It wouldn’t be Tathra MTB Enduro time if there wasn’t plenty of rain and the threat of flooding.
Organisers of this year’s Enduro wrung their hands last week when over 140mm of rain bucketed down on the Tathra trails used for the annual mountain bike showdown.
Since the event began four years ago, it has flooded twice before the 2011 and 2012 editions and rained heavily before last year’s event.
Last week’s drenching had everyone nervous, but the weather seems to have settled before racing starts on April 12 and 13.
Track co-ordinator Andrew Johnson says the rain was actually fortuitous as it settled the dust and bedded in new sections of trail.
“We would never knock back rain,” Johnson said.
“However, being an outdoor event the timing can make us very nervous.
“Luckily it’s worked in very well, our trails have good drainage, and they will be riding perfectly come race time.”
This year’s Tathra MTB Enduro features a full range of endurance events, and some new participation rides to cater for all levels of riders.
Enduro organisers have added two entry level 10km and 20km MTB events, and a 50km Goat’s Knob fire road race to the track menu this year.
Johnson says it was decided to run “have-a-go” 10km and 20km races on Saturday to encourage new riders to try out single track racing in a low key environment.
The “have-a-go” races are lap races around the 4.5km Bundadung School’s Track, which is a great introductory single course, with only a few hills and obstacle challenges.
These events complement the Enduro’s traditional free Bega Cheese kids events, Tuff 20km, Filthy 50km and King Nelba 100km single track races.
It’s not too late to enter the Enduro.
Entries are still open, via the event website www.mountain biking.com.au/tathraenduro.
However online entries close on Thursday.
After this time cyclists can still enter in person, but will be charged an additional $20.
Numbers for this year’s race are looking healthy, with Johnson anticipating a total field of about 300 riders.
“Momentum for the race is building, as word has spread about the quality of the tracks and the fun event we put on,” Johnson said.
“At the moment we have 150 people registered, but we normally get a last minute flurry as people firm up their plans and check the weather.”
The Tathra Enduro continues to raise funds for renewable energy projects and local community organisations.
In 2014 money from the event will fund the IMAGINE community solar farm at the Tathra sewer works.
The solar farm will be officially launched at 8am on April 12 at the Tathra Sewer Works.
Under the scheme, money from the Enduro will help fund the construction of a solar farm – with the council purchasing the “clean energy” to power its sewage treatment plant.
Private individuals and organisations can also donate and purchase panels.
The farm will be 50 metres long, 14 metres wide, with the solar panels spelling out the word IMAGINE – when viewed from the air.
The Bega Valley Shire Council has also committed $25,000 to the project.
For full race and entry details for the 2014 Tathra MTB Enduro visit www.mountainbiking.com.au/tathraenduro.