The Merida Bikes MTB marathon season is only a few days away...

The Merida Bikes MTB marathon season is only a few days away. For the last three years the 1st eve

Get your entries in now!

The Merida Bikes MTB marathon season is only a few days away. For the last three years the 1st event of the season has been the Exposure Lights Big Night Out which will once more open the doors of the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon on the 14th April in Builth Wells.

ELBNO
The Exposure Lights Big Night Out night marathon will descend for the third time onto the birthplace of the MTB marathon series and start the season off. Last year saw 300 riders tackling the challenging 40km course which was almost entirely ridden in darkness. Since John has returned from working on the course for the upcoming Chain Reaction Cycles TransScotland he has been busy working away on the all new course of the ELBNO. 'Slightly more climbing but with plenty of rewards for it', is how John described the course for this years night event. The almost 40km long loop features two outstanding descents, the longer of the two being over 2 miles long. There's even more singletrack this year and the organisers believe they have a truly all weather course. John has been out lots over the last few days and the riding conditions are close to perfect for this time of year. To find out more about the ELBNO night marathon go here or go directly to the entry page to secure your entry for this great ride.

Spring Marathon
There is more than night riding happening at the 1st round of the series. The morning after the ELBNO night marathon the spring marathon will get under way with a choice of three courses - 23km, 50 and 70km. The course has been built around the popular Llaneglwys Forest which is littered with the finest singletrack the area has to offer. The course has had new and extra singletrack added with 2 super long (more than 2 miles) singletrack descents which will put a smile on everybody's face. The course is in perfect condition and following the long term weather forecast it is looking very promising for the next two weeks. To find out more about the Spring marathon go here or go directly to the entry page to secure your entry for this great ride.

Entries / Chain Reaction Cycles 'early entry' voucher
Entries have been ramping up over the last few days which could mean that it might take a little bit longer than normal to get confirmation to you. Make sure you fill in the entry form and send it off before you get to the event otherwise you will not qualify for the Chain Reaction Cycles discount voucher. Please remember that it takes roughly 3-4 days from you posting the entry form to us being able to add you to the pre-entry list. Make sure you enter before the 10-11th April otherwise you will not be included. If you enter on the day at the events you will not be entitled to this great offer.

If you haven't entered yet just download the entry form from here and send it together with your cheque as soon as you can. There is also the chance to enter via the online entry which you can do up to Friday lunch time. Please do not enter via the website after Friday lunchtime. You can still enter on the day but be aware of the £2 surcharge.

Cycle Active
The expert coaches at CycleActive are preparing for the first event of the season and already their sessions are starting to get booked up. If you'd like to get out for a ride and develop your skills with some of the UK's top trainers then now's the chance, and best of all - it's completely free. There are two levels of skills ride to choose from, they last for about 1.5 hours and they depart on the Saturday of each marathon weekend at 12pm, 2:30pm and 5pm. Numbers are strictly limited to ensure good learning, so email admin@cycleactive.co.uk now to reserve your space. You'll also get a goodie bag from skills sponsor Buff and a voucher off any full CycleActive training course in The Lake District.

Event / venue / registration
For anybody who has not yet been to the Builth Wells events in the last couple of years the event village, camping and the start and finish is again based at the White House farm on the road from Builth Wells to Brecon. White House Farm is just a couple of minutes away from the centre of Builth which has lots of shops, pubs, cafes and filling stations. The event will be signposted from Friday lunchtime onwards. It doesn't matter where you are coming from as you will easily find your way to the event village. The event will be open from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. So if you want to make a proper weekend out of it you are welcome and the facilities will be open during the whole weekend. Signing on will be open from 12pm - 8pm on Saturday and from 8 - 10am on Sunday morning. Simply go up to the registration find your name on the alphabetic lists and sign next to your name, then the registration team will give you your number board and goodie bag - simple.

Aviemore round - the Outsider
The Aviemore round of the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon Series will be run as part of 'The Outsider' festival. If you are into riding your bike and enjoying music make sure you read up about this great event here. The line-up for this new and different event can be found here.

Penrith round - Cumbria Bikefest
If you have entered the Cumbria Bikefest festival or if you are going to please make sure that you bring your entry confirmation with you for a smooth entrance to the festival. All Merida Marathon participants have free camping at the event. Guests will be asked for a £5 camping contribution which is a 50% discount on the normal price.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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