What: Awesome trail through horrific weather. Hard work on your bike and even harder for you.
Where: Kielder Forest, Northumberland. England
Entries open: September (?)
What they say:
Cold. Wet. Dark. There’s something slightly mad about the mountain biker who takes on a 24 hour race. How about winter in Kielder to tickle your fancy? Solo, pairs or quads. This competitive event will give you the chance to keep your cycling mo-jo going and challenge yourself in what can be some severely testing conditions. Bring supporters or bring your team mates and spend the weekend out on the course as you summon up the strength of mind and body to keep going.
What I say:
This race is brutal – a real sufferfest! It’s only been running a couple of years but they have absolutely nailed it. The course has relentless climbs and a ton of flow but it is the weather makes this race particularly notorious. Heavy rain and thick snow took visibility to a couple of meters. Watch out for ‘tasty rock’ – straight after a chicken wire fence it is there to catch you out!
Take this one on if you’re looking for a real fight against the elements.
Tips for the Kielder Chiller:
- Take a load of spares. There is a TON of silicates in the mud. As soon as you splash this on your bike it’ll start acting like sandpaper and shred your pads. I burned through 5 sets and it isn’t like I was riding my brakes!
- Bed in your brake pads. They will last longer… even if it is only for an extra lap.
- Most of the route is hardpack, but a couple of pretty boggy sections may catch you out. You definitely don’t need studs, but you’ll need a ton of tread.
- Stay protected from the elements – the weather is unpredictable!