Regular readers (and probably irregular ones too) will already be aware of the Merida 100 events in Mid Wales, but the people in charge of promoting the middle bit of Welshland as a tourist destination are keen to draw our attention to various other MTB events going on in their patch.
Just so the lovely Merida people don’t feel left out, the Merida events are the Exposure Lights Big Night Out night-time 50km enduro (Builth Wells, 9 April); Merida 100 1 (Builth Wells, 10 April); Merida 100 2 (Rhayader, 28/29 May); Merida 100 3 (Builth Wells again, 2/3 July)
Then you’ve got the popular Dyfi Enduro (Machynlleth, 8 May). It’s well-known as a technical treat with some stout climbs and plenty of interesting tricky bits in the 32 miles course. The Dyfi Enduro is run by Summit Cycles – head for www.summitcycles.co.uk for more details.
If you’re looking for something a little more, well, bizarre, then the World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling Championships is the one for you. You don’t even need your own bike, as a specially-equipped one will be provided. The special equipment includes lead-filled tyres to better suit the unique nature of the course – two lengths of a 45 yard long, 6ft deep trench full of murky (and probably quite smelly) water. If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to ride a bike in a wetsuit while breathing through a snorkel and completely unable to see where you’re going, this is the race for you. Head for the event website for more details.
Another MTB event of long standing is the Red Kite MTB Festival (4-7 August), based in Llanwrtyd Wells. Red Kite’s been running for as long as we can remember and plenty of people go back year after year. Your £25 entry fee (or £8 per day if you can’t do all of them) gets you a wide range of guided rides and fun events for all abilities. The Cambrian Mountains around Llanwrtyd Wells are an excellent riding area, and the tiny town itself is legendary for its hospitality. The man to speak to is Gordon Green on 01591 610270 or visit www.green-events.co.uk.
Those are also the contact details for the ever-popular Read Ale Wobble (12-13 November). Run in conjunction with the Mid Wales Beer Festival, there’s a choice of non-competitive 15, 25 or 35 mile rides with free beer at the checkpoints. Needless to say, the routes are all off-road…