We hosted the very successful Original Source Mountain Mayhem event again this year, and over 2650 competitors and even more supporters and spectators arrived in the Park for the weekend of 18/20th June. The event is now well established here, and if we can find enough routes to offer annual changes for the course, we hope it will stay. At other times, the Park is not open to mountain bikers, which helps to make Mountain Mayhem special.

The races are divided into a number of categories so almost everyone has a chance to compete. One year, I saw a man on a monocycle but never discovered if he was in a class of his own, though in one sense, of course, he was. The course snakes around the Park and nearby land, with a good mixture of hill work and some water crossings. The races are endurance tests and last 24 hours. This year it all went very well and was a credit to the organisers, and, to some extent, the dry weather, which made the going easier.

As boys, my brother and I used to ride our bikes in the Park too, but with unsprung Raleighs and Sturmey Archer Three Speed gears. Going to watch Mountain Mayhem and seeing all the trade stands reminds us how much off-road biking has developed. I still ride my 40 year old Raleigh, although I stick to the roads as much as possible, with only the occasional downhill run on the grass ……and no Lycra! JH-B

Mountain Bike Race Eastnor Castle

Last weekend we hosted the great 24-hour mountain bike race, Mountain Mayhem.  Hundreds of competitors camped on site and took part in an endurance race on a ten mile course around the woods and hills within the Park and beyond. The weather was mostly dry, and not too hot, a relief for the mountain bikers if not the cold drink salesmen. 

The race runs through the night, and you could see the lights traversing the slopes after dark. As the Park is not open to mountain bikes normally, this event was a good chance for riders to compete on the slopes that are reserved otherwise for walkers, deer and Land Rovers.

The organisers and sponsors did a great job, leaving the site undamaged and giving everyone a good time. It was amazing to see the range of equipment for sale and diversity of the competitors. One year, but I did not see them this time, one or two monocycles competed. When we were children, my brother and I used to ride our normal bikes in the park, with the Sturmey Archer three-speed gears. I now see why we did not get very far…           JH-B   1st July 2009