Mary Moncorgé is a former professional enduro race. She's competed in events as prestigious as the Enduro World Series, but now she works as a teacher and racing has taken a less serious role in her life. She and her husband, photographer Matt Wragg, set off to the Lake Garda Enduro one of Europe's most exciting mountain bike festivals.
My race prep begins Wednesday. With enduro there is always something to race on the weekend, a galaxy of slightly different takes on the discipline, each one unique in its own way. Last Sunday was no different: there was a fun, little race near our home, but the drive home was long so the race kit still lies dirty, unwashed. So does the bike. Monday morning brings work, as does Tuesday. Long days teaching leave little time to think about racing, but Wednesday is different. Across France it is the free afternoon for school kids, so the bonds are cut and you can start to think about the next weekend. Stripping off the race plate, my bike just needs a quick check to make sure everything is still working as it should, then a thorough clean and re-oil.
Thursday is a travel day. Lake Garda is a good five hours away from us, and holiday traffic means it takes more like seven. Crawling along the endless lakeside traffic jam at just over walking pace gives you a chance to take in the stunning views of the mountains plunging down to the water. After what seems like forever we reach our lodgings for the weekend, a small apartment in the mountainside village of Cologna, high above the frantic pace of the festival and the twin temptations of gelato and beer.