Things have been busy at Red Kite Events lately, not least because our latest event, the Devil's Challenge II, was held on Sunday 22nd September, right here in Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales.
This was an MTB and sportive event, with the start and finish in the Bromsgrove Hall. Both the MTB and sportive events had the choice of four routes, of varying distances. MTB riders could choose from 30k, 55k, 73k or the big one, a full-on, tough 85k. Sportive riders chose from either 21 miles, 53 miles, 70 miles or 100 miles.
The sportive riders set off first, in small groups of 2 or 3 at a time. Soon all the riders were out enjoying the course. At 10.30am, the MTB riders set off in an impressive mass start, which threaded through Llanwrtyd before they strung out and began their off-road ride just past the Cambrian Woollen Mill.
The day was grey, but there was little or no rain. I headed to the top of the Eppynt after the MTB mass start, where the sportive riders enjoying the longer routes were coming over before wending their way slowly back to Llanwrtyd. With stunning views and rolling scenery, it was the perfect place to get some photos and chat to a few of the riders who wanted a quick break after a long, punishing climb up from Llywel. One rider commented on the wonderful scenery he'd encountered, whilst another didn't stop, merely calling as he pedalled by 'I am in a whole world of pain right now!' I think he meant it in a good way.....
Back at base after a couple of hours on the Eppynt, I caught up with Jen and Paul, who were doing the timekeeping and making sure everyone checked in upon their return to the Bromsgrove. Sportive riders doing the shorter courses were already returning and all commented on what a great ride they had had. With hot pasta and drinks available for all riders, most headed off to grab some food and re-fuel after their gruelling few hours on their bikes.
I headed out with Neil, the event organiser, who had received a call from one of the feed stations. They were low on food for the riders. The Drovers Rest provides all the fantastic sweet and savoury goodies for the feed stations, and there are also Nuun hydration products available, as well as jelly babies. After stocking up the station once more, we headed up to a remote spot in the hills to re-mark part of the route, where riders were reporting some missing arrows. It was another perfect opportunity for photos as we watched riders descending down a steep grassy hillside.
Having completed this task, we returned to Llanwrtyd. Many more MTB and sportive riders were returning, and everyone was pleased how their day had worked out. Only one serious injury had been reported (a broken collar bone) and everyone commented on what a good time they had had, and how great the routes were for good views and scenery.
The MTB riders were happy with the technicality of their routes, which included everything from long, flowing downhills, root infested technical tracks and bed rock. Most sportive riders commented on the many long, challenging climbs they had encountered, with riders who completed the longer courses actually climbing over 3000m in total.
The Devil's Challenge II was the last big event being held by Red Kite Events this year, and we're pleased everyone who took part thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We'd also like to pass on a massive thanks to the entire Red Kite team, who help make these events as good as they are.
We're now focussing on the Winter XC Series, which begin on 20th October and are being held at Coed Trallwm, near Beulah. For more information, check out our website www.redkite-events.co.uk. Entries will only be taken on the day and costs £12.
In the new year, our larger weekend events will be returning, bigger and better than ever, so keep checking our website for more information which will be coming soon. Alternatively, why not check out our Twitter page @redkiteevents1 or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-Kite-Events/133742836741821?fref=ts.
Watch out for our next blog too - it's about one man and his big charity ride 'Escape the Dragon'.....