Team rider Liam struts his stuff…

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Team rider Liam struts his stuff…

Video of ilkley moor and shipley glen. Rode by Liam McDermott and filmed by Jack Hirst.

Steel City Down Hill. 21st April

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Steel City Down Hill.  21st April
Steel City Down Hill.  21stApril

After yet another week of ‘April’ showers and reports that the track wasn’t fairing well it was inevitable that I would be loading the van in the rain on a cold Saturday morning. Thankfully during the hour drive down the weather improved and appeared to be turning into quite a nice day.
Once parked up and registration taken care of it was time to ride to short distance down to the course and have a steady first run down. The impressive 6ft high start ramp at least let you get off to a good start, but from then on it was a pedal fest, I was glad I had my Trail bike rather than the Downhill Rig!
One plus side to a flat pedal fest track is the push up is flat too, in fact it was easier to pedal up it than walk it if you were on a short travel bike, this enabled 4 or more runs an hour were achievable if you had the legs for it. After 3 practice runs I trip back to the van (losing my goggles on the way!) to make a few changes and set Adams bike up on clips!
Thankfully on the way back to the course my goggles were hanging from a tree – thank you to whoever found these and did this – a testament to the riders and the event! I thought they were gone for good.
2 more practice runs later and it was time for the first race runs. I was having a reasonable run until the lower third where I lost a foot and had good sized moment, but thankfully managed to avoid the nicely painted yellow tree stump! I crossed the line in a time of 2:02 which placed me 13th.
With only seconds separating most riders I felt confident I could easily improve on my time and hopefully make the top ten. This time from the word go I pedalled my little legs off, which is why I entered one of the first few corners all wrong and ended up making a right mess of it, annoyed that I’d almost stopped I gave the rest of the track every thing I had and when I crossed the line I was spent, unfortunately the mistake had cost me far to much time and I ended up a second slower! My first run time of 2:02 would have to do – I eventually finished 15th.
Adam and Liam were cursing their Downhill bikes weight and I honestly think if either one of them had had the right bike for the race then podiums would have been on the cards. Even so Liam finish 5th and Adam 7th – top to lads on Downhill bikes!
Overall a great little event that has a relaxed atmosphere and would be a great way for anyone to try there hand at down hill racing.

Adam Hurst: Race report for steel city.
Up bright and early, kick started by 4 chocolate weetabix. got the bikes and kit into the car and headed off to the steel city venue which is 20 mins from my house. signed on, got the number cards and headed out to the track for the first practise run. the track was amazing. it was super fast and flowy with the odd double and table top in for good measure. a few high speed corners and a few rocky sections. the gradient was flat pretty much so i knew it was going to be hard to do well with the big bike so i switched to my spd pedals which gave me that extra pedal power i needed. i managed 4 practise runs overall which i would say it is a lot due to it being a push up event. Anyway i downed a monster and headed up for my first race run. my first race run went well, hitting my lines, clearing the gap at the top and just using my energy wisely. This put me in a nice position with not too much pressure for my second run. I properly pushed it on my second run. Pedalling in every place I could. I was absolutely shattered at the end and was quite glad it was over to be honest. At the end of the day I managed a time of 1:48.044 which put me in 7th place overall in the junior category. Would just like to say a big shout out for everyone who organised the event and making it worth while. cheers

 

 

After passing a strange man giving us thumbs up in the other lane on the motorway me, my girlfriend and friend arrived at grenno woods for the steel city race. when we arrived we couldn’t help notice that nearly every body was on a all mountain bike which was the perfect weapon for this track. Once smashing in the first two runs it was clear why people were riding lighter bikes. the track was 1:30-2:00 mins of flat out pedaling which was extreamly lung burning on a downhill bike. After trying numerous times on my practice and my first race run to clear the gap jump it was abvious that i could not find the speed until my final race run came around and i cleared the lot which gave me plenty of speed into the grassy part of the corse before entering the woods. Through the woods it was yet again flat out pedaling around the hard packed berms and over some more jumps which then led into the opening where the crowds cheered while riders came over the drop and across the line. After nearly taking out the timimng man at the bottom if came a way with 5th place with a time of 1:46 beating my firt run by just over 1 second.
The day was awesome and me adam and rich all received great results. It would of been great if one of us from the team could reach the podium but we shall be saving that for farmer johns next month. see you there.
and a big thanks to the people who built the tack and organised the event and also the sponsors.

