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D2D 2009
D2D ’08 : Mud, sweat and tears

The maddest of the Activ crew
booked Dusk til Dawn (the hard-core few).
In teams and pairs they planned their race –
the kit… the food… the start… the pace…..
A ‘forward’ group would bag a spot
and tape it off, to hold the lot.

The Friday came (a nice dry
the three mad birds were on their way!
The bikes and kit (all smelling sweet)
were loaded up, stacked straight and neat.
With caravan they sped along,
like giggly schoolgirls, singing songs.

Ten times they drove round Mayday field
before the trio finally squealed
“This HAS to be the place – right near
this big electric plug-in here!�

Some supper and a few wines on,
by ten past ten the girls were gone.

A frosty morning, fuzzy heads,
all three shared porridge, still in bed!
Some girly spooning, one more kip,
cooked brekkie…then they got to grips.
A practice lap in blazing sun
(and in their heads the race was won).

The clouds loom in, the forecast: rain.
The knobbly tyres go on again.
The field fills up with loads of teams
and soon they’re crammed in like sardines!
The food, the lights, the kit – all checked
(but hopes for ‘dry’ completely wrecked!)
Our team mates finally join the camp,
prepared for the impending damp.

A thousand riders, fit and ready,
start line bulging, rain fell steady….
The nerves, excitement, pounding hearts,
our elbows clashing at the start…
we clattered off to make our mark
and trickled to the inky dark.

The shiny trail flowed fast and free,
a slender ribbon through the trees.
Took air and whooped through Madgett’s Pit...
still wondering where our rivals sit...
The Double Shocker, wrong way round,
clogs up with bikes on greasy ground...
push on in case they’re on our tail...
adrenaline swoop down MX Trail...
Through Howie’s Pit, then Pork Pie Run,
arena lights, the first lap’s done.
The Timelaps van - that welcome sight,
each 12.3 mile lap that night.
“Debs – over here!� I heard Lush shout.
A good luck slap...she cycled out.....

As riders gushed through pitch black flood,
the widening trail grew thick with mud.
Those dark and rainy laps dripped by
the course of porridge met the sky.

On through the mud the miles kept winding,
cleats were clogged and brake pads grinding,
the crunching gears, the chain got stuck...
With endless slipping in the muck,
the legs got cramp and eyes were gritty,
the battered girl flaps none too pretty!
Backache, neck ache, legs of lead,
the devil danced around my head.

Lap on, lap off, til day was dawning,
the best place had to be the awning,
a cosy lit and heated pocket,
powered by the arena socket!
As riders and their bikes got broken,
a true team spirit was awoken.
Night took its toll, our pit team grew,
they fixed our bikes and made the brew,
kept track of times and made us food,
our selfless friends propped up our mood.

Rejecting any thought of packing
The Activ Babes were not for jacking!
Still captured by the forest’s clutch,
pretend it doesn’t hurt that much,
in awe of solos pushing on...
left humbled as our strength had gone.
Respect from riders, words so kind,
soon rid the demons from our mind.

The storm black sky turned slowly grey,
dawn spat at us a foul, wet day.
Our last lap each, although we’d hurry,
the leaders lost us in the slurry.

Elated, numb, deprived of sleep,
the race is done, we hug and weep.

Though beaten into second place,
we still felt proud, we raced the race.
Our times were good, our cred was spared,
the winners’ joy we truly shared.


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