Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Northern Downhill Series, Ramsgill, 23rd June 2013

Stepping back in time a bit here with the next two blog updates, there's been a lot going on behind the scenes and all will be revealed in good time.  Anyway here's Nick with the low down from Ramsgill.....

Ramsgill in North Yorkshire has been the home to some amazing races back in the days of the NAMBS (Edit from Lee: and back even further in the days of NEMBA, gosh I'm old!).  The track this weekend was built up by the Cycopath Cycles boys, they have a few tracks across the Yorkshire way which look pretty damned good to hit up later in the year.

The format of the weekend was two days and two race runs on each day on two different courses.  Saturday was the easier course which was aimed at getting younger people involved in the sport.  

The day started with a push-up to the top checking the track as I went.  As I said the track was pretty simple with a number of fast flowing corners followed by a short rock garden and a couple of jumps.  It was a good day on the slope, the bike was handling flawlessly and I didn't need to touch the set up much at all.  At the end of practice I'd managed to work out a line towards the finish, quite a sketchy one actually... it involved trying to make a big S-bend, which was all off camber, into a straight line and which left me drifting like a maniac towards the timing gear, erk!

(Photo copyright of Robert Dickson)

Both of Saturday's race runs went exceptionally well with me being able to shave sometime off on my second run to take the win.  My first podium of the year along with my first win of the year, oh happy days!

Sunday morning soon hit and with it came a new track.  This was much longer, starting with some open sweeping corners into a massive road jump before dropping down into the woods and then joining on to the previous day's track.  To make it a little more exciting it had rained really heavily so everything was gonna be slick.  I was confident that the bike would be fine set up the way it was already and kept the Maxxis 'High Roller' tyres on hoping for the best. 

(Photo copyright of Noah Collins)

Throughout the morning I was laughing my tits off, as the track was quickly drying out I had loads of fun getting seriously sideways motorcross stylee.  So glad I had the X-Fusion shock and TF Tuned tweaked Boxxers on as the first time hitting the road gap I wanted to make sure I cleared everything so put a few extra cheeky cranks in, pretty soon found out this was too much and shot passed the landing zone Henry Cavill style!

(Photo copyright of Robert Dickson)

As with the previous day it was a pretty chilled out atmosphere (which I have to add is rare these days) and I just banged out a load of runs in preparation for racing. 

My first race run was reasonably steady to put a time in I was second just behind SPS (Steve Peat Syndicate) rider Jimmy.  On the next run I just thought 'Sod it, let's get wild!'., a tad too wild however as on one of the open corners my back wheel drifted out and I nearly did a 180 which lost me a heap of time, bollocks!  I got my head back down and pushed on hard shaving a half second off which was good but obviously I coulda done without my backside sliding away earlier on!  Either way I made the second step of the podium.  Top weekend racing by all accounts, I really miss the laid back atmosphere of racing as we used to have and it was good to see it back at Ramsgill.

(Photo copyright of Noah Collins)

Massive thanks to everyone who has helped out, the Northern Downhill Series is going from strength to strength.

Now I need to sleep, 13 hour days are bloody hard going!

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