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Singletrack Weekender
#1
So, Lancashire.

Long way away, dont go! Took us around 6 hours to get there having joined a queue on the M25 more or less from my front door and then most of the way. Not recommended.

Lee Quarry

Big, hard and windy. Dont go! Only joking, great riding, horrible hills and cold wind but good trails, great pump track and an excellent Indian restaurant in town...

Great weekend all in all. Chilly but mostly sunny so dry and dusty trails.

Saturday mid morning was the trials events. Not your usual hopping up logs and over gaps etc but trials anyone could do. First event was riding up a hill, very steep, quite rocky and after the first few failed attempts, pretty loose. Without being big-headed I felt this event was for me and it was in the bag. Crossed the line nearly at the top and then hit the summit and found that not only had I cleaned the section but by reaching the summit without dabbing gained a +1 as well. So 1 event down I was 2 up. Event two, balance beams across a (dried up) pond. Total cock up, spent too much time looking at my wheel and came off. FAIL!

Event 3 was a stepped climb with a large step at the bottom, then three progressivly smaller steps going up, hairpin at the top and then descend. Easy. Cocked it up, twatted my toe on the first step and unclipped so lost all momentum. FAIL!

Event 4, trackstand. Not known for my trackstand abilities but the rules were vague so used that to my advantage. A taped square was placed on the top of a table top, simply ride up and in, keep the bike stationary and between the tape for 10 seconds and thats it. So up I went, bounced the front wheel for ten seconds and done! Not a traditional trackstand, but a modern day take if you will! So 4 events, 2 passes and 2 fails with a +1 to help.

Event 5, seesaw/teetter-totter. Worried a little after my balance beam antics but after a failed first run up managed to make it over only to fall off on the otherside. The marhsall either took pity or just wanted rid of me so passed me for that too. So going into the downhill racing I had 4 points to my name including my +1 from the climb.

Fairly tough downhill course (for mortal riders anyway) which we were to self-seed ourselves on by using the clocks provided to get a rough idea of our speed for the actual race that afternoon. Halfway through the run the course crossed the main access road and I was stopped to allow one of the rangers Land-Rovers to access the site. On completion of the run I knocked off ten seconds to allow for stopping and starting again. So 2:20. Not bad thinks I.

Later that afternoon, the start list for the downhill is produced, with the fastest riders running first to prevent people being caught etc. Im 7th!!! Slightly shocked to see that Im only 14 seconds slower than the 1st placed rider Rowan Sorrell. It soon becomes clear that the timing equipment wasnt up to much for the practice runs and Im in with the big boys.

Off to the start tent, flapping big style about cocking up everything in front of some clearly talented riders. Needn't have worried as they were all top guys, friendly and chatty at the top. Had a horrendous run from the beginning where I pulled my foot out through the first compression and ruined my momentum for the whole of the top half of the course. Once through the arena it hit a very pedally, singletrack section where I went all out and I think this saved my bacon. Final time 2:53:74. Winning time was 2:00.16  :B

Sunday began with a relative hangover and an overcast, windier and much colder day and I can honestly say Ive never wanted to bail from a race more. I really couldnt be bothered at all. Having seen the course and the sheer amount of headwind sections I was all but ready to pack up and just go home then. However I ended up on the start line with my staggered start from of +7 from the first group off. The start was on a stupidly steep hill and then turned off onto an equally steep climb.

My very helpful race mates (Dave and Moff) decided that I required slowing down and had put a 4lb sledgehammer head into my bag so after lap 1 and a sore back I ditched this and managed to get in two more reasonable laps and crossed the line with some pace and feeling pleased Id given my all on a very bumpy, technical and steep course. The rain was just starting so we decided to pack up and get home safe in the knowledge that the podium steps wouldnt be for us anyway.

Results out today

Downhill, 79/101 in the Senior category, 100/154 overall
XC, 48/90 in the Senior category managing 3 laps in 1:12:57, split  30:42.93 21:48.04 20:26.43
So overall position for the whole event - 56!!

Making it official that Im the 56th best mountain biker in the UK!!


EDIT: Results available here
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#2
Yes clearly as every mountain biker in the uk was there LOL  Tongue

Sounds good though and im looking forward to going there although I will be using correct pedals for its terrain  Wink
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#3
"Breezer" Wrote:Yes clearly as every mountain biker in the uk was there LOL  Tongue

Sounds good though and im looking forward to going there although I will be using correct pedals for its terrain  Wink

Its great, just the weather changes quite rapidly up there. Are you camping there?

Also, mind the sheep as they roam free and we had a few 'sheep on the line' problems throughout the weekend. Im told that the best way is just to bunnyhop them...
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#4
Well done mate. Fantastic achievement.  Smile
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#5
Nope, Burnley travelodge that night, luxury  Wink
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#6
Great write up Rich, and excellent results to boot !! - Seriously well done matey, we officially have a riding god in our midst ;D

Did your 'mates' really put a 4lb hammer in your backback? I'd leave them in Lincolnshire with slashed tyres & no tubes for that *mwaaahaaahaa*
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#7
"Jay Dubster" Wrote:Great write up Rich, and excellent results to boot !! - Seriously well done matey, we officially have a riding god in our midst ;D

Did your 'mates' really put a 4lb hammer in your backback? I'd leave them in Lincolnshire with slashed tyres & no tubes for that *mwaaahaaahaa*

Cheers mate. Riding god? Well I guess Ill live with that title for now...  Tongue

Yeah they did. Thought my bag was heavy but didnt really think much of it at the time until I got waved down at the start line by the missus. It did explain the pretty bad back pain I had for lap 1 though! Think the times speak for themselves too!
2010 Canyon Aeroad 9.0 SL
2014 Specialized Epic Marathon
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#8
To be a "Riding God" you need to have a trail named after you...

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=51.283...rs=B000FTF
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#9
great result

always good to put the hammer down races! :-)
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#10
good writeup matey, glad you did pretty well and flew the flag for the sketchy massive even miles away.
Keep it foolish...
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