 

 

British Downhill Series – Round 1- Coombe Sydenham 14th-15th April

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British Downhill Series – Round 1- Coombe Sydenham 14th-15th April
British Downhill Series – Round 1- Coombe Sydenham 14th-15th AprilBig Rich Race Report:-After a 5 hour drive from Harrogate we finally arrived at Coombe Sydenham on Friday afternoon, we’d been watching various you tube video’s of the course and were looking forward to the track walk, after an hour or so we’d had a good look and apart from some of the bigger stuff we were happy with it, it was now time to register and then off to the pub for a quick beer and an early night.

Saturday morning cold & wet and we were in the uplift queue, we knew it was going to be the uplift queue that was going be the bug bear for the weekend as there was 350 of the fastest down hillers in the world racing, it was a little disappointing to find we had a 500yard steep push up once we had got off the tractor, after 5 minutes calf rest we were ready to throw ourselves down the course.
The course started in a small section of wood with some tight & slippy switch backs which then came out into a double and then back in again, this then joined one of three bus stops the last having the largest drop, then back into some very dark woods which were boggy and littered with off camber roots, after 6 or 7 switch backs and a small rock garden came the road gap stepdown we had agreed that having a go was out of the question for us old blokes and we would leave that one to the younger generation and as it happened there was a smaller version to left that was more up our street, once we had cleared that we started on the motorway section with two large table tops then a double & then a double-double, a small hip and back into the woods, we had agreed to pull over near the bottom rock garden to watch some other riders come through and choose a line, I choose the steeper line and stuck to that one all weekend while Richie tried different lines to see which was fastest, once through this section we came out of the woods over a double & then jump a small beck/steam and over the finish line.
We completed two full runs before lunch and two further full runs after lunch with some sessioning here and there, then off to the pub for a well earned beer and an Indian.

Sunday morning, Race Day, an early start got us in the queue for around 8.30am and after a full run we were back in the queue for 9.30 but by now the queue was massive and we were unable to get another run in before practice closed, seeding runs for our category started at 11.40am and we were there back on time unlike the rest of the Vets who were in danger of missing there slot, we set off just as they made it to the top, I posted a 3:30 run and Richie posted a 3:52 run which put me seeded 11th and Richie 13th, we now had 3 hours to kill until our race runs so back to the van for some lunch and a check over the bikes, back on the uplift and the nerves were kicking in but as luck would have it we didn’t have long to wait before we were called up, with this being the one and only race it was important to give it the beans but also be careful not to make any mistakes and crash out, I managed to catch the chap in front of me at the motorway section but found it difficult to pass him cleanly and lost a few seconds in the process, with only the last rock garden left I took a deep breath and launched myself down it – out of the woods and crossed the finish line a happy racer, Richie too had a clean run and it was all smiles that we had survived the weekend intact & all that was left was a 6 hour drive back home.

The British Downhill Series is the best organised downhill event in the country and with such stars as Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Brendan Fairclough, Marc Beaumont & huge crowds of spectators it really does make it a very special event.A special mention for James Kidd, Jamie Scott & Rich Easton, thanks for your advice & encouragement over the weekend JTeamRockgardener ResultsBig Rich 3:21.416 11th (vets)Richie 3:47.690 13th (vets)

