After what was an awesome event at Kidland just a few weeks beforehand, it would have been rude not to have raced Northern Downhill's next event at Chopwell Woods. Let's face it, it's only a couple of miles from home and it's not often you're able to get a nice lie in before jumping on the race bikes!
There hasn't been an event at Chopwell for many years so it was quite exciting to be back there again. Following on from the previous events it was a one day format with practice until lunch and then two race runs in the afternoon. Carl got a cracking number of riders signed up, well into the 120+ marks which was great to see at this time of year. Hats off to you sir....
The track they were using was the Powerline which is fairly straight forward with some berms to start off with, down into a section littered with nice and shiny roots, a few more more singletrack turns which took a fair bit of pedalling and then across some jumps. All pretty easy stuff which is a good job as Steve was on his hardtail after his enduro bike wasn't all it was cracked up to be (ahem!). All in though it was a simple and fun track to race on, when combined with the laid back vibe of the event it all added up to a belter of a day. Oh and muggins here had forgotten her full face helmet so had to borrow one, just wait till you see the photo....
Photo copyright of Mick Stephenson
There was a great bunch of people there who we don't normally get to race with, one being my lovely brother James so it was cool to do a few runs together. It's great galloping behind him with his balls out riding style and then there's mad Gary Mac, well what can I say? The guy's a hairy legend! Steve was buzzing as he got to race with Andrew 'Weedkiller' Weeding for the first time in a long while too. You guys need to come out to the other races a lot more you know, no excuses!
Practice was soon done and dusted (more like mud-covered) with about five runs each, the race runs soon came around... Steve managed to grab the hot seat just ahead of Phil Grimes who was looking right fast all day... my first run was a tad on the slow side, after Steve told me that I looked like I was dawdling I took the aggression out on my second run knocking four seconds off my time, awesome! :)
The weapons meet again... L-R: Sarah Newman, Helen Gaskell and Angie Coates...
Steve maintained his top spot, hardtail style! He was a bit coy afterwards, it's not in his nature to shout about it but I knew he was buzzing!!
Photo copyright of Paul Mears
It was a great race day all round and here's hoping it's on again next season, we'll certainly be at all of new ND(H)uro races next year.