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Despite my best efforts, I’m sat here writing this surrounded by the intoxicating aroma of bacon butties. Why do I smell of grilled pork products? Because yesterday was the second edition of the 2021 BB200 / 300 and it’s my job to feed all those returning. Each October since 2011, a group of riders have gathered in the arse end of nowhere, mid-Wales to see whether they can ride 200km (and in some cases 300km) of the finest, reasonable and outright awful trails, tracks and lanes the area has to offer and this year, we did it twice.

When Forrest Gump presented his thesis on life being like a box of chocolates, he could just as easily been talking about the BB200. You don’t get to see the route until a week prior to the start. You’ll have little idea what the weather will be like and how much it might change through the ride. Re-supply options will be limited and opening / closing times can be something of a lottery. Yet, despite these uncertainties places sell it in a matter of minutes … which is the reason we decided to hold two this year. The first occupied the usual October slot and riders embarked and unusually returned beneath clear skies driven on by a gentle breeze. Of course, luck ran out for those riding the November version who found their weather window well and truly kicked in.

Mechanical disaster lurks round every corner and the smiling face of fatigue awaits all at the crest of each climb. Not everyone makes it through but complete it or not, everyone who sets off is a winner. I know that sounds a bit trite but I can assure you that cliche and hyperbole don’t exist in Bear Bones land, so when I say it, I actually do mean it – so, a genuine ‘well done’ to all who put themselves on the line and attempted what many would never contemplate.

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