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Andy Deacon, Aventure bikes, Bikepacking, Drp bars, Mr Harry, Smokestone, Smokestone Bikes -

About three hours in… I hit the first challenge!!

Disaster, the bracket my rear seatpack was attached to snapped clean in two, this bracket was being used to allow me to use a dropper seatpost which, whilst definitely not essential, does have some use for bikepacking. For me, its most useful in getting the saddle out of the way when opening and closing gates (there were lots!) and when on really technical descents. 

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Identiti, Mettle, Slam69.tv, Youtube -

Rider - Luke Saunders Videographer - Charlie Roberts Bike - Identiti Mettle   #Slam69TV

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Here I am, halfway down a mountain with a sliced tyre running out of ideas to repair it. With an unseated tyre and only a hand pump on me I had no options but to ride the rest flat. We stuffed the tyre with grass with the hope to pad out the tyre and create a layer of protection between the tyre and rim.

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Into the off camber section I quickly found a pile of bikes and bodies in the muddy bowl, it really was that wet and slippery! I left stage 1 questioning my eligibility and sanity, I find the mental side of racing the hardest, in my experience, positivity brings confidence, which brings (mental) relaxation, which brings smooth riding, and smooth is fast in my book.

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