Mountain Mayhem that is. A properly ridiculous quagmire of a course. Four men, a teenage boy and a one-year-old baby. Mud, lots and lots of mud. And a rigid, ti, singlespeed 69er with mud tyres.
Somewhere in the middle of it, I wandered off left and I came to the end of Mayhem. Beyond the mud and the vans and the tents and the drawn-faced mud-splattered riders with their battered bikes and bodies. Beyond all that was a ten-foot deer fence with a matching gate complete with ladder stile.
On the other side of the gate was a green, improbably dry-looking field full of happy-looking sheep basking in rays of golden sunshine. And for a moment I wanted to just climb over the stile and keep walking without looking back.
A proper Truman Show moment.
But instead of embracing freedom, I looked out over sanity for five minutes or so, then climbed back down, wandered back to base and knocked out another lap.
It's not a bad thing to be reminded that riding bikes, racing bikes, isn't real. Is a luxury. A game. That you do have a choice.
But at the end of it all I was proud of us. Of me. No-one folded or complained or griped or panicked. We just kept riding and grinning and rolling through the whole ridiculous, surreal thing - 8th in vets, 13th in Sport Men, which wasn't too shabby. But actually the numbers don't matter, the people do.