Just days to go now until the local Brecon Beast mountain bike enduro rolls out of town and deep into them thar ‘ills.
Last year’s 10th anniversary event saw over 700 mountain bikers line up for a mass start near the town’s leisure centre before embarking on a gruelling tour of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Rumours are that this year the Beast – which benefits local charities like Brecon Mountain Rescue and the Keith Morris Memorial Fun – will be going back to basics and following the original route from 2002.
If the rumour-mill is correct, that will mean a climb up Fan Gyhirych in the west of the Park, before a jaunt along the Sarn Helen Roman road.
As ever, be prepared to take on the leg-burning climb to the The Gap mountain pass below Fan Y Big.
Drover Cycles team rider Dave Price has come up with five Beast-taming tips to help you get the most out of the ride. If you’re taking part on Sunday, don’t forget to swing by our Facebook page to share your pics and tell us how you got on.
5 tips to help you tame the Beast:
1. Nutrition: Hydrate well and have an early, big breakfast so you have plenty of energy and a settled stomach before the start. Eat little and often throughout the race but stick with what you know – don’t choose the day of the event to try a new energy bar, it may upset your digestive system.
2. Your bike: Needs to be as race-ready as your body. Get it in top fettle before the day and consider taking it to your local bike shop for a last-minute service. The top of The Gap is the last place you want a mechanical. Go for a quick ride before the event to make sure everything is running smoothly. Check brake pad thickness – if it’s wet, the sandstone can soon finish them off.
3. Pacing: A quick start will help you get ahead of the masses before you settle into a steady pace and you’ll be able to maintain ride flow at bottleneck technical sections. You’ll be spending hours in the saddle, so remember there’s no shame in getting off to push on super-steep sections where walking will expend less energy than riding.
4. Gear: Check the weather forecast and wear suitable attire. The Beast covers challenging, mountainous terrain where you won’t have the back-up of a warm trail centre cafe. Consider kitting yourself out with a lightweight waterproof if there’s even a sniff of rain.
5. Above all: Enjoy the ride and have fun! The Beast is a charity event, not a race. Don’t ride aggressively and look out for your fellow riders.
Remember – if you’re stuck for a steed we can fix you up with a hire or demo bike. Our High Latitude 29er is perfect for this type of event, but if you prefer a bit of bounce we have a couple of Saracen Ariel 142s and even some Commencal Meta AMs. We’re open all day Saturday.
Brecon Beast – Sunday 9th September, 9am start. Entry details here.