Photos: Rich Easton & John Cobb

Northern Down Hill Rd1 Alwinton

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Northern Down Hill Rd1 Alwinton
Adam Hurst (TRG rider)
Race report for Alwinton.Arrived at the cold and snow ridden venue of Alwinton on the friday before the race. walked the track, first impressions were super steep and super gnarly!! The top was a really awful pedal fest which was virtually impossible to ride from the first uplift saturday morning. The middle after the fire road was so wet and had a sketchy, near vertical rock garden in the middle before levelling out for the bottom section. Practise saturday went well, managing 6 practise runs which was probably a little too many for the nature of the track. I only had 2 crashes on Saturday which were on my first and final run, so decided to clean my bike and put it away. Then getting the casual gear back on and walking the track again…… the track was destroyed, braking bumps, roots taking you off track, holes which were hub deep. it was definitely going to be a tough track to race on. walked back from the track with my bro (james hurst) discussing the recently observed lines and complaining about our soar muscles. Got back to the caravan, downed a few Fosters and headed to bed.
Woke up sunday feeling sore and battered. never the less i got my fresh set of pants and team jersey on and headed out for the uplift, managing to catch the first one up and being able to rail a Virgin track. The track had definitely dried a little but not for long due to another freak rain shower. It was just going to be one of those days. Managed to get 2 practice runs in Sunday morning which i would say was enough due to the tough challenge ahead. My first race run was the better of the 2 managing to stay on the bike but having a very messy and wobbly top section and a slow middle section. the second run consisted of a decent top section then threw it away coming off the bike on a polished root.
The overall weather for the weekend was overcast with the odd patch of sunshine and the frequent showers. I managed an 11th place with a time of 3:12.499. I was happy to get down but was disappointed knowing i could have gone a lot faster.
It was a fun weekend with a gnarly track, a decent uplift and a bunch of sound Geordies, and I will take the result as a positive and a place for improvement for the next race.
Adam

 

Richard James Molloy (TRG Overlord)
my race ramblings…
Alwinton – NDH rd1After weeks of glorious sunshine, and a teasing video of Jack Reading riding a dry Alwinton topped off with glowing reports of how well it was running on the uplift day the weekend before the race. Imagine how I felt as I watched the weather reports for the week running up to race weekend!My hopes for a dry Alwinton had been dashed – oh well if it had to be gloop! then so be it.

I didn’t walk the course as I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of riding Alwinton before, and after talking to a few riders I was happy not much had changed since my last visit.

The push up from where the uplift leaves you gave me all the information I needed to know about what lay ahead – Wet and i’ll say it again – gloopy.

From the start and down though the stumps wasn’t too bad but it would get worse as the weekend progressed. The section through the conifers just after the old start was where the problems started, this section was really boggy and was very difficult to carry speed through. Once over the fire road the track was in much better condition and infact and was riding really well. The switchbacks had been worked on and in places widened. The entry into the rock garden now had a couple of options, direct over a root step down or swing out wide and through some rocks. Rest of the course basically remained the same other than some large holes appearing and it was apparent that the work done by Carl and his team to remove a top layer of mud had improved the overall feel of the track, yes it was still a mud fest but it was manageable. The bike (most of the time) would go where you put it, although the feeling of being a passenger made it self known on more than one occasion.

Practice on the whole went well and I was happy to finish the day with no major offs. Adam seemed to be dialling in the course well and his choice to run a Kenda KOT front and Nevagal rear was working really well.

Race day: 2/3 hours of rain over night had turned the top section into an absolute quagmire! But thankfully the rest of the track remained the same as the previous day. Time to race and as suspected the haul down to the fire road was just painful, it was a joy to finally enter the forest and only have to deal with Alwinton’s infamous features! My run was steady away, I was careful not to have any offs, I was too slow through the entry into the rock garden as I paused to get clipped back in – personal note to self, even though I changed back to Shimano DX pedals from Mallets, which by the way performed superbly, Alwinton is a flat pedal course all day long! I knew this from last time but still ran clipped in. Rest of the run went relatively well and I crossed the line in one piece having had a clean run.

I finished 9th in Vets and survived yet another outing at Alwinton, I wasn’t fast but this time I had kept the bike rubber side down a vast improvement on the last outing . Hopefully next time will be even better.

Thanks goes to Stef for Cycopath cycles for for his spannering skills and also taking the photos, Also worth a mention are Team CHR top banter and Mad Mick Hill for his enthusiasm.

Finally, as always thanks to Carl and all the Northern downhill team for putting on yet another great event.

Richie.

 

 

Farmer Johns on Tour – Saddleworth 8th April

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Farmer Johns on Tour – Saddleworth 8th April

Woke up on sunday morning around 7am to a lovely bacon sandwich and a strong cup of tea.

I arrived at the track around 9:30 and just in time for sign on and quick track walk.

So practice began and the track was good really grippy and I was enjoying it until around 11:30am when the winds picked up and the snow started to fall. Luckily it stopped just in time for the race runs, after my first race run I was feeling confident as I was sat in second place , but only just.

On my second run I was bit nervous at that start as I had the pressure to keep my second place , after a good solid run I knocked a few milli seconds off my original time and secured the number 2 spot on the podium