28 June 2004
bike 24 hour relay "Mountain Mayhem"
We just got the news from UK that the Kickbike team which took part
in the 24
hour relay "Mountain Mayhem" for Mountainbike
finished at rank 60 in a field of 400 teams!
An outstanding result for Alpo Kuusisto (FIN), Rick van Camp (USA)
and Greame (UK). Alpo
said that the slow and hilly course "helped" them as it is easier
to run up a muddy mountain with a Kickbike than with an mtb.
Mayhem event was organised 25 and 26 of June
the border of UK and Wales. The Kickbike team took
part in the race whith only 3 people, while most Mountainbike teams
had 4 members.
If you want to compete next year then mail then IKSA contact in
the UK Pete Sheterline.
Mountain Mayhem 2004
Kicking mountain bike ass!
full report of Pete about the event:
mountain bike ass! Saab-Salomon Mountain Mayhem is one of the best
and biggest 24hour mountain bike challenges in the UK attracting
over 2000 pro, semi pro and serious riders to this testing event
plus spectators and back-up teams in an enormous tented city of
several thousand tents. The objective is to finish as many laps
as possible over the 24hour period from 2pm Saturday until 2pm Sunday.
The course this year was a seriously tough 10mile route over many
different terrains in the fine setting of Eastnor Castle Deer Park
near Ledbury, climbing a total of 1600ft with technically demanding
stretches both up and downhill. The main category of entrants are
4 person relay teams plus about 50 or so solo entrants who ride
the entire 24h - woowee! For the very first time ever it also included
'Kickbike Magic', a 3 man relay team riding a standard production
XC Kickbike. The riders included Alpo 'the beast' Kuusisto record
holder in many categories, one of Europe's fastest riders Rick van
Camp and Graeme Lloyd, a triathlete who has been smitten by the
Kickbike bug, from Rugby UK. Hannu Vierikko was due to join the
team, but had to pull out at short notice with a fractured foot
from running and broken ribs (from beating his chest). A 3 person
team in this event is very tough. So, we had 2 standard XCs, three
men, general skivvy (me) and the mountain!
The weather on the set-up Friday was fantastic, the ground firm
from many weeks of no significant rain and the going expected to
be fast. Saturday morning brought a different story, lowering fast-moving
cloud from the west with, as everyone could clearly see, buckets
of rain in them, but - no rain in the race morning, just menace.
The starter's gun released several hundred lycra-clad bodies out
onto the course to run the traditional best part of 1km 'Le Mans'
start to their bikes. Alpo, who was our first rider, got into the
bodies at the start, but amazingly was 2nd to his bike - no mean
achievement; which however was somewhat diminished by somebody having
moved Alpo's Kickbike a few metres away from where Alpo left it
- presumably to get their mountain bike in, which conceded a few
frustrating minutes of hunting before the get-off. Simultaneously
the heavens opened.
The first lap was not too bad, initially dry ground and any mud
washed off by the heavy rain, but the the second and onwards got
progressively muddier until it was sometimes difficult to see either
bike or rider behind the thick layer of mud and matted grass. Whilst
the Kickbike has no gears to foul up, great clods of mud had to
be wrenched out of the brake fixtures, armpits and anywhere else
sticky high-speed mud and grass gets to! Alpo's first lap was just
over 1h 5mins - absolutely fantastic and after Rick's 2nd 1h 12min
in rather claggier conditions, we were an utterly amazing 40th out
of 252 all male teams of MOUNTAIN BIKES! In the top 20% which includes
all the pro and semi-pro teams.
The heavy rain stopped to be replaced by intermittent showers, and
as you can imagine, conditions steadily deteriorated throughout
the night with about 400 bikes per hour riding the course, reaching
their worst (in terms of depth, texture and stickiness of mud) at
about 2am. The team battled on switching to 2 laps a rider (that
really needs guts) throughout the night to allow a longer rest and
recovery periods and to get a few minutes sleep. You can tell from
the lap times*
www.ssmm.co.uk that things were seriously tough. Fuel consisted
of chilli, rice, beans, bacon sandwiches, bananas, caramel bars
(one of which is still duct taped to the entirely mud-caked race
bike in my back yard at this very moment!) pineapple juice, tea
and a well known caffeinated fizzy drink provided free. All this
along with encouragement, beatings (where necessary) and bike cleaning
by the cheery team manager, Pete Sheterline.
