Basecamp Bikes & TCJ take to the Comrie Trails
Aaron Gray, Lord Muck of Muckmedden Events, never fails to impress. Team Muckmedden, the volunteers and racers attracted to these events make it what they are, slightly crazy, but rammed full of energy, challenges and an amazing vibe.
This was my first year at Muckmedden’s Cream O the Croft, a Family Friendly Mountain Bike Festival across 3 days with rides, coaching, camping, racing, live music, beer, kid’s entertainment, and local food. Arriving at Comrie Croft
on the Friday afternoon, I met up with the Ginger Squirrel Adventures girls that were leading the Muckmaiden ride out along with a fair number of keen women kitted up and ready to go. A group split and went for the coaching option lead by Progression Bikes, and the rest of us headed for the pump track to start the lead ride. With a good half hour spent getting carried away on the pump track with the girls, this was a great start to the weekend.
Post ride, the local hot food stalls were welcomed and the atmosphere in the croft was bustling already. In the big barn, the pedal power big screen was up and running with MTB movies, beer and food. The courtyard, overlooked by a fire breathing dragon, was set up with mini pump track racing for the kids. Team Muckmedden on the tanoid, keeping you up to date with everything, making sure that everyone was happy and doing a stearn job keeping events running smoothly across the weekend. As the evening went on the campsites and hostels filled up with loads of people who just love bikes coming along to join the music and beer in the barn.
After a very chilly wakeup call in the van on race day, a very pleasant hot shower and breakfast came earlier than planned. I met up with some of the girls that I had met the day before, collected timing chips for the race and set off together in the same wave. Nine stages in total, using mostly Comrie Croft trail centre trails, the course was brilliantly put together.
Stage 1 and 2, similarly were both a tough pedally effort over rocky outcrops with some short smooth linking sections. Stage 3, my favourite blue trail in Scotland, was a pretty smooth rolling start with a straight line of pumping and big berms to finish. Stage 4, a climb! Stage 5 was on the red descent, with some tricky tight corners and rocky sections before a big grassy field. Stage 6, 2 laps of the pump track... pedal for a 15second penalty. Stage 7 took riders back up to the top for a run down the black descent, throwing the steepest rockiest stage of the day after your arms and legs have been numbed. Stages 8 and 9 saved the most fun to the end, the dual slalom. This stage had corners marked out down the grass after a small section of the blue berms and roll able jumps, the riders took one stage on the left then swapped with a partner to race again, this time taking the right line. All race marshals were great through race day, with good chat, awesome cowbell encouragement and spot on dibbing skills. With the weather slowly cooking riders throughout the day, a good shift put in by all, handing the dibbers back in to the beer barn with local brews on tap was more than ideal for most.
Taking the overall win was a delight, simply to be crowned with a muckin’ awesome real floral wreath, but the best part of it was being in with the great group of ladies for the rides and races… amazing times and effort across the boards. Well Done girls!
Team Muckmedden, this was an amazing event, I hope to be back for the full thing next year. Thanks to the Cycle Jersey and Base Camp Bikes for the on gowing support, it was great to have you at the side lines.