SAS @ Mountain Mayhem 2017

June 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


MOUNTAIN MAYHEM - Post Mortem             

Be The Best - Giving Back”


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Mountain Mayhem is a 24 hour endurance race, with over 1200 participants. An 8-mile hilly off-road route. The challenge is for teams to complete as many laps in 24 hours as they can – riding through the night. A test of stamina, teamwork, resilience and skill.

WELL, WE DID IT!          

….but none of us were prepared for the brutality of this event. Punishing on the body, the off-road mountain-bike route had everything from fast downhills, to rooty technical sections to ridiculously steep relentless uphill climbs. The SAS teams did us proud….every member stepping up and pulling their weight. We did this for charity and our current achievement is a stunning £5,116 for Alzheimers Society (help us hit £6k)


Adrian Turner describes the event…


Mountain Mayhem is a MTB event invented by masochists which takes place on the border between heaven & hell. To paraphrase Zaphod Beeblebrox: Mountain Mayhem was like a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, its effects are similar to having your body smashed in by a bicycle tyre strapped to the front of a juggernaut.



The idyllic Gatcombe Park estate (it’s good enough for Princess Anne) and just the best English summer weather is the “heaven”. However, you start your journey into hell at noon on Saturday when you set-off from the start area and descend into the woods along a twisting, holed and root-scarred track. If you go into the woods today you’ll be sure of a BIG surprise! The misery is compounded as no matter how fast you go you are passed by full-on MTB racers shouting “coming through” and then bowling you into the undergrowth as the squeeeeeeeze past you on the narrow path. Anyone who has queued for a French ski-lift will understand. 



Eventually you get a little breathing space (which is tough when your heart-rate is up to 160 bpm) only to be presented by a steep 60ft descent with a very sharp turn at the bottom which itself is directly in front of a large tree. Well, that’s a challenge. Oh, and then you need to do this throughout the night, in the dark, with less than 3 hours sleep.



Luckily heaven comes to back to rescue you as you're waiting to take over from your team mate as they finish their lap just as the sun is rising. Riding through the woods at dawn, with very few other cyclists, is magical. All you can hear is the dawn chorus and the faint whirr of bike gears. The rising sun burns off the mist from the fields and another lovely day is about to begin. It’s good to be alive!

Adrian Turner


Thanks to Myles for setting up Base Camp and Shane for supplying the BBQ!

To see more photos of the event, click here

To view the route and see elevations, check out this recording

A word of reflection from our riders….


“Riding multiple loops around the Gatcombe country estate, how hard could that be? I set out at noon Saturday, to conquer the course, and found it to be a real test of my stamina and mental strength, 40 miles later, a broken man. I also realised the slower you ride the more likely you are to crash. Exhilarating, picturesque, mind numbing, but there is nothing quite like messing about on bikes, for 24hrs, with mates, living through the joy, pain, achievement and the camaraderie that feeds banter.”

Myles Hannon



I’ve decided to become a nun

Dave Smith


Only 7 Miles per lap, only 33oC with steep long climbs and nice fast technical downhills. An unforgettable weekend.

Ben Kriefman


Soul Destroying, yet brilliant

Thomas White


Early nerves turned to panic once the first riders started to bring back stories about their immensely tough first lap, instilling yet more fear into those who hadn’t ridden. I was last to ride. THREE hours I had to wait, listening to more stories of pure grit in the relentless heat. Finally I rode my first lap and it was like nothing I’ve ridden before. The hills, technical bits, and heat made the first lap (one hour of riding) brutally tough, made worse by the professional riders out there competing to win top medals. Our teams, in comparison, were just happy to complete a lap unscathed.

Doing two laps in the night (no, it didn’t cool down much’ was the hardest thing I’ve ever done on a bike. I am inspired and immensely proud of all our riders.  We did this for charity… and boy, did every rider earn every single penny of your kind donations….thankyou.

Chris Starke


Thank you to EVERYONE who has sponsored the team or a rider – we hugely appreciate your support


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