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A weekend of bikes, cold beers, sunshine and dusty trails. Could the second annual Mondraker Gravity Rally have been the perfect race weekend?

Now in its second year the Mondraker Gravity Rally continue to grow as riders look to tackle some of Exmoor's finest trails and take on a few of Exmoor's ales finest pints. Situated in the picturesque valley of Horner on the National Trust owned Holnicote Estate the Gravity Rally is an event which is designed to offer smiles as well as miles and attracts all levels of riders. Under a beaming sun riders headed out to race two times gravity stages on Saturday followed by three timed stages on Sunday. Practice was allowed on Saturday morning for the stages held that afternoon but Sunday was to be ridden as one large loop and the stages raced blind. With the weather report looking more like the Med than Minehead and some great trails taped out, the weekend was set.

The large flat race site was the perfect venue for a weekends racing. Most racers had opting to camp over which made for a great atmosphere all weekend and with wife's, girlfriends, dogs and families all camped out in the sun, the Luff Bus serving top notch food all weekend, as well as toilets a, marque and a sponsored bar with live band Saturday night there was little reason why not to make a weekend of it. Saturday morning riders gather to make use of the practice window as they got up to speed on the days stages. Stage one started with a lung busting sprint before steepening up and narrowing into a root infested rocky thrill fest which ended with some tight corners and a dive through a gate. While stage two was more like an old school DH track which had been freshly cut and featured tight loamy turns, a few select ditches and even a small log drop. The two stages had something for everyone and with a short pedal back to the top riders were soon getting up to speed and learning the best lines to try and take. After a quick lunch break it was time to put a time on the board. The tracks could be raced in any order but only one timed run would count so the pressure was on.

After completing the days stages riders headed back to the main arena with smiles on their dust covered faces to exchange their Exmoor Ale beer tokens for a free pint, sit in the sunshine and take in the late afternoon heat. As the sun started to dip behind the trees the DJ made way for live local band Wolfdown and the prize raffle and prize give away took place. This event always but a smile of everyone's faces from children up to adults as hats, bottles and t-shirts were thrown into the crowd and everything from Race Face handlebars, SDG saddles and EVOC packs were raffled off. One lucky rider even won himself a brand new Mondraker Dune frame which put a massive smile on his face for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday broke and riders dragged themselves to the Luff bus to fill up on bacon and coffee. Some riders were carrying a slightly heavier head after a few too many ales but it was still smiles all round as the thought of dusty trails and a day in the saddle was a head. A 10am the whistle blow and riders were free to follow the signs up to the top of one of Exmoor's highest points and the start of stage 3. The sun beat down on riders as they sweated the last of the previous evenings ale from their systems and made their way to the line. Stage 3 was a 2km sprint from the top moorland down to the wooded valley floor. Riders were treated to plenty of rocks to puncture on, bumps to derail chains and straights to get the power and heat rate going. A short uphill finish line made sure legs were filled with lactic before they rolled on the stage four. Riding down the valley floor and up to the start line most riders were still smiling and were eager to take on more trails. This time a steep, tight and flowing singletrack trail was laid out for riders with a short steep shoot to finish. A quick energy gel and snack before heading back into the Holnicote estate where stage 5 of the weekend was a repeat of stage 1 from the previous day.

The times are still being totted up but the weekend was a massive success with smiling dusty faces not even soured by hangovers or heat stroke. The times can be found here

"The Mondraker Gravity Rally was possibly one of the best weekends racing we've ever had! Amazing trails, unbelievable weather, friendly faces, awesome party & prize giving on the Saturday night, free pint, free set of brake pads, free camping.....and all of this in the most beautiful part of Exmoor - thanks to everyone who made this event happen"

Rider 310

Thanks to Shred, Spike, the National Trust, the Luff Bus and Exmoor Ale for making the 2013 Mondraker Gravity Rally so successful.

View our photo gallery from the event over on our Facebook page here

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