What a weekend at round 3 of the Pearce cycles DH series, when we arrived on Friday the pit seemed really quite but by 10pm it had really filled up, we got our selves sorted out and had some dinner, then I went for a track walk to see what I could expect it was quite a long track and very dry and dusty.
Saturday morning dawned and the weather was fantastic again so I had some breakfast and went with dad to sign on, it’s always really easy and well sorted at Pearce cycles events so all done and time to get my kit on and get on the up lift, to the get to the up lift it was a short ride down a narrow back road to where the landrovers picked us up and took to the top of the hill, the track was mint if a little dusty I did around 9 practise runs looking at different lines.
After practise dad washed and prepped the bike ready for race day and then we went to llangynog for dinner in the pub and then a stroll back in the sunshine for a chill in the sunshine, I went off with some of the other rider for a bit of a muck about but my foot slipped off a friends flat pedal and really gashed my shin so it was off to the medical centre tent and we finally went to bed around 11pm and it was still almost light.
To my surprise on Sunday morning my leg didn’t hurt I thought it would be really painful, the up lift started at 8.30am so I thought I would get 3 quick runs before it got to hot and then chill out until my race runs, practise went well the track was still mint and the bike was spot on, my first race run was at just after 11am so it was time to get kitted up again and head up the hill, as I started off the line I felt really good and was flying, as I came to the first fire road crossing my back tyre let go and that run was over I was gutted, I managed to get a lift back down on one of the up lift trailers and dad was waiting for me at the bottom and pushed the bike back to the pits and sort it out, I was gutted that the tyre let go but I would have to give it my all in my second run.
It was time for my second run and this time I was first man down, the deeps started and I was off, in the back of my mind I was worried about a dnf again , but all was going well and when I passed the place my tyre went the first time I relaxed a little and got into a rhythm and I crossed the line with a 3.40 and I was in 10th place and to my surprise when every one of the juveniles came over the line I was still in 10th which I was quite impressed with as I only had one full race run, so all in all I was stoked.
Dan playing on the big rig.
Well what a weekend Pearce Cycle DH race at Brindgewood Nr Ludlow, we left home around 4pm on Friday in the rain, got to the amazing well organised camping area around 5pm and it was still raining so coats on and get on with it, gazebo up and all the stuff out of the van sorted and time for dinner by now James had also turned up so we got both vans sorted out and the pits were sorted ( according to the Met Office the rain was going to stop at 7pm) I wanted to have a track walk before we settled in for the night but the rain wasn’t going to stop so I thought I would wait for the morning.
Saturday morning arrived and it was looking rather soggy out there and still it was raining on and off, sign on started at 8 am so me and dad walked up to get signed on and got my number board, I thought I wouldn’t rush to get on the up lift as it would be super slimy, James and me head up the hill around 10.30 to see what the track was like, well it was very slimy and super sticky mud after around 5 runs I think my bike weighed twice as much as it should, dad put a Conti Mud King on the front and a Der Kaiser on the back but grip wasn’t brilliant, so I thought I would try a Mud King in the rear as well, the grip was a lot better but the rolling resistance slowed the runs too much, so I put the Kaiser back in around 3pm I had enough so dad washed and prepped the bike for the race tomorrow.
Saturday evening turned out cracking so we all had a BBQ and chilled in the sun, the forecast was awful but I thought they might have had it wrong how nice it was, oh no they hadn’t in the idle of the night the thunder started and the rain was biblical, when we got up the stuff in the gazebos were soaking, the up lift started at 8am so we had to get a move on I only wanted to do two runs just to see what all this rain had done to the track, to my surprise there was quite a bit more grip than yesterday so back to the van so dad could prep the bike for my first race run at 11.01am.
My race run didn’t start of to well as I couldn’t clip in, I got clipped in and I was off the run went well and I was well pleased but I came un clipped again but my foot went straight back in and I pedaled for the line my time was 2.11 which wasn’t to bad, I came 18th out of 27, by now the thunder and lightning had come back and the race organisers said they would have to cancel the race all together, the rain that came just before we started home was torrential the field had a mini tidal wave start running down it so bike in the van and it was time to get the hell out of here.
Fantastic weather at Caersws DH Bike Park up lift, weather was sunny and warm but in places the tracks were a little muddy, Glyn, Richard, Thomas and Rhys had also signed on so it should be a fun day, to start off with I felt a little sketchy but I think it was just the hard dried mud on top of the track, as the day went on things got better and better.
Well it got better for most of us but no so for Glyn as it all went wrong on the last jump into the quarry, to be fair it was quite a nasty crash and Glyn didn’t seem to know where he was, so Mark the first aider decided to call an ambulance as it looked like Glyn’s collar bone had gone and he also didn’t really know what was going on.
So it was off for a ride in the ambulance for Glyn to Aberystwyth A&E ( Get back on it soon buddy) the rest of the day went without any problems think I did around 12-14 runs with some quite fast ones which is all good practise for the up and coming races.
Big thanks to Caersws DH Bike Parkand Lucie Byrne Photography
We set off for Moelfre DH race on the Friday and it was pouring down just what we didn’t want, when we arrived the track up to the parking field was really slippery the van was wheel spinning all the way up, we managed to find a good parking space and set up camp, as we watched other people trying to get onto the field they would spin to a stop and that’s where they stopped all weekend.
On Saturday as we got ready for Practise Mr Mason turned up I didn’t know he was coming so it was a nice surprise, so we headed up the hill for our first practise run down the track, it was a little greasy but running fast they had changed the track from last weeks up lift so we had plenty to learn.
I think by the end of the day I had done 10 runs and for a pleasant surprise the rain had kept away, so it was back to the van for dinner and get the bike checked over, it was a bit of a shame as the front wheel bearing had quite a lot of play in them, so dad put my spare wheel in ready for race day.
Race day dawned and it looked like it had rained quite a lot over night and it was really cold, I had 4 practise runs then a break before my first race run which was supposed to be at 12.15 but as usual there was a delay, I was first man down so it was time to go, the run went well without any major problems by the time the other 12 juveniles had come down I was in 4th position which I was well pleased with, now we had to wait for around 2 hours for my second run, I had something to eat and watched some of the others coming down, poor old Richard had a burp his tyre and had to ride it flat.
I was around 3-4 seconds behind 3rd place and I was hoping I could make up the time, it was time to go again but instead of being first man down now I was fourth to last, I had a real good run and managed to knock 5 seconds off my first time, I was still fourth but missed out by half a second, half a second I couldn’t believe it, a great result but I was gutted.
All packed and ready to go, in the picture the sun is shining but yet again we get ready to go racing this morning and the clouds come in and it’s pouring down ( make mom an dad happy setting up in the rain) I think the weather is supposed to get a bit better over the weekend, well fingers crossed for both my result and the weather.
Pre race practise at Moelfre up lift weather was a lot better than forecast so the track was dry and fast, I had around 10 runs practising/looking at lines and getting some good speed, hopefully it will all go to plan next weekend.