Knox Oryx Gloves
Been using the Knox Oryx gloves for a while now and they are the most protective gloves I have seen. Whether it's clipping a pole in a race run or hitting tree/ floor in a crash there is very good protection on the knuckles without any restriction and the sps system not only helps to hold your hand on the bars they also protect your palm when you inevitably put your hand forward to protect yourself in a crash.
UK Elite DH & BDH Racer.
BDS Rd4 Caersws
The track at Caersws was similar to last years track with a differant steeper section at the bottom. It was really good fun in the dry, but with it being so hard pack, when it rained it turned like ice, probably the slippyest track i have ridden. The track dried really quickly and on the dry runs i felt really good, but after the random showers it was hard to ride some sections hard. An Hour before race runs we had torrential rain for about half an hour, so i put dirty dans on and mud guards and went for my run, the track was pretty much a river by now, but i thought it was more fun to ride in the propper wet than it was half and half. I nearly went down on the second left after losing the back and insided a turn too much after the tunnel, leaving me with no speed on the exit of the turn, i finished 25th, about 4s off where i would have been happy with, but i feel like i am riding well and i am due a goo BDS result.
National Champs 2012, Moelfre Hall
This weekend was back to Moelfre Hall in north Wales and the weather was on form as it usually is in Moelfre which gave us one of the first dry races of the season, the track had a couple of new features but was its usual fast open and by race day effected by the wind. I really enjoyed the track on saturday getting used to how fast the track was and i felt really good on the bike. I got seven runs in and i was happy with my lines.
On sunday i finished 44th, not the best result but less than 1 sec off a top 30 and 5s off where i would have been happy with, things are feeling better and i look forward to the yorkshire champs next weekend.
NDH Yorkshire Champs Alwinton
The track this weekend was short, steep and technical and it is one of my favourite tracks, there were a few changes from the usual track with a new muddy shoot which got pretty boggy. I felt the best i have all year on the bike and i had 7 runs on saturdayand despite the rain it was awesome.
Sunday morning i got another 3 runs in before the race runs. I finished 3rd, really happy to get a podium and happy that i am closer to the pace now as i was 5s off the winner. Caersws BDS is the next race.
Glencoe, BDS Rd3.
Last weekend was the third round of the British Downhill Series, the track was taped wider in sections than i have seen it here and it is well down to rock over 90 percent of the track. The track was really rough and i struggled over the weekend, i was enjoying riding but i didn't feel too well and struggled to put a good run together when it mattered, I felt like i rode well in sections again over the weekend but rode too cautious in some sections in my run and made too many mistakes.
Really looking forward to Moelfre Hall for the National Champs on the 21st-22nd.
North West Series, North West Champs.
This weekend started off like every other weekend i can remember racing this year, rain and lots of it. The track at farmer Johns is pretty flat up top so when riding with spike tyres on it makes it pretty hard work and slow rolling, it rained on and off all weekend but managed to hold off for a few hours before the race runs on Sunday. The first run i had a dirty dan on the front and a muddy mary tyre on the back, i had a clean run which was pretty steady so i was happy with it for the first run nowing i could go a good bit quicker.
For the second run i took a bit of a gamble as the track was drying quickly, i put on a pair of muddy marys. It paid off, as the top of the track was dry and i had a lot more rolling speed and i got through the first bit of the woods clean, which was the hardest bit of the track so i only had the last handful of turns to go, but i ran wide on a turn and went to the side of one of the wooden sections and stopped dead.
My first run was quick enough to leave me second in Elite, which left me 2nd in the series and i was the fastest Elite rider from the North West and became the North West Champion.
Next up is the BDS at Glencoe.
Rd3 Pearce Cycles series, Bringewood.
On saturday, we had a dry track but there was very low cloud all day and looked like it could rain at any point, the track flowed really well with some nice jumps and fast rooty sections. I felt really good on the bike and the track was riding really well. Early Saturday night it started to rain and it just drizzeled continuously from then on. On sunday the track was still really good fun but was really slick in places, after the first runs there was alot of water on the track and the ruts were getting bigger, i had an ok top section but missed a couple of lines in the bottom woods and struggled to see for the bottom half of the track. After looking at the times i felt i was quick enough to get on the podium after the second runs. I put more tear offs on and more mud guards to guarantee being able to see on my second run. I had been told that the track had deteriorated alot between the two runs but i still thought i could go quicker, until i was a few turns into the run and my pedals touched the floor whilst rattling through a very deep rut, the track was ruined, the rutts were huge and i couldn't go quicker. I finished 7th, not a great result, but happy that i am ridng alot faster, i just need to put it together in a run.
IXS Rd3 Innerliethen
From checking the forecast earlyer in the week i realised it was going to be a wet race, but just how wet it was, was ridiculous, it rained persistantly from when i arrived on friday morning until my first practice run on sunday morning. The track was awesome, fast and rooty with some good features, some awesome turns and by sunday it was really rough, but ithe the Schwalbe dirty dans on there was loads of grip, the Foes hydro felt awesome all weekend and i didnt change my set up from the last wet race at Bringewood.
