Everything's booked up already! Or so we thought....
There’s slim pickings out there if you want to ride the best mountain bike events – most tickets have been snapped up already. So we’ve scoured the country for late-summer riding, racing, watching and wanderings that aren’t yet fully booked.
London to Brighton… offroad
The London to Brighton is a modern institution for roadies, annually taking thousands of riders — wobbly-kneed beginners on shopper bikes, steel-legged veterans, tandems, BMXers, you name it — from the capital to the coast. Now there’s an off-road version too, also run by the British Heart Foundation, riding some of Surrey’s best trails.
It’s tougher than the 50-mile road route though, 75 miles along varied terrain. Organisers promise proper technical mountain biking too, through forests and woodlands. The entry fee is £35 but you also need to raise at least £100 in sponsorship to help the BHF.
- When: Saturday 23 September 2017
- Where: London to Brighton
- Entry: £35
GAP bike park
Ireland’s newest bike park is called the Glencullen Adventure Park, or GAP for short. The grand unveiling event takes place on July 29-30.
Built by Rowan Sorrell and Back on Track, we’re expecting good things. That’s because they’ve been responsible for grafting the Gawton Gravity Hub, BikePark Wales, Lee and Cragg Quarries, Bikepark Ireland’s original trail network and plenty of other stuff too.
What’s GAP like then? “It’s a sizeable bike park, not as big as Bike Park Wales but bigger than Black Mountains,” Rowan told us. It’s about 15 minutes from Dublin city centre. There are 12 trails, ranging from flowy blues to techy blacks, and everything in between.
The bikepark is split into two zones which are both accessed by the one uplift drop-off stop. One zone has smooth, flowy stuff (Blue, Red, dual slalom and some Red and Black jump trails). The second zone in the ‘technical’ zone. Steeper, rocky with a mix of Red and Black more natural feeling stuff.
- When: from July 29
- Where: Dublin
- Entry: €45
Ard Moors Enduro
The brilliant Ex Enduro is now full, but thankfully the Ard Moors Enduro takes place on the same weekend so you can still get an enduro fix… albeit at the other end of the country.
The Ard Moors is all about super steep trails, flat out singletrack and local beers and entertainment at the stunning Lordstones Country park on the Saturday evening.
The main five-stage enduro is sold out but there’s still a four stage Sprint Enduro category with 30km of trails and 2,000m of combined climbing and descending that’s nearly as Ard as the 35km proper route.
The race is at the Lord Stones Country Park on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. Organisers say the racing will take in old downhill tracks as well as fresh cut secret trails, and there’s music from ‘Big Red and the Grinners’ on the Saturday night.
- When: September 16-17
- Where: Lordstones Country Park, TS9 7JH
- Entry: £56
Whyte King and Queen of the Hill Scottish Open Champs
Serious racing, this one. Compete alongside pro riders, on some of Scotland’s best trails – steep, rooty, fast, bermed and smooth, it’s got it all. If you’re going for the big win you can be seeded so there’s nobody to hold you up on your hotlaps, or you can just ride round with your mates.
When: August 19-20
Where: Tweed Valley
Trek Coed y Brenin Enduro
Got an e-bike? The Coed y Brenin Enduro now has a category for you, to run alongside the regular enduro racing. The e-bike race is a meagre 21km in length, just half that of the full enduro course, so we reckon you could bash it out in well under two hours.
There are three course options for unassisted pedallers too then, the 17km Temtiwr Enduro, 21km half, or 49km full enduro. There’s also Saturday’s Retro Revolution classic/retro MTB show and race that anyone can enter the race on a standard MTB.
Finally, there’s a kids race too, the Nippers n’ Rippers kids enduro on Saturday with 5,10 and 15km route options.
- When: September 30
- Where: Snowdonia
- Entry: from £11.21
The most mentalist of downhill races returns for a fourth year, where you can watch live as pro riders hit massive road gaps and impossible step downs. The only trouble is, the Red Bull Hardline is booked out… sort of. Red Bull tells us there’ll be a social media competition coming up ahead of the event with spectator tickets given away. Follow the event on social: Twitter #RedBullHardline and through Facebook. No ticket? You can still watch the final on Red Bull TV
- When: September 24
- Where: Dinas Mawddwy, North Wales
- Entry: Free (potentially)
Fair City Enduro
“Do you dream about shredding amazing trails dressed as a Sexy Vicar?” So asks the Fair City Enduro. If your answer is no (and it probably is), you might still want to race this decent event, which is fancy-dress optional. It’s definitely an oddball, you start in the centre of Perth and climb up into the forest above the city, all the time surrounded by lunatics in fancy dress.
It’s a blind enduro but it’s nowhere near as tricky as the Tweed Valley enduro, with trails that regular riders can have fun with, and expert riders can get wild on.
- When: October 21
- Where: Perth
- Entry: from £35