Monday, 4 February 2013

First Of The Year... Alpine Bikes Innerduro, 3rd February 2013

Here's the Seagull with the low down....

2013 has officially begun and it's time to get these enduro's a-rollin'.  The first of the No Fuss Gravity Enduro series isn't until March and due to spending most of the winter riding my cross country bike I was in need of something to get me back into the gnarly side of things again!

This past weekend saw the start of Alpine Bikes' 'Innerduro' series at Innerleithen on the Scottish Borders. Round one is a casual and chilled out three-stage enduro where the emphasis is more on riding with your mates and having a laugh rather than worrying about positions and all that bollocks!

I was kinda expecting the tracks to be fairly light and easy going, something to ease everyone back into racing but I once again underestimated the Scots!!  These tracks were wild, hard as hell and as mean as they come!  Each stage seemed to involve riding in the deepest ruts whilst holding on to ya bars by ya teeth, contending with big drifty corners and leg-bursting climbs, it certainly wasn't to be shrugged at.  Without a shadow of doubt this was an enduro with attitude, you needed to be fit and in tip-top condition, both physically and mentally.  Parts of the stages seemed like you were in the middle of the most horrible cross country race but then all of a sudden you were presented with the most challenging downhill sections known to man... it absolutely bloody ROCKED!!

On the rocks.... Photo copyright of Steve Wyper,

Race wise things didn't exactly go to plan, I flipped it over the bars like a fanny on stage one which was hilariously funny and received an applause from the spectators!  My own fault, I was kinda hanging and lost control like a nugget, but that's racing for ya!  It didn't seem to matter too much anyway as I reckon everyone crashed somewhere!

I had also been dabbling in the world of tubeless tires and decided to put my trust into them for the race! Unfortunately during stages 2 and 3 on the fastest of the tracks, the back tire burped and I lost all the pressure, dammit!  On the plus side, there was still enough air in there to get me to the finish on both stages but it meant I couldn't ride as I wanted. 

Nonetheless it was one of the best weekends racing In a long while, I manage to finish up 25th in the combined category so I'm kinda happy with that all things considered.  It was a great weekend riding with me mates getting loose on the crazy Scottish hillside that is Innerleithen.  It doesn't get much better.....

Photo by the Tea Lady AKA Peter Tiplady, fettled with via the mobile app Snapseed...

Got to make a shout out to both Helen Gaskell and Sarah Newman for dominating the women's category too, They rode awesome all weekend.  Next time we'll have Angie alongside too...

Now super excited for round one of the Gravity Enduro's at Afan Forest with the 'Weapon crew'!!  Bring it!

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