The first hardy souls began arriving on Wednesday, hell bent on setting up camp and getting some mud on their tyres, in preparation for the festivities ahead. By Friday evening, the arrivals were in full flow, with almost 150 mud-pluggers and green lane enthusiasts rocking up for a weekend under canvass, or in rather more luxurious camper vans.
The campsite was at The Ancient Briton, a well-known local hostelry, with all the comforts of home including hot showers and rather posh toilets, as well as a well-appointed and manicured camping field of an acre of so. Another attraction was the dozen or so Real Ales they regularly serve up, which the marshalling team duly tested to the extreme over the weekend.
All shapes and sizes of 2 wheeled perambulation showed up, everything from pristine GS’s to humble c90’s and just about everything in between. The stipulation was no enduro bikes, as are plenty of events specifically for them already and anyway they’d be a piece of the proverbial to navigate the green stuff with.
Maps and instructions for the coming day were duly issued, wrist bands and goody bags handed out and still they came, right up until 1.00a.m., when the last hardy souls rocked up.
Saturday dawned a little nippy, but mercifully dry, with little prospect of rain, surely this was a sign from above! Soon the merry band of navigators were mustering around the inflatable race arch which marked the start (Our thanks go to AJP Motorcycles for the loan of this…) and we began the mammoth task of getting the riders underway.
The day consisted of a “Treasure Hunt” around a series of pre-recce’d waypoints, with a question set at each regarding the environs… i.e. “what date was this building built” etc. Many of the map references lay in the middle of Green lanes, unadopted county roads or BOATS (Byways Open To All Traffic) which our dedicated team had researched and laid out in an appropriate pattern over the preceding year. A healthy smattering of scenic roads and tiny unclassified tracks peppered the route as well.By the end of the day, (we’d set the return time as 6.30pm) the rabble had by and large returned to the fold, coming in dusty and dirty, but very satisfied with their days work. Weary smiles abounded as each team rumbled back into the paddock and handed over their results sheet for marking. In double quick time Jason and Christian, the instigators of this fine event had completed the necessary paper work and were ready to announce the winners.