Niall took part in the 1st Lakeland Monster miles, a Cyclo Sportive aimed at riders of Cyclo-Cross and Cross Country Bikes.
The route was 100km long taking in tracks and trails on the side of Skiddaw and over the forest roads of the Whinlatter Pass, Niall completed this in an official time of 7hrs 1min and 20sec with his Garmin claims 6hrs and 20mins. Niall’s only excuse for this is the plentiful supply of Jaffa Cakes at one of the Food stops.
The event concept was for an off-road sportive style ride placed at a technical level that makes it suitable for Cyclo-Cross bikes, which are essentially road bikes with “fat” (35mm to 50mm wide) tyres and Cross-Country mountain bikes, which aren’t much different in geometry but they have suspension, flat bars and even fatter tyres (48mm to 55mm).
Niall feels this event has plugged a gap in the market, and the 700+ other entrants largely seemed to agree, except for the guy on a cross bike who was cursing and swearing at the excessive tech levels (at the point Niall passed him he was trundling along a bumpy grassy field path), 5 are planned by the organisers for next season, and Niall suggests that any MTB or CX rider who is interested in trying a distance event (The Shorter distance was 70km) could do worse than try one of these events.