If anyone saw some guy riding around the North Downs last weekend dressed in full DH gear, whilst riding an XC bike, well that was me. If you saw me, I’ll forgive you for thinking I’m a complete tosspot as I admit I was completely overdressed for the occasion.
There was however some method to my apparent madness; I’m in training for the Megavalanche. It’s the most fearsome downhill race anywhere in the world, starting right at the top of Alpe d’Huez, and descending over 2000m over snow and rock, all the while surrounded by a couple of thousand mad Frenchmen.
I’m dreading it — and the update on the Dirt website is doing little to calm me down.

Last weekend’s training session was simply a means of getting used to riding with a full-face lid and pads, specifically, working really hard, in the heat whilst wearing a full-face. It’s horrible. You can barely breathe and your head feels like it’s about to explode the minute you put in any sort of physical effort in — especially when you have to get up and over a short hill. And the Mega isn’t all downhill — apparently there’s a few short, sharp rises too. It will make a nice change to have sore legs after the arm pump…

So, I’ve done one training ride, and I’ve never done anything remotely comparable to this in the past. Rather than wasting my time with more riding this weekend, I’m going to spend some time with my family and friends, just in case I don’t make it back in one piece. I’m also going to spend some time poring over my travel insurance documents.

For anyone who’s got no idea what the Mega is like, check out this vid:

PS: No-one’s found the Dartmoor Killer bottle yet, so I’ve taken pity on you. Here’s the co-ordinates where the bottle was hidden: SX 779 800

Got any words of advice for a Mega virgin? Let us know in the forum