Riders came in with serious mud and wet problems, very few replacement
clothes (unlike the pro and semi-pro teams with showers, fresh gear
each lap) so after washing off most of the mud at cold taps and
rinsing out gear at same, jump into sleeping bags for a while to
stay warm and then literally blood-curdling screams when wet and
muddy gear had to be put on again at some unearthly 3am or whatever.
Nessun dorma. The night brings its own special problems at every
level, particularly of course, negotiating this very slippery, sticky
and steep course with only a couple of handlebar lights. Everything
is doubly difficult and there were many many spills bumps and worse
out there in the dark. For an observer, the sight of these puny
battling lights dancing through the nighttime woodland rain is quite
a sight. All in all, a very tough night magnificently handled by
Dawn came like a gift from the gods (it's not difficult to see how
our wet, cold and hungry ancestors worshipped the sunrise and attributed
mystical significance to whatever ensured its continuation) it brought
hope, it proved we could survive a difficult night. Even more amazing,
we kept in the top 25 or percent of the field throughout. The dawn
also brought some much needed sunshine. The riders were really tired
by now, cramps etc. but the going went dryer through a very claggy
thick mud stage, but eventually, as the sunshine started to seriously
dry the course, to a very fast track - lots of smoothed out mud
drying to a quick surface. So despite the tiredness, some very fast
lap times recorded in the last 6 hours. We completed 16 laps (see
official results at www.ssmm.co.uk) and finished (fittingly, Alpo
riding the last lap) in 63rd position, utterly unexpected and equally
to the amazement of bike riders who are definitely not used to being
overtaken by a scooter! (and many were on many occasions). We were
seriously competitive and beat MOST of the non-pro/semi-pro teams
- how about that!
Last but not least, we used a single production XC Kickbike for
at least 2/3rds of the race - no special tweaking, no replacement
bits, no selection of bits even. Quite remarkably no maintenance
was needed at all apart from clearing handfulls of mud and no significant
technical problems were encountered during the race. So 160 miles
of sticky, muddy, bone-jarring course effectively on one machine
- thumbs up to Hannu Vierikko, Kickbike designer and QA guru.
Patrick Adams, the founder and organiser of this event, personally
greets each finisher - a nice gesture to round off a splendidly
organised and challenging event - well done Patrick. So kickers
of the world, we want to put in more than one footbike team next
year, probably same approximate date (last weekend in June) and
same venue - this should be a major event in everyone's diary for
next year. Start now and get 4 riders together for your team entry
to Mountain Mayhem 2005!
WE'LL BE BACK! Pete Sheterline team manager and nice bloke
*NB - Rick lost his timing chip early on and some of his laps were
given to Alpo by mistake on the official results list. The actual
riders and times for each lap are given below
Kickbike Magic Official Results
Lap Rider Time
1 Alpo Kuusisto 01:05:36
2 Rick Van Camp 01:14:01
3 Graeme Lloyd 01:35:18
4 Alpo Kuusisto 01:15:21
5 Alpo Kuusisto 01:12:45
6 Rick Van Camp 01:15:51
7 Rick van Camp 01:43:27
8 Graeme Lloyd 02:22:54
9 Alpo Kuusisto 01:37:52
10 Alpo Kuusisto 01:46:06
11 Rick van Camp 01:39:21
12 Rick van Camp 01:45:56
13 Alpo Kuusisto 01:19:00
14 Graeme Lloyd 01:30:16
15 Rick Van Camp 01:13:44
16 Alpo Kuusisto 01:28:13
Alpo Kuusisto 'clean on route'....