Wednesday, 20 May 2015

UK Gravity Enduro Season Opener - Triscombe, May 9th-10th 2015

I was delighted when The Daddy, Steve Parr, announced that for 2015 one of the venues for the UKGE was going to be Triscombe, a mere fifty-minute drive from where I live!  This area is an understated biking gem hidden deep in the South-West of England where you can ride as hard as you like, I love it there and if you can’t find it I will happily show you around one day!

Living in the South-West I am blessed with great areas to ride my Orange Five.  Bike Park Wales, Afan or anywhere in Breacon Beacons are all within two hours, however I'm normally found at the Haldon Forest Park where I can ride straight from my work door and be there in 45 minutes, awesome!  If that doesn't tick your boxes the stunning scenery of Dartmoor or Exmoor surely will especially with their great surfer's coastlines thrown in for a good measure!  A lot of the people I ride with rave about how sensational Scotland is however my area is proof that you can always find great trails to ride with like minded people, and this is true wherever you are, the fact the UKGE came to Triscombe is proof of this.

I arrived ready to practice the race course and transitions on the Friday, the weather was fairly bleak with fine rain and low lying cloud. Stage one and two both had freshly cut sections which, although were a riders paradise whilst the racing was underway, were as sticky as hell in practise!  Both of these routes were going to see a lot of traffic with being raced upon across the whole weekend and I liked everything about these stages, tight, twisting turns, jumps and berms!  I rode the transitions over to stages three and four, the stage three transition was the longest at 45 minutes and was a breeze compared to the hour plus transition over at Afan!  The route here took you along a beautiful ridge where you were rewarded with sweeping views over the distant Taunton and despite the hard pedalling these stages were great fun with plenty of airtime to be had off all the jumps.

Race Day Saturday, despite being so close to home I was slightly less organised with food for this event than I normally am, I didn’t panic though as I knew the awesome Billy Can Catering team would be on site.  And sure enough a little while later I was patting my tummy after a huge bowl of their creamy porridge laced with some cheeky chocolate buttons, I was now set up for the day, bring it on!

My seeding run was clean and I felt good on the bike taking the steep freshly cut section in my stride, with hindsight though I should have pushed harder on the flat section to make more time. The second run on Saturday went really well too, well until the end when I lost concentration and caught my handlebars on a tree seeing my catapulting skywards and, thankfully, landing softly in a large bush. I've only just got all the blasted ticks off my body!

Race day Sunday, I was pleased with my first two runs which went fairly smoothly, I got some mint air-time off some great little jumps and really enjoyed my riding. No dropped chains this time thanks to the Rideworks enduro chainguide which I am race-testing for them. 

Ooooh, shiny!

I was absolutely flying on stage three when I clipped another tree with my wide bars and lost a load of time trying to re-align my cockpit. Struggling, I cruised down the fourth stage not wanting to push it with wonky steering and feeling absolutely gutted with that carry on.  I finished the weekend taking 13th place in the Elite women category.

Wonky bars aside it was a wonderful event and I for one am grateful to the amount of hard work being put in behind the scenes to stage them.  It is a hard kick in the privates then, as some of you are aware, when learning that so many bikes were stolen by professional bike thieves that evening, it really beggars belief and I hope that they're caught sooner rather than later.  Maybe we could crowd-fund some replacements for the riders, just an idea?

It was lovely to see so many friendly faces from last season and, especially as a PE teacher, it is great to see so many young people coming into the sport, I was really impressed with Tyde D'Souza and Martha Gill.

A big shout out to Steve Parr for hosting such an awesome event and again to sing the praises of the little guys like The Billy Can Catering and the other unsung heroes behind the scenes who help to make the events what they are.  Well done guys, see you all at the next round.


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