Events listed by date.
When: 22nd January 2012
Where: Llansawel, Carmarthenshire
What: A relative new event in the mountain bike calendar the Frostbite 40 is a 40km long single lap event based in Brechfa Forest trail centre with four timed stages (a bit like a car rally). The idea is that you can 'socially' ride most of the 40km with your riding buddies then, when you get to the timed stages, you rag it as fast as you can. After each stage you meet up with your mates again and head onwards to the next stage. Unlike most 'timed stage' Enduro events the Frostbite 40's stages are not all downhills. There's a downhill stage, an undulating stage, a climb stage and a 'surprise' stage.
More info: www.bikebrechfa.co.uk/events.htm
When: 19th February 2012
Where: Newnham Park, Plympton
What: An off-road duathlon. A 5km run through Newnham Park woodland followed by a 20km speedy singletrack-tastic mountain bike course followed by a final shocking 3km run over soggy filthy terrain (aka 'The Stinger'). You can enter as a soloist and do both the running and the biking, or you can enter as a pair and do it as a relay. It's a much loved, good value event for those folk who like a bit of mixed-up muck.
More info: www.xcracer.com/raceentry/viewevent.php?event_id=163
When: 6th May 2012
Where: Dyfi Forest, Machynlleth
What: One of the original mass-start not-really-a-races. The 'Dyfi' is a great example of community-supported area-promoting mountain bike events that's set the model and tone for similar events around the UK. A demanding 60km single loop with some demanding (physically and mentally) climbs - there's around 2000m of ascent in total. The descents are pretty hair-raising in places too - especially in the wet (and it will be wet). Comes with the added bonus of dancing cheerleaders, banjo picking rednecks, or a free bar and disco out in the woods somewhere.
More info: www.summitcycles.co.uk/enduro11/
When: 22-24 June 2012
Where: Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire
What: The UK's original 24hr Endurance event. By far the biggest participatory event in the whole of the UK racing calendar. It's huge. Everyone should experience competing in Mayhem at least once in their lives. The wide array of riders - from Pro racers through to have-a-go beginners - is a great thing to experience. You'll need a good set of lights for racing through the night time laps. You'll also need a positive attitude to keep you heading out when you'd much rather crawl back into your sleeping bag.
More info: www.osmountainmayhem.co.uk
When: July 2012
Where: Lee Quarry, Lancashire
What: This unique event was actually inspired by how mountain bike races used to be 'back in the day'. Each competitor takes part in all three disciplines of riding: Downhill, Trials and Cross Country. And they must do every discipline on the same bike. The combined scores and penalties are used to work out a final overall 'Weekender Winner'. The emphasis is firmly on the fun side of thing - although there are a few serious people there who are going for the trophy too. The clever format and layout of the event ensures that nobody impairs anyone else's time (or fun).
More info: www.singletrackworld.com/weekender/
When: 28th July 2012
Where: Fort William, Scotland
What: This event sounds like an idea that started in an idle pub conversation and got out of hand. Racing constantly for six hours(!) down the Fort William UCI World Cup Downhill course. The winner is the person who does the most runs of the course. It's a daft idea. Yet it's a increasingly popular idea and an event that's extremely well put together. It's not a race for the beginner rider, indeed most experienced riders will be out of their depth. But if you've got a big bouncy bike, and plenty of stamina, then there's no other event quite like it.
When: 18th August 2012
Where: Llandegla Forest, Wales
What: The Deg (10)Yn Llandegla only started in 2011 but it already feels strangely well established. Ten hours of racing laps of a set course in either teams, pair or solo. Organised by a great team (No Fuss Events) and held on the über popular trails of Llandegla, it's a winning combo. Llandegla offers an all-weather race course, good off-course facilities, all situated within a modest drive of a lot of people, so this event is sure to be an increasingly popular race in the calendar. An ideal enduro for first timers.
More info: www.nofussevents.co.uk/event/Deg-(10)-Yn-Llandegla/2770/
When: 15th September 2012
Where: Kielder Forest & Water Park, Northumberland
What: Like the No Fuss Fort William Downhill Marathon, the Kielder 100 is an extreme event for extremists (or extremely silly people). A single lap of a one hundred(!) mile course. The drop-out is very high. There aren't anywhere near as may riders crossing the finish line as crossed the start line! The course is all rideable in parts, there's nothing overly technical. It's just oh-so-very long. This event really puts the 'endure' into enduro. Past events have proved that there's every chance that the weather will be doing its best (worst?) to make it even tougher too.
When: 22nd September 2012
Where: Fort William, Scotland
What: Yet another event invented by the guys from No Fuss - what do they put in the water up there? The Tour De Ben Nevis has a great vibe of adventure to it. During the 72km course you'll take in the relative wilds of the Scottish highlands with minimal cosseting and hand-holding. Lots of stream crossings, river crossings, big climbs, long descents and not much in the way of signposting or feed stations etc. The format is a stage race with tactical twist. Hardcore endurance racers will be off the front and raging. Most competitors will be just trying to get round in one piece before nightfall.
More info: www.nofussevents.co.uk/event/Tour-de-Ben-Nevis/2774/
When: October 2012
Where: Thetford Forest, Suffolk-Norfolk border
What: The classic UK overnighter. Twelve hours of singletrack duelling in the darkness. What the terrain lacks in altitude it more than makes up for in twisty technicalness and lumber-punching rips 'n' dips. Competitors will tell you of the hardships and physical traumas that Dusk Til Dawn can put you through. It doesn't look to be that hard an event on paper, but out on the Thetford dirt it's a different story altogether. Having said that, if the weather plays ball and the race coincides with one of your 'good days', then you'll be loving it. The event is open to soloists, teams or pairs.
More info: www.thetfordmtbracing.com/d2d.htm
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