I’ve raced DH for the last few years and although I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve found myself wanting to focus more on technique than speed.
So… I bought myself an Enduro bike and thought I’d give a different race format a go.
The Northern Downhill Enduro at Hamsterley was the first race of the 2016 season. I have to admit I’m sold by this venue, great for DH and pretty awesome for Shredding on the smaller travel bikes! It’s perfect for enduro and a personal favourite of mine.
The tracks were a mix of DH and trail, having ridden them a lot I thought I could do well but I was hindered by a virus which took its toll physically. For those of you that think enduro is not knarly enough your mistaken, travelling at speed over roots and rocks still requires big balls of steel and plenty of opportunity for showboating and to massage our egos! (You know who you are!) I opted for a tactical approach and chose to ride the most technical and peddley track first – 4x into old nps.
Started off with a peddley straight over rocks and roots down into couple of bus stops options, despite taking the high line instead of the low and catching another rider up, I managed a respectful second place overall.
But it’s hard to know where you win and loose. That’s was makes it a little more exciting. I learnt how important it is to pick lines and peddle to carry speed. Section 13 was ridiculously exhausting…with a up hill sprint in the middle…then into the hardest root section, which killed me. I had to stay loose and on the bike despite having dead legs (you know how that feels).
I’ve never been so physically challenged… I lost time. Final section was transmission into nitrous… Well what can I say… Nothing left in the tank! Despite feeling ill, I rode with friends and placed 4th. Whoop ! I’m definitely racing the series
Last sunday (31st Jan) saw the second round of the mini downhill series at the forest of dean.
We set off down south to find a track which looked flat out with loads of little compressions and jumps from top to bottom . Before the second fire road was a rooty section which was catching a lot of people out as there were many lines and the track was quite wet.
It was forecast to rain which meant the track surface would become wetter and therefore be faster rolling so i decided to keep my dry tyres on. A few practice runs later and the odd spell going down the track on my face i was feeling confident going into the race runs.
After a nap it was time to head up the hill the promised rain hadn’t really arrived which meant after 300 riders going down the track had turned to a horrible sticky mess. I set off on the run and it seemed fairly smooth and i only made a small mistake so i knew i could improve on the second run. I was sitting in tenth out of 87 with a time of 1minute 40 seconds so it was more like a hamsterley length of track rather than a “mini” downhill course.
Second run the track became even worse but my run felt loads better hitting all the downslopes of the jumps and railing all the corners i got to the bottom to find i was a second slower luckily so were most other people and i remained in tenth.
Also it was my first race on the new gt fury and its safe to say i was impressed with the bike and im looking forward to the next race.