We are an independent specialist bicycle retailer based in Frodsham, Cheshire. Stocking Santa Cruz, Cube, Orange, Whyte, Focus and Ridley. We are passionate about bikes and cover all disciplines from MTB to Road, Kids to Commuter with a price range to suit most pockets. We also have a range of clothing from Madison and Fox and a fully equipped workshop for all servicing and repair needs.
Round 3 of the UK Gravity Enduro series was upon us again
and this time around riders were descending on Hamsterly forest, up in county
As the year was rapidly heading into spring, thoughts were
on the weather and memories of wall to wall sunshine from this round last year.
As we travelled up from Twelve50 Towers on the Friday morning the memories of
tan lines and dusty trails seemed a long way off as the horizontal rain over
battered the road as we left the M6 and headed east over the moors.
On reaching our grassy clearing for the weekend, the rain
had stopped and pockets of blue sky were appearing. Time to get the pits built!
Second season in and we’re getting pretty slick at getting
our home built for the weekend, we left Chef Des to get the customary beer can
chickens on the bbq and we went out to look at the trails. Stages 2 and 5 where
in close proximity to the finish area, so we decided to look at these first.
Stage 2 used the top section of stage 1 from last year so we
spent more time scoping out lines on the bottom half, happy with what we’d seen
it was off to stage 5. This proved to be the same as last year, not a bad
thing, as it’s such a good, fun, fast flowing trail centre shoot. Happy with
what we’d seen it was back to the pits to check on the chicken.
We woke to bright blue skies and big smiles, the weather
from last year was back and for the first race this year it looked like it was
going to stay dry.
After feeding our faces with the Billy Can’s ‘special
breakfast’ we headed out for a full route recce. After the 5 hour monster of a
loop at the previous round in Innerleithen, the Hamsterley route was going to
be more enjoyable. The trails had dried out massively from the day before and
were riding so much faster, particularly noticeable on stages 1 and 2 through
the wooded sections.
Stage 3 again caused the greatest chin scratching moments of
the Saturday sighting lap, the middle section between the two fire roads had a
variety of line choices coming into a rocky, rooted, steepish left hander. A
wooden stake conveniently placed in the middle of the trail added to the list
of obstacles to negotiate. After a few practice runs, some were happy with
their line choices, others wanted more runs. Time to split up.
Stage 4 was again very similar to last year, so a quick run
down and a little look at the new taped bottom section was all that was needed,
most time would be gained or lost on the uphill sprint section, it was clear
who was looking forward to this and who wasn’t!
Stage 5 done, it was time to head back to the pits and fuel
up for seeding runs. We all made it down the hill in one piece, some more
pleased with their times than others but everyone had put in a solid run, so it
was time to get our clean on and then feast on the biggest piece of pork known
to man. Those brave enough, recreated the shampoo adverts from the nineties by
showering under the FREEZING waterfall......... once the ice cream headache had
subsided, it felt great to be cleaned up.
Saturday evening saw the usual mix of Des feeding the entire
field, Russ continuing to subject us to his ipod playlist whilst we burnt huge
quantities of logs in the fire pit........always a good end to a day’s riding.
Sunday dawned once again too blue sky and wall to wall
sunshine, the trails had dried out even more, making the stages even faster and
more enjoyable than yesterday’s practice.
Cheri and Nic headed off to battle the stages first,
followed soon after by the old guard of Ross and Russ. Dave, Rick and Ian where
next to follow with young gun and guest rider for the weekend Ryan heading out
As predicted the stages where running super fast, with even
the sections tucked deep into the dense woodland drying out fast.
Getting off to a good start is always a priority, calming
any nerves and settling into the days racing puts your focus where it needs to
be and everyone managed to put a cleanish run together through the root
infested andtwisty, tight lines of
The sun was well and truly out now, making the rain, snow
and biting cold of the previous rounds a distant memory. Everyone’s spirits
were up and the friendly banter amongst competitors was flowing, the day was
turning out to be a real good one, epitomising everything that is great about
Gravity Enduro racing and UK series.
Stages 2 through to 5 followed suit, pinning the stages
whilst riding, walking and chewing the fat with other riders during
transitions. We all had tales to tell from our stages, from getting chased by
loose dogs on course to close encounters with trees, through to thoughts of
taking up extreme knitting and too numerous if’s buts and maybes to mention.
Before you know it you’re tearing into the finish area to the dulcet tones of
Mr Parr after a great days racing.
Again we all placed solid race results with Cheri just
missing out on the podium with a great 4th in Elite Women whilst Nic
bagged herself a creditable 8th in the closely contested women’s
Us boys also placed well with Dave again getting inside the
top ten with a solid 8th followed by Rick in 16th and
Sidey in 54th, good solid riding in the huge category of Masters.
The old boys of Russ and Ross duelled it out in the Vets
cat, with Russ just coming out on top with a great days riding to finish 14th
with Ross just two places back in 16th and with only 9 seconds
separating them over 6 stages and just over 2 hours of timed racing.
Faster rider of the weekend though came from Twelve50 guest star
Ryan Dutton, after constantly fretting and worrying about how much quicker he
could have gone, Ryan grabbed a brilliant 5th place in Seniors,
posting a time quicker than some of the Elite Men.
............however on this occasion the day was most
certainly not over yet!
Des, Cheri, Nic, Ross and Russ headed part way back up Stage
5 to cheer on the remaining riders still racing, We found ourselves a great
spot on the outside of a raised berm and set about cheering on every remaining
rider to come past......Things quickly developed though when a marshal who
happened to have a rider list, provided us with the names of the riders as they
approached. A very bespoke and individual shout of encouragement ensued for
every rider that clearly surprised some when they momentarily turned their gaze
to us rather than the exit to the berm. With a supporting orchestra of air
horns and mini trumpetsthe noise was
starting to attract more followers, as the crowd grew we added in the
obligatory Mexican wave, which morphed into choreographed arm pointing, ground
slapping and ultimately Gangnam Style! ........By this we had recruited about
60 more supports and Twelve50 rent-a-crowd was in full swing, even the dogs
were joining in.
Last down the hill were the Elites who all got the same
level of crowd support, even though voices at this point where starting to
suffer. Neil Donoghue, series leader and
winner of this round gave us a big thumb up in the finish area for the support.
It brought to an end what was a great weekend, probably the best so far from
the UKGE series, all that was left was to strip down the pits, congratulated
the podium places and make the trek home, reliving tales from stages and the
now legendary crowd participation.
It's all go this week...... the new Cube Acid 2012 Model has just landed in Black/White colours, looks very nice again! And priced at £769, with a nice spec increase..... another excellent value bike!!
This years bike see's an upgrade on the old Dart fork to a nice RockShox Recon Silver with remote lockout.
It's that exciting time of year again when we start getting to see 2013 bikes, and we've already got some of the new Cube hardtails in stock.
We currently have:-
Cube Aim in Black/White
Cube Aim Disc in Grey/Red - Click to view
Cube Analog in Grey/White - Click to view
Cube Attention Grey/Green - Click to view
Lets just say, great job again from Cube. Prices remain the same and the spec is as good as last year (And they look even better!)
What are you waiting for, check them out in the web shop or call in to see us in the shop!!
Here's a few pictures to get you going for now......