Friday, 19 April 2013

North-West Mountain Bike Series, Farmer John's, Stockport, Round 1, 31st March 2013

Ay up you lot, it's Chris here...

It was Saturday afternoon when we set off, myself and old school racer Simon Russell.  We were supposed to get there for 7pm, that didn't happen though.  To cut a long story short we arrived at 1am. After driving through the wee village and into the farm were to be greeted by a big 'No Fire's' sign and would you belive it, a fire blazing away right ahead of us!  Rogues, I tell you, rogues!  We both took a few rums and went off to kip.

It was an early morning kick-off, walking the track it was typical 'Farmer Johns' style with shit loads of sprinting but all in it was a pretty cool course.  Looked a fair bit faster towards the bottom where the track appeared to look like it was made of ice!  'Cool Runnings' stylee right there I reckon!

Signed on early and off we went, plenty of runs was the order of the day as I couldn't make it down for the Saturday practice.  First run, donning the number 8 on the Giant Reign complete with busted cranks and single ply tyres from the last XC ride, I'm so damned hardcore y'see!  I'll be FTW Industries 'FB10' mounted shortly, mark my words!

Out of the second corner, nice.. over the first jump, maybe a little too whipped out, landing on a few off track rocks and.... "Pshhhhhhhh......" the tyre popped after the valve snapped off!  I finished the run nonetheless, and yeah, as I'd guessed earlier, it was pure 'Cool Runnings' style with the ice-dirt and a flat rear.  Good fun though, you can't beat a bit of driftage!

Photo copyright of Isac Paddock

Only managed two full practice runs in.  I had also managed to forget my knee pads , so I borrowed some off an up and coming rider, Ed Hixon.  Cheers for the loan Ed, however next time buy a larger pair will ya...haha!

First run came round, gently does it as I'm not really sure where I'm going!  It wasn't too bad a run with the single-ply tyres folding on all the corners, super drifty!  The icey lower sections had received a bit of attention, not only from a few pick axes and shovels but seemed to have gained a rather large crowd, I wonder why?!  Popped over the line to finish with a fifth place. Not bad. Hike back up o'the top and have a catch up on some much needed rest.  In the spirit of Kimi Räikkönen I fell asleep, to be woken by Simon after his second run, oops!

Photo copyright of Richard Kemp

A sleepy second run it was then!  Confident I could do well, out of the blocks I flew. Second bloody corner again and my chain jammed, absolutely gutted. that was the end of my run really.  I stay chilled out and rolled in ten seconds back from my first run, seventh place in the Experts, a pretty good day's racing nonetheless.  

As always it's a good atmosphere down at FJ's and pretty cool to get away from all the snow for a day of sun!  Still a pretty damned cold wind mind but hey, this is the UK man!  


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