Twelve50 Bikes Race Team: Final Round UK Gravity Enduro at Dyfi..... Race Report
Round 5. Grisedale Forest, Lake District
The curtain falls on another spectacular season of enduro racing. The fifth and final round of the UK Gravity Enduro series took place on the weekend of the 6th and 7th of September. It might have been a combination of the weather, end of season emotions running high, over consumption of alcohol or just straight up rad trails but round five seemed the best of the year to me. Read on to find out what went down.
The venue was untested at any previous UK Gravity Enduro but didn’t disappoint. Located at the Forestry Centre at Grisedale, we had a handful of facilities on offer, including clean toilets that meant the portaloo gauntlet didn’t have to be run with a hangover on Monday morning. The five stages we were treated to had been prepared by a grand old bunch of volunteers in the weeks leading up to the event. Fine weather most of the weekend meant the newest additions to the trail network held strong and didn’t turn in to a mud and rut fest.
Running in order, stage one started with a good sprint and small climb, accompanied by a trailside ditch that needed to be avoided at all costs. Running in to loose steeps, it ended with another sprint into the finish field. Stage two had never been raced before. It started in the woods, featured a compression through a stream with a tricky entrance and exit and finished lake side at Coniston. The transition around to stage three was the longest but most scenic of the weekend. A good 40 minute pedal with an awesome toilet break opportunity with a view. The top half of stage three utilized a footpath that could only be practiced from Saturday morning once an official closure was in place. Come race day it had been taped nice and wide, just as everyone hoped, leaving plenty of line choice over the rocks, roots and ruts. More than a few came a-cropper on the rock drops and chutes, leaving flats that ruined any hope of a decent result. Stage four was back on the same side of the woods as stage two and featured similar terrain with plenty of loam, tight trees and roots. The general consensus seemed to be that stages two and four were the best on offer. Stage four just edged it for me with a wicked set of greasy corners and an s-bend amongst the deciduous trees in the lower half of the course. Landing back at Coniston water you trekked back around the same transition to the start of stage five. Emerging through a short, dark section of tight trees in to a felled, barren section of the hill, you crossed a fire road and entered the trail center surfaced black run. Over the jumps, around the berms, sprint along the fire road and in to the last short section of woods. This provided the spectators spot of choice as the trail crossed a small stream and offered more than its share of carnage, before riders entered the finish field for the last time this year.
TEAM Q&A Session
JD: Josh Dodd
DR: Desmond ‘Tutu’ Ryan, Team Chef
DR: Michelin Star (2)
YEARS RIDING/ COOKING
JD: 12 Years riding, probably 9 years cooking
DR: Riding – once with Russ, until he broke my shoulder. 20 years cooking.
BEST PARTY TRICK
JD: The Helicopter
DR: Having four kidneys
WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER BE, A BEE OR A WASP?
GAS OR CHARCOAL?
DR: Gotta be charcoal
RACING LINE OR PLAY IT SAFE?
JD: Play it safe
DR: Play it safe (refer to previous answer re shoulder)
ARE SKIDS FOR KIDS?
JD: No. They’re for everyone. Universal.
DR: Yes. Skids as in pants?
WHAT IS THE MOST INFLUENCIAL BOOK YOU’VE EVER READ?
JD: The Grapes Of Wrath. A story about piles.
DR: Jaime Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals.
MAD SKILLS OR FITNESS?
DR: As you can see, my body is a temple.
WHAT WOULD WIN IN A FIGHT BETWEEN A VAMPIRE BADGER AND A WEREDOLPHIN?
JD: Vampire badger. Bloodsucker innit.
DR: This is why I’m retiring from the Enduro scene.
One last night around the fire pit and being treated to Des’ cooking lead us prepped and ready for race day. The weather was kind and the stages were practiced. For all except Al who, still recovering from illness, rested, raced blind and came 4th on stage two and 3rd on stage four. Sadly, the overall for the day was not to be and a puncture put him right out of contention. Our elite lady Cheri came 7th with our lady Nicole coming 3rd to round out an outstanding year, finishing 2nd overall. Elites next year for you! Our veterans Ross and Russ had mixed fortunes. Russ achieving 37th and Ross bowing out with a puncture. Rick surprised himself with a 12th, only two places behind Mr Read in the same category. Leaving me (Josh) to cap the team’s results with 34th.
With some of us retiring from racing and others considering a change of scene, Twelve50 Bikes Race Team might not look quite the same for 2015, but it will still have a presence throughout next season.
One things for certain though, and that’s how much fun the 2014 UKGE season has been. Steve, Charlie and their crew have stepped up to the plate with the trails and Des has plated up probably the best food we’ve eaten all year. Russ and Ross have faithfully sorted the pits and there’s too many other people who’ve each done their bit, big or small, to make the racing and the team happen. Hopefully you know who you are.
I think I speak for everyone from Team Twelve50 in thanking Matt and Rick for their support. Get yourselves down to Twelve50 Bikes. They don’t just do racing, barbeques and brightly coloured team kit. They sell sexy bikes at silly cheap prices with all the support you could need to boot!
|Nikki in 2nd place for the overall series...