Kirroughtree Enduro – the view from the start of Stage Five

Deb did her bit for the UK race scene (yet again) at the PMBA Kirroughtree Enduro – supporting her local bike race by volunteering to marshal and was placed at the start of Stage 5, otherwise known as “The Really Hard Bit”….

Packing enough supplies for a week into the car at 7.30am is not my usual start to a Sunday. Once I’d arrived at the visitor centre and the marshal sign on and briefing was all done, our merry band of hi-viz wearing volunteers were all distributed around the 5 stages of the PMBA Enduro course. I was so glad I remembered the midge spray.

I was responsible for the start of the final stage and had been placed at the top of a very steep, very slippery and very long downhill section through the dense forest. It felt a long way from anywhere but surprisingly it appears to be the only spot at Kirroughtree with an EE 4G signal. 12 months of living here and I’ve finally found it.

This was a rather daunting experience as the whole Enduro marshalling process was a first for me. I felt slightly out of my endurance mountain biking pit helper comfort zone.

Riders soon started arriving for practice runs. I watched in admiration as time after time people attempted the slippy, rooty, rocky hairpin descent that was merely the beginning of the intimidating technical section. After a while I began to learn the line so well that I almost believed I could ride it myself.

The range of rider ability was vast (as was the age range) but each and every rider had endless courage and determination. This was in spite of the occasional nerves and doubts creeping in as they waited the minimum of 20 seconds for the rider in front to clear off.

I wished I had had more than the regulation 20 seconds to chat to them all but if I did I’d have been even later home and would have completely ruined everyone’s concentration.

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Team JMC – It’s not me!

It seems that lots of people who I meet (and presumably lots of people who I haven’t met) think that ‘Team JMC’ is so-called because it’s named after me. Jason Miles Cycling, or possibly Jason Miles C….with a naughty word added on the end.

It’s not. My ego may be the size of a wardrobe, but it’s hopefully not the size of an oil tanker.

Allow me to explain.

Once upon a time, there was a computer company in Manchester called JM Computing. It wasn’t called that because it was named after me either, it was named after the 2 chaps that founded it. It’s not there now. It’s been swallowed up by a much bigger computer company but the name ‘JMC’, which is derived from that, lives on.

Team JMC was started as a bit of a fun, social thing and was basically people (like me) who worked at JM Computing all spending time with each other outside work, doing stuff like white water rafting, hiking, triathlons and mountain biking.

Over time, things got more organised and for some, things got more serious. People started getting good at stuff. People who didn’t work at JM Computing joined in. ‘Ringers’ I think they’re more commonly known as.

As the months went by, the distinctive blue, white and red cycling jerseys became more common and more recognised. Mainly because they were being photographed in races up and down the country, sometimes abroad and increasingly, on the steps of podiums.

Now I’ve lost count of how many people have joined in, mainly because I’m not the guy who does the counting.

But it’s not my initials. It’s a complete coincidence that my initials and the logo on my biking jersey are the same.

For what it’s worth, If I started my own race team I’d call it Team Chicken Biryani.

So that clears that up then!

As you were….