Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

A big Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends in the United States, now go and get stuck straight in!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Northern Downhill in enduro mode, the ND(H)uro at Kidland, 20th October 2013

One word for this race..... AMAZEBALLS!!!!!!!!!

Oh my god, where do I start here?  Well, I hadn't been to Kidland since 2010 when Steve and I did one of the Northern Downhill races there, I remember it being a total shocker thinking that I just couldn't ride anymore!  So when I heard that Carl Davison was running his first Enduro event at Kidland I must admit to being a wee bit nervous, and that was before I knew he was planning on running them down the downhill tracks.  Oh my!  For those not in the know, Kidland...... is.... STEEP!

Like the previous Borderline Events' Escape to Gisburn it was a one day event so practice was first thing in the morning with the racing kicking off from 1pm.  There were three tracks, two of them were on the Alwinton downhill tracks and the third was the Kidland downhill track with a slight detour around the steepest bit, phew!  And the best bit?  It had rained solidly all night long so the courses were a grease-fest, lovely and muddy, tyre choice was crucial, I managed to get away with running Maxxis High Rollers, I didn't have any mud specific tyres to hand.

We all made the first pedal up, none of us really knew what to expect so took it easy to start with, all the tracks were pretty similar to be fair, steep and rooty with tight corners.  It felt absolutely mint to be sliding around in the mud with the back end slipping out on roots. The last time I rode my bike tripod-style with my tummy on the seat was at the Megavalanche in the snow and oh my god we were having so much fun here. Full on belly laughs the whole way down.  As we got to the bottom we didn't even need to say anything we just looked at each other with huge grins on our faces, our eyes on stalks and knew we were all loving it. 

For me track three was the best, it was more ridden in and just rode so smoothly, I couldn't wait to race it.  Steve's Yeti was sadly still in bits so he was on his Cotic hardtail again and although everyone was taking the piss out of him for riding a hardtail 29er at Kidland he didn't do too bad and came 8th in the Master category.  I took a 3rd with Helen and Sarah taking the top two steps. 

The Weapons; Sarah Newman, Helen Gaskell and Angie Coates

I really cant wait to ride there again, it's given me a huge amount of motivation to ride steeper and more technical tracks, I can't wait to get the FTW downhill beasty built up to hit some more of it!

See you on the next hill punks,


Monday, 25 November 2013

Borderline Events Enduro - Escape to Gisburn, 29th September 2013

Hey guys and gals, it's Angie here again, there's been no time to sit still, 'busy bunny' are my middle names. We've got some amazing news but I can't divulge just yet so keep sitting tight, exciting times are a'coming, I am itching to tell you all however!  Anyway, for now go and grab your cup of coffee and some biscuits here's my report from the Borderline Events, Escape to Gisburn enduro...

After a week of riding around the absolutely drop dead gorgeous West Highlands of Scotland both me and Steve's legs were feeling pretty done in however but we couldn't resist another race so drove all the way from Wick at the top of Scotland to get to Gisburn in North Yorkshire for Mike Marsden's first ever Enduro.  Although I had ridden at Gisburn before Steve had never been and there were some new tracks being built so we thought why the hell not!

The week before in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, absolutely amazing scenery...

It was only a single day event which was pretty cool however we used our time wisely and managed to get a bit of practice in on the Saturday where we met up with the local legend Euan Bruce to show us the tracks.  Steve opted for his hardtail after the bearings on his Yeti blew up, despite stripping it all down in the car park he gave up all hope, so racing on the hardtail it was to be! Hardcore, you know the score!

This Enduro was made up of three stages and they were all fairly pedally but well thought out, it was all pretty good fun, Mike Marsden had done his homework!  Track one was tight and twisty through the trees and over shiny roots, yes, those glossy little buggers that are only there to catch out the unwary. Thankfully I kept it pinned and showed the boys how it's done, there's also something very soothing about the smell of a pine forest, but I best not get all hippy dippy on you all!  

Photo copyright of Lisa Hollifield

Track 2 had a fresh sweet bit cut in which I absolutely loved, it was pretty much a straight line to the fireroad over some jumps and roots, you had to stay on the gas to get through the fast rolling section.  It was here where I had my buddy Peter Tiplady in my sights and made it my mission to chase him down, he got ass-whipped, good times.  Soon afterwards I was feeling the pain of pushing up up a super steep climb, this was rewarded with the awesome trail down through the woods to the finish line. That climb though was a lung buster, I was almost sick at the end of the track, talk about breathing fire!!!  Poor Steve got a puncture on the first whoopy bit of the trail which screwed up his potential podium position, he totally kicked ass on track one taking the first position so understandably he was feeling gutted.  

