Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Northern Downhill - Kidlandlee (Alwinton) 04/07/2010

Many apologies about the delay, life has been pretty much crazy recently.

Gonna pass you over to Nick here, I'll pop some photos up if I can find any at a later date :)

"Alwinton was the 3rd round of the Northern Downhill Series. It was on the opposite hill to the Kidland track which was pretty hard and steep. This hill is almost twice the size and I was already looking forward to it before even walking the course. In hindsight I'm bloody glad I walked it! I would have had a hell of a fright otherwise; right at the top there was a section with a number of lines, there were two lines over a hefty rock section with big drops. You could either do the rock drop into a really steep shoot followed by a hard right or go down the 'chicken-route' (and I use that term really loosely here!) that took you right round and still wasn't very easy. Not long after were sharp left and right corners followed by a small rock drop that lead into a steep and off camber left, crazy times!

The rest of the track was nice n' fast with loose drifty corners, really great fun, the bike came into its own here. This included a steep section down onto a 20 metre wooden bridge followed by an uphill section that really punished the legs. A final root filled corner spat you out towards the finish line.

I'm so glad it stayed dry, practise went really well. I was nailing the drops at the top and managing to scrub the speed off in time for the tricky corners. Getting faster as my confidence grew and then on top of the rock drops totally lost it. Managed to jump off the bike before falling off the big drop. The bike tumbled, bouncing higher and higher, and going further and further. At its highest it bounced about 10ft into the air and travelled about 50 metres down the hill until someone tried to catch it! Just goes to show how steep this place is!

Was quite worried that either something would be bent or broken, or that the frame would be dented. Amazingly the bike was fine, bombproof, phew!

Come race day it had rained which made the track even harder! Many riders from all categories had pulled out of the race because the track had become so difficult. I decided to stay as, regardless to the other lot, I loved the track! Some big spills followed due to the conditions however most people were coming off too.

On my first race run I stayed attached to the bike, although (and unfortunately) quite a lot of the time my feet weren't on the pedals!!! Ha! Was quite happy with taking 3rd place but knew I could go a lot quicker in the second run. I really pushed it, and pushed a bit too hard, coming off the track at the top and then further down hit a stump which threw me over the bars and I landed on a camera man (WHOOPS!). Least it was a cushioned landing!

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/

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