The mountain bike season is well under way with enduros, XC and DH races taking place every other weekend. The first real epic of the year though is the first 24-hour race, the CLIC24. This event is a bit different to many in that its main purpose is not for trophy hunters, but to raise money for charity. In this case it’s children’s cancer and leukaemia charity CLIC.
High up on the Mendips, under a cloudy sky and a slight headwind, (why is it always a headwind?) 300 riders began lapping the 10-mile course. To the relief of many who did this event last year the dreaded “Hill” had been removed.
The organisers had still laid out a tough course – 1,000ft of climbing and a nasty road drag back to the campsite made it hard going. Lucky then, that there was enough delightful singletrack, dry and dusty, to even the balance out.
The vibe we got from the campsite and riders milling around was one that contrasts starkly with many other events. Here riders were super relaxed, cheery and, as it was’’t a race, there weren’t many race heads. We didn’t stay for the live music around a campfire on Saturday night, but this sounds like a great idea to us.
Organiser Neil Wilkins said of the weekend: “We’re delighted that the riders had such a great weekend this year. We worked very hard with the Mendip Hills AONB Service and local landowners to get the course just right and the facilities are improving year on year. But it’s the atmosphere that each and every rider helps to create that makes CLIC24 so special.”
Congratulations to all those who took part and helped to raise money for CLIC. If you’re not sure how many laps you did in the end, the full list is at www.clic24.org.uk.