Photo copyright of Nick Moor

Track 3 was admittedly bit of a slog, which in the same breath was great for Steve on his hardtail who shot off at warp factor 90, I just found it really hard on my legs I suppose it was the previous week in the Highlands coming back to haunt me.  I got cadence going and kept it steady but oh boy I was absolutely knackered when crossing that finish line, I just lay in the grass gasping for breath!

Photo copyright of Nick Moor

Steve got held up on the fire road after a dude in front got in his way which wasn't great but all in all we had fun and will definitely be doing another one of Marsden's races, well done that man!

I took home the 3rd place here, Steve placed 1st on track 1 and 3 but unfortunately the puncture on track 2 let him down. That's racing for you though.

We're both looking forward to the 2014 Borderline Events.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Enduro report; No Fuss Events, Tour De Ben, Fort William, 21st September 2013

Angie's here and taking over the crib - how you all doing out there peeps?

Steve and I lost our virginity to the Tour De Ben last year, it's run by the fantastic people at No Fuss Events, for anyone who hasn't attended one of their weekenders they are extremely well organised and always a whole load of relaxed fun.  However 'relaxed' was not the name of the game for this year's race, far from it, I felt like I was being chased by a pack of howling wolves hot on my tail!!

The all important riders' meeting

We rocked up to Fort William on the Friday and got all signed in, it suddenly feels very real when you are handed your number board and dibber!  After a good night's sleep in the van we woke up early raring to go, the start of the race was really utterly genius; everyone lines up at the end of the town and then a group of bagpipers lead you through the cobbled street before the whistle goes and you all fight your way past each other up the first hill climb, exactly how cool is that?!

The first stage was the best, a steep rock-strewn track over drainage ditches down to Kinlochleven, I had my tyres pumped up super hard which lead to me hitting some of the turns speedway style.  This cued a huge smile on my face after the 'whoop'-filled run and a quick "Hello" to my mate Gary Mac's parents and his 'wor lass' at the bottom!

The next stage started from a wee wooden bridge and was 80% uphill, a total lung and thigh buster! I won't talk about this stage as I don't remember much of it apart from the heavy panting and that's not very lady-like!  Not long afterwards we hit the river crossing, thankfully it wasn't that deep it marked the halfway point with 35km done and another 35km to go, bring it on!   This also marked the start of Stage 3 AKA the 'hike a bike' section which took me about an hour of flipping hard work and a lot of swearing!  I got cramp in my thighs here the same as last year, jinxed I tell you, jinxed, but pushed through it, I knew I was in need of some salt intake to combat it.

The steely eyed determination....

I met up with Helen and Sarah at the Laraig bothy where the marshalls were serving burgers and sausage sarnies, I didn't have the stomach for any of that so pushed some peanuts in my mouth and kept on going, I really needed the salt.  I didn't see the Gruesome Twosome after this, thought they would have caught up but later I heard that they were having a snooze track side!  From this point Steve started having a bit of an epic, his legs were cramping up big time and he was practically having to crawl bits, it's a bit of a shame since the first half was going really well for him.  Poor blighter.

Steve (and Helen) getting set to get on it....

The last stage was part of the Witches' Trails and by this time I was knackered but knew that I was so close to home and that the track that lay before me was a heap of flat out laughs!  I overtook a few people down here, it was a man-made trail centre type track but pretty steep with some sweet swooping sections, awesome fun.

After this I pushed hard on the pedals all the way to the end, and thank feck for that!!  Most of the time I was riding I was hating it and asking myself why the hell I was doing it but as soon as crossing the finish line I was so happy, buzzing ear to ear and simply can't wait to do it all again next year. That's what it's all about!

I cycled into the town and Steve met me with a big hug! I got 4th out of 14 girls so was pretty happy with that. 

See y'all at the next one!


Flying about hither and thither....

Greetings to everyone out there in t'interweb land, it has been a very busy few weeks sorting the team out for 2014, we've expanded to six riders!  Haven't had a team this big since the 90's, it's gonna be full on rock 'n roll.  There's a press release coming up very soon so watch this space.

In the meantime..... back to the blogging.....