Get dirty this weekend

Off-road events in the USA and UK

You've got through Monday okay and but the memory of those mud filled fun rides on the weekend are starting to dim. But no worries, Friday will soon be here and with it plenty more events to get stuck into should you fancy a challenge or just wanna get out of that muddy rut.

Here's what's in store for the 19th – 20th Jan:

USA

12 Hours of Pain & Purpose Mtn Bike Challenge - Temple, AZ, January 19th

Start the weekend with 12 hrs of pure pain around a fast 7.25 mile lap.  For more info and to see if they can squeeze you and your mates in check out the link: www.sydney12hourride.com

East Blvd Bar & Grill Winter MTB Short Track Series - Charlotte, NC, January 19th

Think maybe 12hrs is a bit far this time of year? How about something fast and furious? Why not have a go at short track racing? Short track is you, your bike and a load of other crazy riders racing on a 3/4 mile trail. It's a cross between a criterium, BMX, cyclo-cross and single-track, super fast and spectator friendly so take the family and make a day of it.

Participants, based on category, will race 15 to 25 laps on the fast course. Go on it'll be a blast! Website: www.charlottemtnbike.com

Urban Cyclocross-UCI -San Dimas, CA, January 19th

Take your mountain bike and do some 'cross. You never know, you just might like it. Website: www.backontrackproductions.com

Winter Cup #5 CX- Winston Salem, NC, January 20th

Cyclo-cross racing for all categories at BurMil Park, Greensboro, North Carolina. Website: www.nccyclocross.com

Mountain Bike Kick Start - Granite Beach, Folsom Lake, January 20th

The MTB Kick Start has a one lap novice and junior division, a sport and single speed division with two laps, and a three lap expert division. Each lap is seven miles of challenging, scenic, fast single track trails, up and down the foothills surrounding Folsom Lake. Website: www.tbfracing.com/events/index.html

Tims Ford Mtn Bike Training Day - Tims Ford State Park ( near Winchester TN), January 20th

If you're not quite ready for the full challenge of racing then head off to Tims Ford state park where you can ride in the company of others. Beginners will be led by an experienced rider leaving the picnic shelter at 9.30am and another one scheduled for 12 noon on a 4 mile loop. There will be bike games in the afternoon.

Intermediate and advanced cyclists can head out and ride the brand new 14mile trail that runs the perimeter of Tims Ford lake – a challenging trail with great views of the lake. The event is free. Website: www.trailblazerar.com/calendar/detail.php?id=607

United Kingdom

Night Trail Quest – Peak District, January 19th

A real challenge for those who are handy with a map, a mountain bike orienteering event in the dark. Website: www.darkandwhite.co.uk

The Winter Warmer Marathon Series - Kielder, January 19th

A 50km enduro based up at Kielder which promises great riding as  well as grub and prizes at the end, all inclusive. All proceeds to be split equally between KTR and Great North Air Ambulance, so not only do you get a great event you end up doing your bit for charity.

Further details on the scoring system, and individual race details can be  found on www.thebikeplace.co.uk then Kielder, then Events.

The Strathpuffer 24 - Loch Kinellan Strathpuffer - Scotland, January 19th-20th

Too late to enter but should be a great one to go along to and stare in amazement as hundreds of riders, in teams and solo, ride for 24 hrs in the depths of a Scottish winter. Definitely not for the faint hearted but a fun event all the same. Oh and you could always take junior along to get them started in the world of enduro riding a kids' 24 minute race will take place at 14.00 on Saturday. Extra amusement there will also be a 4-cross race on penny farthings for adult kids who have no sense. Website: strathpuffer.co.uk/strathpuffer/event_strathpuffer.htm

West Highland Wheelers Winter Series - Invergarry, January 20th

All races start at 11am. Route is 2 laps 1 for those that wish a shorter ride, total distance approx 10 miles. Website: www.westhighlandwheelers.org

Marin Winter Series R3 – Thetford, January 20th

Thetford MTB Racing specialises in endurance mountain biking events located in the Thetford Forest in Norfolk. Unfortunately these events have proved so popular that they've sold out well in advance. But why not make a trip over to Thetford and check out why these events are so popular? Catch some racing, then explore the trails that Thetford is so famous for.

Come April there'll be more chances to race if you fancy. Venue High Lodge Visitors centre racing starts at 10.30am. Website: www.thetfordmtbracing.com

MTB Skills Training: Beginners Day - Otley Chevin Forest Park, January 20th

Santa got you a new bike for Xmas and you want to gain more confidence off-road? Then why not book a days training in Yorkshire? There's good off-road riding at Otley Chevin Forest Park and surrounding bridleways. It's a great way to start to develop your mountain biking ability, confidence and safety awareness.

Instruction is provided by fully qualified mountain bike instructor/leader  in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The course starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm approx, with light refreshments and energy pack included. Website: www.cycleyorkshire.co.uk

Finally if you want to give cyclo-cross a go then why not see what all the hype is about and pop over to an event near you? All races listed below will accept entries on the line and a mountain bike will be fine.

Notts & Derby League Round 13, Watchwood Plantation, Gravelly Hollow, off B6386, Calverton, Notts, January 19th

NWCCA Presentation Cross, Beacon Country Park, Skelmersdale, near Wigan, January 20th

London League Round 15, Fowlmead Country Park, January 20th

North Eastern CCA League Round 6, Valley Gardens Middle School, Valley Gardens, Whitley BayJanuary 20th

RAT MBC/AW Cycles Cross/Wessex League 13, Ashenbury Park, Woodley, January 20th

Colchester Rovers Cross/Eastern League Round 13, Furze Hill, Shrublands Road, off B1352, Mistley, January 20th

Thornes Park Cross, Thornes Park, Wakefield (HQ: Wakefield College), January 20th

For more info of any of the cyclo-cross races please go to: www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/site/BC/cyx/cyclo_cross_calendar.asp

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