That was freakin' awesome!!!
The bike I bought last week got a fair ol' christening in the mud of the MTB course...first time I've done an official MTB ride (supported) though I've done a little bit of hooning around on an old-school MTB (no suspension). It was nice to have the suspension!!! Had a few spills and bent the rear derailleur, but several people stopped to help and we bent it back pretty well and it held up over the rest of the course OK (40km of it). It was at that point I realised that it's OK to walk through the tough stuff and was a bit more ready to leap off the bike at the first sign of "Oh sh*t! Another huge mud hole...or bottomless crevice...". I was pretty slow comparitively through the technical stuff, but my roadie legs just kept me motoring on all day while others were falling by the wayside. We paid back the assistance I got with my gears to another guy who managed to wrap his chain around his bottom bracket...it looked like he'd managed to plait it!!! He'd tried removing the chainrings to get at it...but in the end it was just a gentle rocking of the pedals and pulling on the right piece of chain that got it free again
This is by far the best supported ride I've ever been on (well the GVBR is on a whole other level...but this one wins my vote). It's local, friendly, superbly set up...soooo much food!!! (even if you don't get in in time to order lunch!). Apparently there were 135-ish people registered for the MTB course. Huge effort supporting that! Well signposted (even though some tw@ts had come in and changed all the signage around! The organisers made sure the signs were right on the day and we never got lost (well, my riding buddy zoomed past turn-offs on a couple of occasions, but quickly recovered). I think I'll have to do that again...but I think I'll do the MTB course if it's a bit drier...that was sodden!!! Or do the road course for a difference (all the road bikes looked sparkly at the end of the day