Scottish mountain bike adventure for 42T team
On 25 June, 42T engineers took part in the 10 under the Ben (10UTB) endurance mountain bike relay in the foothills of Ben Nevis.
They joined nearly 700 other riders to thrash round a 10.8 mile rocky forest circuit for 11 hours in the hopes of winning a coveted ‘No Fuss’ mug – and a place in history.
The team consisted of Dan Ahearn, cycling adventure newbie Sarah ‘Iron lady’ Knight and David ‘Griff’ Griffin – whose principal team contribution was to bring a gazebo!
Local expertise and support
Relying on 42T’s associate model, the team also drafted in highland-based Andy Vickerstaff for his project-specific domain expertise. Namely, what tyre pressure to use for the course, what products most effectively repel midges and how Talisker should be deployed most effectively post-race!
The overall result of this combination of youthful enthusiasm and time-served experience was that the team competed in the ‘mixed veteran quad’ category, a niche division offering the potential of a less crowded podium.
And they’re off!
Dan rode first, as the field were led off by the obligatory ceremonial piper, and tore round to finish significantly under an hour. The stage was set, the sun was (occasionally) out and the omens were good.
The team settled into a steady rhythm of off-road athleticism and high-calorie snack grazing, attempting to make a dent in the market-moving purchase of bananas they’d brought along.
Then, in what some may have called extreme carelessness, Griff suffered four separate punctures during a single mountain descent. It looked like the targeted number of laps might present more of a challenge.
As the final laps approached, Sarah’s triathlon skills came to the fore. The Scottish weather reverted to type and the course turned aquatic.
She got round in time to set Dan up for a final epic mud-spattered lap. This brought the team back victorious in their category with nine laps overall.
It just remained for the team to carry out a thorough debrief in the Roy Bridge Inn before embarking on the long trek back to the southern flatlands.
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