Thursday, 22 July 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Usually I am not very impressed with Ae Forest, mainly because it's always wet. Walking up the track I didn't think it was going to be much better, however the lads ain't half done a lot of work from the last time I was up there. Come Saturday it had been raining (quelle surprise!) however the track was actually great fun to ride. Up at the start it had a new long straight that traversed across the hill into a tight right where the track soon joined the older one and then down into the woods. A good choice of lines, all of which were full of nice and slippy off camber roots. The track opened up into a section resembling a BMX track so I felt at home there, however at the end of this section was a right hand hip jump which I had been struggling with for a while as I cant hip to the right for toffee! Damn it!
It felt bizarre, what with it being a race weekend and managing to get loads of runs in, I must have hit about nine in total but could have easily done more!! Virtually unheard of anywhere else, excellent!
Come Sunday it was a little wetter (to put it politely!) which wasn't good, there were literally little rivers running down sections of the track, cue: lots of muddy spray! My qualifying run went 'OK', just the one mistake where I slipped off the track. Having said that I felt pretty much on it for my race run.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Saturday practice went really well, the FTW was skipping nicely through the rocks and I found that the back-end seemed to track loads better than the Orange 224 I used to ride. This definitely helped with having the slippiest roots in the world to contend with. Had clean and tidy runs all day and tried to work on some lines but the track conditions were changing quite a lot, all in though I felt happy with my riding.
Saturday night the heavens opened and on the uplift for the first practice come Sunday you could see deep puddles on track. Me and the the guys I was riding with decided to hang back and let the first uplift of about 40 riders get down to clear the puddles and make some nice ruts, let them do the work, ahem! Didn't get off to a good start mind you, got a bit carried away and did an over-the-bars on one of top rock sections, didn't hurt but still felt like a numpty!
It thankfully stop raining for the race runs which was great. Had a pretty good run apart from through the rock garden where I lost my pedals and struggled to get my feet back on as my cranks kept hitting rocks and roots. Cruised down after that and was ecstatic to see that I was in the Hot Seat when I crossed the line. By the end of the racing I was knocked down to around 7th, still happy with that considering the mistakes, and the 'company' I was in.
Coming up for the second runs I knew the track would be quicker as it had dried up loads. Rode the top section the fastest I had all weekend so was really confident, came to a section which had some off camber roots and a rock slab into a few boggy drops. Unfortunately grabbed too much brake and washed out on the roots, went down the boggy drops with my crotch in the back wheel (sooooooo glad I didn't have mud spikes on, can just about picture a castration by mud tyre!!!!!!) and as a result finished slower then my first run.
All that done, mud splattered and washed down, I got my first Expert podium of the year and it only took two outings on the new stead! *Impressed* "
Full race report can be found on Descent World: http://www.descent-world.co.uk/2010/07/12/northern-downhill-rd-3-kidlandlee-alwinton/