The biggest race in South West Scotland, The Wild Hills, organised by the TLI and Dumfries CC, takes place this Saturday 13th April – Now in its tenth year, The Clubman caught up with race organiser, Dave Moss for his thoughts on the event’s continuing success and some advice for staying in contention on the road. (This blog post will be updated with photos from the race after the 13th)
Clubman – How long have you been organising the Wild Hills race?
Dave Moss – Well the oldest file I can find is from 2004, so it’s being going at least that long( 9yrs). It seems we had sponsorship from Scottish Leader Whiskey that year ! 30 finishers. This year we have over 75 riders competing.
Clubman – Why do you think the race has become so popular with riders?
Dave Moss – I suppose it’s because it encourages participation from all ages and abilities. Perhaps it’s the chaotic organisation that prevents it being taken too seriously and helps maintain a friendly atmosphere! Another factor might be that word has gotten around that Moniaive is actually not in the back of beyond, but fairly easy to get to from Ayrshire and Glasgow. The fact that it’s one big circuit rather than laps ( so you have to keep going if dropped ) and the long downhill finish seems to make everyone forget the pain they endured to get there.
Clubman – What memories of the Wild Hills do you have from over the years?
Dave Moss – Having to ask the riders who won! The large number of riders for whom it’s been their first race is a special satisfaction. The fact that some of Scotland’s top amateur riders return year after year is another plus.
Clubman – What advice would you give to riders on the road?
Dave Moss – Well there’s three crucial things to keep in mind. Number 1 There’s no point in attacking on the first climb as you will need the bigger, power riders to help you on the next 16 miles. If you are intending to attack do it from Dalry. There you will need to build up a substantial gap on the series of climbs if you’re going to hold it on the final downhill/ flat run in.
Dave Moss – Secondly – If you get dropped from one of the first groups, don’t ride it like a time trial, recover so you will be ready to get on the back of a faster group when they catch you.