racing in the ladies’ solo category in the 6 hour race. Jacqui put in a brilliant ride and finished in 4th place, continuing her good run of form this year.

Jacqui writes;

“The course was mostly stone built trails so despite my new forks it was hard on the bones. One result of this was a very noisy chain as it clanged against the frame and multiple general rattles. I noticed that as came up to other riders they would hear me from quite a distance and therefore give me ample room to overtake, a result given the tricky slippery course! “

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While Jacqui was racing seriously, a few attention-grabbers decided to “race” for 6 hours on tandems. In among the normal bikes were five tandems and Jason (trying to recover from the previous day’s 12 hour race) was riding with Singletrack magazine editor and Team JMC guest rider Chipps Chippendale. Chipps and Jase came second in the tandem category – the race turning out to be a demolition derby with only three of the five tandems finishing the race.

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