Anything 4 A Ride MTB Club / Race Team

BikeRadar Live Whyte 4hour Night Enduro 30/05/09

Graeme Report
   After finding out the Big Welsh Weekend was fully booked Katie and I thought we'd head up North to Donnington Park for BikeRadar Live. We got there about 9:30pm on Friday and after getting our tickets setup camp in the competitors area. This turned out to better than the normal camping as you could leave your car next to your tent. Had a couple of beers, then headed over to the Big Top to see what was happening. There were some films showing which we stayed for, plus a bus that had been converted into a bar.
   Next morning we headed over to register for the Enduro and sort out our Demo passes. You had to sign an indemnity form to get a wrist band then hand over some ID and get a Demo Pass. You could then use this pass to get a bike from one of the stands to try. 1st off we headed to the tandem stand and got out a VENTANA El Conquistador Full Suspension MTB Tandem. The frame alone was over £2500 for this bike. We headed out onto the Donnington Park Race track and got some instruction on how to ride it. We done a quick lap, very quick actually, maxing out the 48*11 gears on the back straight. Then we tried a bit of off roading round the side of the track. Next it was off to the Giant stand to both try out the Anthems round the MTB course. Last time I rode one of these @ Enduro6 in 07 it was awful, it didn't track well or go where you wanted it to. The new Anthem X was completely different, it was great to ride, handling all I threw at it, and feeling fast and very comfy. Only thing that let it down was the Racing Ralph tyres that just understeered when pushed hard. Katie got on well with her Anthem XW. We each got a free pair of Giant Flip-Flops when we returned the bikes.
The Epic had a binding headset so I took it to CRC to get a new one. Whilst this was being done, I got out a Brompton S-2 Folding bike. Katie took her Spesh Sirrus and we headed out onto the track. The Brompton was a revelation and was way easier to ride than I ever thought. Whilst out on the track I heard this whoosh come past, it was Graham Obree. I wasn't exactly on the right bike to give chase so let him go :-). On the last hill I sprinted up it, seems people don't like being taken by Brompton riders.
   Once I got the Epic back we went via the Hope stand and they fixed the squeak in my front wheel. We cooked some dinner and relaxed before the race. Lining up on the start we were told all solo riders were to line up at the front, which is what we did. Bit weird as all the faster guys would be behind us????? Gun went and the first lap was quite quick. It was a good course with nice singletrack and no really steep hills. There were a couple of logs that needed a bunny hop, but nothing to technical. The 2 berms half way round were a bonus and something to look forward to each lap. The first 2 laps went with out incident and by the 3rd lap I was really getting into it (this was my fastest lap). However on the 4th lap just as it was getting dark, a rider went down in front of me just before the 2nd log jump. I had to take avoiding action and ditch it. I fell on my already sprained wrist which wasn't good. After this I couldn't grip the bars with my right hand properly, so once back to the pits decided to call it a day and head for the showers. Just 4 laps, in 1 and 1/2 hours. I later find that the winner in my category won with 10 laps in 4 hours, blast I could have been on the podium if I'd carried on :-(. Anyway quick trip to the Extreme Medic and a couple of beers to make me feel better.

   Next morning Katie and I went to watch a lecture on road bike handling skills, then out for an 8 mile ride round the local roads and cycle ways with the Sustrans guys. We were gonna do the 30 mile but with my bust wrist thought better of it. It was an interesting ride taken at a very gentle pace, but everyone enjoyed it. After this we went on the DHL WattBike Tour machines. 8 people line up on each on a Wattbike, then have a 200m race. They also test your peak power output. Mine came out @ 1470W (not to bad apparently but someway to go to match Chris Hoy). I won the 200m race for that session and walked away with a SIS Energy Pack and DHL Goodie bag. Spot of lunch and a beer and after looking at some trade stands decided to call it a day and pack up camp.

   The weekend was great and certainly one for the future calendar.
4 Laps    DNF