Not really a race report because as it says on the entry form, the Dyfi Enduro is not a race, but I had a race board with number 466 on the front of my bike so it’s a race, sort of!  This was my second event of the year and dry sunny weather again #feelingblessed.

I had done the Dyfi for the previous two years in bad weather and then in terrible weather so I had been looking forward to riding the brilliant trails of the Dyfi Forest in the dry.

After lining up about 2/3rds of the way from the front of the race, off we went at 11am through the town of Machynlleth. To be part of a mass start involving approximately 1500 riders is a great feeling and the whole town turns out to cheer and high-five the riders on their way. After the road section and the usual holdups on the narrow roads, the event gets underway proper on the first fire-road climb, a long climb!!  My legs didn’t feel as good as last year as I have missed a few weeks of training with holidays and work commitments, but I spun to the top picking up a few places and losing a few.

The punk ska band at the top of the climb is an almost surreal sight and made everyone smile as we pogo’ed past them.
I settled into a steady rhythm and was fortunate to have made up enough places to be closer to the front and avoided the queues that can form on the early descents.

Talking of descents, they are epic, sketchy loose and fast.  The loose slate smacking the underside of the frame and pinging off my shins, dropper post dropped and eyes on stalks. The ‘World Cup’ downhill is just brilliant and the adrenaline shakes at the bottom are one reason I love mountain biking so much.

I bumped into another Team JMC rider and introduced myself to Darren Hall. We road along together for a few miles and it was good to get to know a fellow JMC rider.

My legs were struggling, I was grabbing precious seconds on my saddle on the descents to relieve the burning in my quads. Uphill wasn’t too bad and I got a good cheer from some guys pushing up for clearing the very steep climb near the end.

I finished in a time of  3 hours 15 minutes, which was 40 minutes faster than last year and to be expected in the dry conditions.  I was happy with my time and finishing position, but its not a race!

Main photo courtesy of Rob Barker.