BikeRadar Live: Top 10 enduro essentials
By What Mountain Bike | Friday, May 15, 2009 12.00pm
For BikeRadar Live we've constructed a purpose-built trail that takes in the rolling landscape around Donington Park’s motor racing circuit, packed full of singletrack, short but tough climbs and technical features. The course has been designed by Will Longden, so you can be sure it’ll be a blast.
There will be both a full 12-hour event and a shorter 4-hour option to choose from. Both kick off at 8pm on Saturday, and there’s a £5,000 prize purse, plus a Whyte E120 XT superbike – worth £2,900 – up for grabs.
Exposure Lights will be on duty, providing light charging and showing their latest kit to drool over. Facilities will be top notch, too, with a state-of-the-art timing system, covered rest and support area, and dedicated camping, catering and toilets.
Top 10 tips and tricks that will make your enduro experience great
It's going to be dark for most of the event so don't forget your lights! Make sure they work. Test them so you know what sort of burn times you can expect and, if necessary, bring extra batteries, and bring your charger so you can top them up.
Bring all the spare cycling clothing you own – even the winter stuff. If it’s as bad as it can be, you’ll need it. If it’s a balmy night, you won’t – but you’ll be laughing whatever.
You’ll need one, so don’t forget to bring it. Seriously; we’ve seen it done. It will pay to give your bike a service prior to the event, too.
Like a helmet, glasses are essential as you can’t see the wood for the trees when slicing through the dark singletrack.
Riding a bike for 12 hours is a tiring business. You’ll burn through a good few thousand calories which will need replacing if you’re going to make it to the end, so eat. Lots.
Learn to take on ﬂuids as you ride; start drinking well before you feel thirsty because by then it’s too late.
7 Pit help
The entire experience of riding an enduro – especially a night enduro – is enhanced when you have a happy helper manning your pit. Hearing someone call to you as you lap, even with well meaning abuse, can really spur you on.
8 A sense of humour
So you got overtaken; wobbled and fell in a bush; your tyres aren’t perfect; your helper has fallen asleep. Laugh it off. It’s just a bunch of loonies riding around the dark – we’re all lucky to have the chance, so make the most of every minute!
9 Help and encouragement
If it looks like someone needs help getting a chain back on, offer them a hand. Mountain bikers are good like that – help maintain the tradition.
10 Puncture protection
Get used to ﬁxing ﬂats in the dark. It’s one thing to do it in the warm at home, quite another when you’re on your knees in the deep dark of the midnight woods. Try using puncture sealant to reduce the chances in the ﬁrst place, and take a small white LED light to help you root out any thorns lodged in your tyre.
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Of all the things you might forget to bring for the Whyte Night Enduros, make sure it’s not any of these items:
Inner tubes: Whatever tyre system you run, if it goes Pete Tong you’ll need a spare tube or two to get you round.
Pump: Spare tubes are useless if you can’t add air to them. Make sure you take a decent pump out with you.
Patch kit: They don’t weigh much so it pays to take one in the bottom of your bag.
Tools: Pack a set of Allen keys and a couple of tyre levers with you – if you’re taking more than that you really should be asking yourself questions about the health of your bike.
Spare gloves: Wet gloves can seriously impair your enjoyment of any ride – not least one that takes place in the middle of the night. If you’ve got spares, make sure you bring them.
Lights: Not your main light, that’s an essential and you can’t lap without one. But also pack a second light as an emergency backup, or to use to ﬁnd stuff in the dark.
Spare clothing: If it’s warm, then maybe all you’ll need will be a gilet and some arm and knee warmers but it pays to have extra layers handy.
Energy foods and water: Cram in as much as you can and make a point of regularly eating and drinking it.
MP3 player: Tunes can make a big difference on a long ride. They can pep you up or chill you out.
Mobile phone: Being able to tell your team that you’ve had a mechanical problem, or that you urgently require an airdrop of pizza, is important. They’re worth their weight in gold in an emergency.
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