Hey you guys, here's the literal low down from the Northern Downhill Series Carlton Bank weekender.....
The NDH boys always put on a great event, it's always nice to see the so-called underdogs beating the big guys at their own game!
Carlton Bank in Cleveland used to be a popular venue back in the day and it's a great shame that it's not used more often, the reason being is that there are no uplifts, it's a full on push to the top. And with that said, it's so worth the effort, this is old school racing at its best.
The track is all out in the wind swept open, much more cut up these days with all the (ab)use it's seen over the years, but this in itself adds character to it, it's one of the old dames that has nurtured so many of today's stars! The fun starts straight out of the gate, fast flowing corners laced with loose rocks, step downs and jumps a-plenty through the heather covered moor's singletrack. It had rained a fair bit over night so the track was slick, I had a few really scary moments trying to keep my grip. My nemesis proved to be one of the main step downs that was followed by a sharp right hander straight into a large gap jump, I was doing huge front wheel drifts in the off camber and having to abort the jump, it took a good few attempts to get it perfected.
(Photo copyright of Karen Brumwell)
The thing about this course is that it's easy to learn, it's about pushing as hard as you dare all the way down. I was on fire during my first run, had the top part of the course totally pinned, railed one of the open corners and nearly hit a boulder on the inside, that cost me a chunk of time but oh boy was the adrenaline pumping! Second run I knew what had to be done, it's balls out or nothing! Hitting all my lines, the bike was just soaking everything up, pedalling like a demon. Hit the lower off cambers and my front wheel just washed out, hit the deck hard and saw stars, game over. Totally gutted, this was the last race on my FTW Industries 'FB10' frame and I wanted to go out with a podium spot, bollocks!
Next race is at Fort William and I'll be debuting the new FTW Industries 'Odysseus' downhill bike...... bring...... it....... on!!