The hills were alive with intrepid riders at this year’s Dairi-Pak Mountainbike Challenge!
The sun came out to welcome a bumper crop of entries with 135 keen riders lining up to start the 22 mile challenge which takes in some very beautiful, dramatic and sometimes tough countryside just west of Oswestry. As always there were many familiar faces from all over the west Midlands but this year it was great to welcome more locals.
The riders felt the burn in their thighs while the marshals, from Oswestry Borderland Rotary, felt the burn from the coffee in there flasks as they lined the course. Jonathan Jones, the event organiser from Borderland said “It’s been great to welcome so many entries this year but I must thank all the landowners for helping us make this such a great course and all the many volunteers who make this event possible”
Oswestry Borderland Rotary Club has run this event since it was started 26 years ago by the late Brian Gray who was a keen cyclist and a member of Borderland. He was also the founder and MD of Dairi-Pak in Baschurch. His son, Tim continues to support the challenge each year so that all monies donated can go to charity. The main recipient this year will again be the Midlands Air Ambulance.
The fastest male was Jamie Davies with a time of 1’ 44” (a-maze-ing!) while the leading lady was Sally Ellis with 2’ 23”.
Dave Lowdon used to ride with Brian Gray and has ridden in nearly all the events over the last 26 years. He said, “It still feels like a family event to me, lovely atmosphere”.
Jamie Earley lives locally and rides as well as helping with the organisation said, “I like it because it’s always relaxed and not too commercialised”.
Matthew Hornby, Elanor Underhill & Paul Harding are from Weaver Valley and Elanor said, “Just love this event – we’ve been coming for years and hope to continue for ever”.
Glen Wright from Telford “It’s my fifth year in the mountains and I’ve always come back alive”. (And, once again, he did)