Rider Profile

One of the things people enjoy most about our events, is that they attract such a wide variety of people. From the worlds elite to the complete novice, with everybody in between, they can all be found riding the same course at the same time. (You'll know who the elite are as they pass you in a blur on the incredibly steep hill. How do they go so fast?!)

So we thought we'd give you the chance to tell us a bit about yourselves; where you ride; what you love about riding; what you ride; who you ride with and so on. The more profiles we get, the more you can build up a picture of those people you pass, or are passed by, out on course.

If you want to see your profile on here send an email with a few hundred words about yourselves along with some photos to patrick@provelo.freeserve.co.uk Equally, if you have an experience or a story from one of our events that you'd like to share with everybody, or a favourite photo that captures the event for you, send it in and we can post it in the 'Rider Experience' or 'Your Gallery' pages.

Jez Scarratt

So why do I mtb to such an extreme...It all boils down to I didn't want to join JUST the Army when I left school I wanted something MUCH better.... So I joined the Royal Marines instead...Seven years of hard soldiering passed before I was left lying in the road after a motorbike accident with my right leg hanging in bits... So I had no choice but to have it amputated below the knee.

I had always kept myself fit and this reflected in my Royal Marines Medical Board in 1982 making me the first amputee to be kept on in the Royal Marines. I eventually left the Marines in 1991 and was still keeping fit generally by running as a normally able bodied person would do. This was quite detrimental to my stump and basically everything that controls the body when running...So I eventually phased running out of my exercise routine and gradually replaced it by cycling...

Serious cycling started at 37 years with my mates entering local xc races in the South West. This soon moved onto the more serious distances by the year 2000; 100k Enduros were just the start. After this I guess I was hooked on the pain, exhaustion, camaraderie and sheer pleasure of finishing a grueling event. Then I had to have a much more hideous challenge and that came in the form of 12 and 24 hour solo's; Purely because of what I would describe as the comparatively large physical challenge that it requires, followed by the more massive mental challenge that goes along with it. This mental aspect is the baby that you need to have with you - Because if that isn't there, don't bother!

Initially it got a bit exhausting having to speak to everyone that seemed to pass me saying "Respect mate, Well done, Fantastic effort" etc. Then I would have to explain as to why I'm doing all this. But alas after what seems like a lifetime, people have sort of stopped gawping and have now actually accepted me as an endurance racer just like lots of the guys and gals out there. The majority of racers by now know me as an individual, not just my leg.

At least it seems that way. Quite often as in most races when you pass people and they see you do have only one leg, I think it sort of spurs them on and this can often make them up their general pace, and its such a good feeling. An even better feeling when they are 20 years younger and they can't keep up!!

I first entered Pat's Specialized Enduro and Sleepless In The Saddle when it all started at Trentham Gardens, and soon got to realise that after the Enduro 6 there was something rather good about riding on your own, but at the same time riding amongst lots of other riders doing the same event. Solo riding I thought should be my thing...

But first, before wanting to commit myself there was the first 24 hour that I felt I should get under my belt - Mayhem 2003 seemed perfect and I entered in a team. Yes, without doubt I enjoyed it, but felt rather unfulfilled as there seemed to be lots of waiting around between laps and sleep was totally out of the question, due to the fact that my head was buzzing big time between laps!!

So in 2004 I eventually decided what I had done previously mtb wise should qualify me for my first 24 hour solo, so at the grand old age of 45 I entered Mayhem 2004. As with all 24 hour solo's I really enjoy the first 6-10 hours then sort of after that, the exhaustion kicks in, as does the hunger, you know you have to eat but sickness is such a factor it makes it really hard to even want to eat, never mind chewing it and actually swallowing it.

The night time is quite a nice time as it tends to be so quiet and people only realise who's there when they are passing or being passed. But this time soon passes with the sound of the birdies and up comes the sun, which is one of the happiest parts of the race. But also one of the moments that tends to throw you into the sleep mode. 2004 Mayhem I remember getting off my bike prior to the Red Bull tent and wanting to relieve myself, I waited for what seemed a lifetime for what turned out to be REAL Orangeade that wouldn't fill a thimble! But the first Red Bull did the trick...Yahoo!!

The last few laps of the 24 hours do seem to be the most emotional for me because you know that the suffering will soon be over. Then the last lap starts, and as you go over the start line for the last time the lump appears in the throat, and a little voice appears from inside shouting "Yes, yes, yes". The energy seems to come from nowhere for the last lap and all the verbal slaps on the back from the spectators that have been going on all race do seem to build to crescendo which pushes you even more. This support you only seem to get at Pat's races.

You have only a few hundred yards to go, and there he is stood in the middle of the finish line waiting for you and all the other hundreds of finishers. Tears are always hard to fight back, and as you reach out to shake the man's hand this for me is almost impossible to fight back the dreaded tears. That's why you hardly ever see me hanging around at the end of these solos, I like to hide away and fight off the sobs of sheer pleasure, pain and of course enjoyment. But that final lap is something else, just so emotional and rewarding. This is a feeling that I crave and can only get from solo events, the gap between these events is such a void and desperately needs to be filled by other mtb events.

If someone was to pay me half what I get paid now to do a solo a month for the rest of my life, I'd be your man.

   

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