The Muckmedden Fair City Enduro is a very different pace of race. Like all other Muckmedden races there is always a chilled out atmosphere where everyone is just happy to be out riding their bikes. The Fair City Enduro takes this one step further by encouraging riders to ride in fancy dress. So what does every self-respecting racing enthusiast do, she orders pink sparkly fabric and googly eyes, and frolicked through the Perthshire woodland as a pretty unicorn. In my defense I was not on my own, being joined by a bunch of bannans, the power rangers, a variety of devils and witches and a white bunny rabbit.
At 22km the Fair City Enduro is one of the longest of the Muckmedden races, and with the rain making the trails supper slippy this was a tricky race. The event starts in Marshal Street Park in the city center and has a lengthy climb out of the city and across some scenic country fields up to Deuchny Woods. Stage one started in the middle of dense woods and was mostly narrow single track weaving its way through the trees, being especially slippy over the routes but great fun, as long as you don’t hit your handlebars off the trees, across the fire road and down a steep slope and very slidy berm which threw a few people on to some strange lines, but for me turned in to a opertune overtaking moment. Stage two started out in the recently felled forest and was open, and consisted of a bit of bog hoping towards the trees a knarly little twisty section down to the top of the jump line. Some fantastic drops and jumps straight down to the finishing point. Stage 3 started from the same spot as stage 2, but headed down the opposite side of the hill, with some similar muddy bog hopping which turned on to some off camber wet grassy sections and a hidden little climb in the middle, before hitting some more knarly rooty shoots, across the jump line and in to the trees to finish.
Stage 4, 5 and 6 started from Kinnoull Hill, where it was worth stopping to admire the view. The on and off rain all day had ment that the clouds had stayed low enough to be bellow us in tha valley at this point. Stage 4 was a very fast straight stage which you could really let rip on. About half way down turns in to an offcamber lose section with some very well place trees which seem to have a gravitational pull catching a few handlebars and riders on their way past. This then turned in to a climb section, which seemed to go on forever, and at this stage in the day resulted in to a real leg burner. Stage 5 started just down the back of Kinnoull Hill and was short and fast, right off the start sends the riders over a rocky technical section and on to some very fast grassy straights and in to wide shallow berms, which were very difficult to keep the bike on the ground at that speed. The final stage 6 started along side stage 4 and is locally known as the cliff run because it runs alongside a steep cliff (obviously) all the way back down to the city. This stage had been causing issues to riders all day. The steep shoots in to large bomb holes were becoming so slidy that the moment you touch your breaks the bike starts going sideways. Not a problem, just don’t touch your breaks. This however didn’t go to plan as I caught up another rider struggling on this section, so I tried to slow down and failed, crashing in to him. Then my boy friend also failed to stop and crashed in to me (thanks for the new bruises hun), ending up with a three person pile up sliding down the hill. After we eventually untangled ourselves I struggled to get my pace back up on the climbs, but managed a clean run to the finish line.
The weather threatened to make this race a bit of a slog, but turned out being great fun. Changing my front tier to a Schwalbe Magic Mary made all the difference today, allowing me to get the grip I needed (in fact where has this been all year?). I think the addition of a rainbow sparkely mane down my helmet also really helped with my aerodynamics. I finished in a pretty soggy but happy 4th position (a flamingo beat me to the podium).
All the results can be found here