Recently Go Ape Dalby Site Manager Nick Dalby took on the ‘Ard Rock’ mountain biking endurance race as part of the Go Ape Adventure Fund.
Each year Go Ape set aside a fund for our Tribe to take on adventurous activities outside of work, here is Nick’s in his own words …
“So on a sunny day in September 2016 and a moment of insanity I agreed with a couple of pals to be part of a team to enter the Ard Rock and the Ard Moors MTB endure races. In retrospect having never competed in any type of MTB event before it might have been prudent to check out what was involved before registering….but got to ‘live life adventurously’ right?!?
GoApe even helped me to take part in my adventure by footing the bill for my enrolments.
The event got closer and closer and the nerves increased. So the Thursday arrived and car packed with tent, bike, food and dog and off I went to work. 7.30 arrived and all customers and staff off the course so time to set off on my adventure. Arrived at the beautiful little village of Fremington in the stunning Yorkshire Dales nestled in a valley with what seemed to be very steep inclines either side.
Tent up and dog settles in what can only be described as a temporary bikers village that had sprung up in a few fields. Lots of very professional looking folk that didn’t help with the nerves.
Time for an early night before the practice day on Friday. Managed to get to have a sedate ride of section 6 (last section) and seemed steep, challenging and fun so I felt a bit better about the start on Saturday at 10.30..Bit of food and natter with team mates and fellow competitors then bed. Disturbed sleep thanks to dog in small tent with me that wanted to share the sleeping bag.
D-Day had arrived so kit up, final check of bike and away we go, myself, Steve who works as an instructor at my site and a pal Jane who I ride with sometimes. Nervously sat at start line with another 20 for that time slot and off we go…so the climbing began all the way to start of section 1…..what have I signed up for??? I start to hear rumours of an air lift for a nasty crash and the nerves are back.
No turning back now….here we go.
Wow that was the most thrilling section of mountain biking I’ve done, rocks, tight turns, mud, roots and did I mention how steep it was!! But with the sound of spectator cow bells still ringing in my ears I make it to the bottom all in one piece and I stayed on my bike!! Buzzing!
Then more climbing to next section…….. 4 and half hours later and 4000 metres worth of climbing, wind, rain and adrenaline I arrive at the top of section 6 for the final descent. Feeling it now but loving it.
Jane heads off with me not far behind, all going well and I’m gaining on her when quick as a flash she crashes in a heap in front of me. So stopped next to her and helped her out of the way of the track. She’s not in a good way having landed on her shoulder. After helping her out and checking she was ok and being told to carry on I jump back on bike and hurtle down the last few minutes of my Ard Rock adventure.
All done and I can safely say it was ‘Amazing’….once adrenaline has subsided and Steve arrives at the finish my thoughts turn to my fallen team mate who soon after appears with her arm in a sling, shaken but walking down and looking forward to her visit to A+E.
It was truly an amazing weekend and I met some brilliant people. Challenged myself and am completely hooked….roll on Ard Moors is September.”