Muckmedden’s Eliminator Mountain Bike Festival had us head south, to the bonnie banks of Fife for the second in the series. Unlike Comrie, where the rain was biblical; this time we were treated to sunshine for the entire weekend. Bringing the beers to the Farm Bar, we couldn’t have asked for a better evening to watch the first of the races and relax with a brew, watching the sun set over the River Tay.
Friday’s XC Eliminator Race
Friday kicked off with a cross country race, with riders making tracks through the barley fields. Barley might well be at a premium this year, but no experience was spared on account of grain prices!
As the name suggests, it’s an elimination event, with groups of three and four riding head-to-head over the archway jump – then making a short but fast (and very steep) circle back to the start.
Beers were well earned by the end – with many of the riders also taking part in Sunday’s main event – Head2Head Eliminator.
Saturday saw the festival get into full-swing. The morning’s race was a running and biking affair – the Muckathlon – a combined 30km of run-bike-run to kick start the first day of the festival.
Why not give it a go? Black Isle’s Cat snuck in a late entry, testing legs and lungs on the multi-sport route around the river banks of the Tay and heading up into the hills behind – which threw in a few killer climbs and grin-inducing descents!
The afternoon gave some time to practice for the main event. Riders were shuttled up to the top, farm-style, using a less-than-conventional form of transport – a tractor! Muckmedden is no one-tricky pony; like our Jocktoberfest festival, it’s a fun, family-orientated weekend where it’s not solely about time on two wheels. There was everything from yoga, climbing, a waterslide and face painting to keep little ones happy.
By the early evening, there was no room for race-faces, it was time for the adults balance bike race! Comedic riding ensued, quickly followed by ‘Up The Barley’ – one for the e-bikers out there!
As the sunset set over Saturday’s event, it was time for bands and beers – with Rhode Runner, Blonde, Long Time IPA, Red Kite, Cider and 23 Trees on tap.
Sunday’s Head2Head Eliminator
Sunday started off in age order, with toddlers taking to the track for a taste of Muckmudden fun. Shortly after, the next event was purely for the runners; a 5 or 10 km trail run around the Fife Coastal Trail and surrounding barley fields. Saving the steepest for last, the Head2Head saw riders compete against each other in groups of 4, charging down the abrupt hillside (made famous by Danny Macaskill’s ‘Wee Day Out’) to finally decide who would be crowned fastest for 2018!