We were thrilled to be invited to do some coaching at the Belgian Mountain Bike Challenge (BeMC) this weekend.

For those who don’t know, the BeMC is a 3 day stage race, with mud, hills and 700 international athletes all trying to fight their way to the front, or survive their own personal mission at the back.

The 3 stages total 250km and that includes 8000m of climbing, or the height of Everest…it’s a brutal race and it nearly killed me last year!

So, we were excited to be back, this time to not only get down and dirty in the race, but also to help run an event for kids on the Saturday afternoon.

It was great fun! We managed to turn a little triangle of grass with a few pesky obstacles in the way, into an awesome race track including a forest section, chicane, jumps and berms.

We were helping a local Mountain Bike School to deliver 2 x 1 hour sessions, so we pulled out all our most fun games to make sure the kids went away smiling, with improved skills and a small insight into some of our coolest activities.

Not a lot of people know that we can speak French and German as well as a bit of English (we get lazy on this last one sometimes!), so it was great to be coaching in all 3 languages (note to our younger riders, those French classes are useful, so keep plugging away). Along with the help of some volunteers we were also conducting the lessons in Dutch…and very smug we feel too.

We had kids on balance bikes right the way through to European Cyclocross Champions and all of them loved the Limbo competition, the Cycle Sumo and our timed assault course.

A massive thanks to all the parents and the Waasland MTB School for their help and kind words…whether you understand the words or not, a smile means the same in every language 😎🚴‍♀️🚴

Thank you to the parents who asked about our birthday parties…we’ll have to have a think about the logistics of getting to Germany for a 2 hour long session…if you have a spare room then we’re there 👍

There was no more putting it off though, and it was back to the race on Sunday morning, and a 65km muddy thunderstorm filled stage later and I was well and truly broken!

It was an amazing weekend and it was fantastic to catch up with Mr Adventure Freak himself, Lyndon Beck from Australia, who we met at last years event. He was there signing riders up to his Strava and website, we encourage you all to take a look. It’s full of stories of cool people doing cool things and they’re all just like us

www.adventurefreak.com

A huge thanks to Koenraad and his team for inviting us and making us feel so welcome, and especially to Lennart (seen below in a rare 2 minutes off) who was always on hand with a high 5 and a tool or some tape.

We encourage anyone out there to have a go at this event next year…it’s sublimely difficult, but everyone should have it on their bucket list.

If you want to know more about our work, the BeMC or any other aspect of cycling, then please do get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.

marc@solecycling.co.uk