After three practice runs on Friday and 5 on Saturday it was time for seeding and i was absolutely loving riding despite all my KNOX kit bein absolutely plastered in mud. I slid out on some roots going into and open really sloppy section and spun 180, so i grabbed a tear off and carried on, i seeded 36th with a couple of other stalls in turns i was happy knowing i could go quicker and felt i could maybe push into the top 15.
After changing a couple of lines and having another 3 practice runs on Sunday morning i prepared for my race run, i had a set of laminate team offs on so i could pull as many as 7 tear offs if need be. I set off out of the start pedaling as i hard as i could and carried good speed throught the top secion of track and through the tunnel into the next tree section, as i went into the next open section, i went for a tear off, unfortunately i pulled all seven tear offs and pulled my goggles halfway around my helmet and left myself with my right eye ball being scratched by the foam from my goggles, so i spent the next minute or so violently shaking my head to try and shift my goggles back in my helmet whildt trying to carry as much speed as i could through the middle section, i felt a bit dodgey sending the wooden step do only being able to see out of my left eye, once i got to the bus stop section i managed to take my hand off and push my goggles back to where they should have been. I finished 36th.
Not happy with the result but very happy with how i am riding, from looking at the times i feel i was capable of getting a top 20. Now to get everything washed and ready for the North West Champs this weekend.
I had a helmet cam run to post too but after 25s the lense is caked in mud and you can't see anything!
Rd 2 North West series, Stockport, Farmer Johns
After a few disappointing results to start the season i have spent a lot of time on the bike trying to get my set up correct and get used to the new bike so i decided it would be good to get another race in before the BDS at Fort William. The race was a push up event on a short track which was pedally and pretty tame but it was a good weekend on the bike, it was dry and sunny and i feel some of the changes i have made have made a step in the rite direction. With a couple of new things on there way this week i will be exactly where i want to be going into the 2nd rd of the BDS. I finished 2nd at the weekend but almost 4s off the fastest time of the day i am still off the pace. I look forward to Fort William this weekend where it will see the biggest Elite turn out in a national downhill event probably ever in the world.
BDS Rd 1 Combe Sydnham
Just back from another good weekend racing. This weekend was all the way down south in somerset, but the guys from Balfa were there in the pits to keep me rite.
The track at combe was made up of several bus stops, some really nice turns and a few good jumps. The track was fairly pedaly and really good fun to ride.
Saturday was pretty wet and i started the day by fitting a softer spring on the Elka which i felt made a big differance in the turns and on jumps. I feel i have got the bike set up correctly now, but despite this i was towards the back of the Elite class in the final run, about 10s down from where i need to be. I was 6th fastest through the speed trap which was in the field after a pedaly section so i am happy with the fitness and power i have i think i just need to spend more time on the bike to increase my cornering speed.
I have a few weeks until my next race, so i will be doing everything i can to find the time i need to step up.
Norther Downhill Rd1 2012 Alwinton
The track at Alwinton is probably the most demanding track i will race this year and from when it was origionaly used it is now cut in nicely and is getting really rough now. I spent 3 days there this weekend and feel like i am getting to grips with the bike and feel like i am riding really well but unfortunately in the really muddy and challenging conditions i couldn't put a decent run together, blowing out of lines and almost stopping in the thick gloopy mud that was to either side of the line. This was my first face on spd pedals and considering how steep and tech the track was and how muddy and difficult it became i felt comfortable riding them. I think it was a really good weekend and i managed to get a lot of time on the bike and i am happy with how i am riding as i think i had the speed to be on the podium, i just need to keep it together when it counts. Combe Sydnham next weekend for the first round of the BDS, really looking forward to racing the first national of the season.
2012 Pre Season
Its been very busy since my last post and the last race of 2011, i've spent a lot of time sending out emails trying to get support together to race in 2012 and put together a structured training program.
As a result of my self promotion i am now on board a custom Foes Hydro for 2012 with team sponsors Elka, Acros, Kodex, Magura, and Schwalbe on the Balfa Foes UK but importantly with some compromise from Geoff and Jamie i was able to be on the Foes Balfa Uk and have KNOX as a sponsor not just for myself but for the whole team with the new 2012 MTB range, things are looking good.
i have been training 5/6 a week for the last 15 weeks and after picking the bike up at the weekend i am looking forward to spending time on the bike getting things dialled in and ready for the first round of the Northern Downhill Series at Alwinton on the 8th of April.
I have dropped 5 kg from this time last year and i am stonger than i have ever been in the gym, the next 3 weeks will be the final phase of my training program and i will be spending as much time on the bike as possible.
Moelfre English Champs
Had a pretty manic week last week after damaging my bike and trying to make sure i had something sorted for this weekend so my blog is a little late.
Moelfre seems to get better everytime i race there, very fast, very rough and this time a decent size jump with a very shady kicker. Suprisingly for october the weather was very nice, leaving the track nice and dusty.
Despite borrowing a bike (thanks to Clive at no bull racing) i finished 6th 3s off the winner, i really wanted the English Champs title but despite the the problems managed to salvage something from the weekend.
Northern Downhill Final, Hamsterley
I have just landed back from Hamsterley, my final race of the year. After a bit of a panic trying to arrange bikes for this weekend, Adam Pagett helped me out by letting me use his Yeti for the weekend.
Thanks to Stu Jenkinson i managed to get 13 runs in Saturday which definately helped me get used to the bike and after Jamie Johnson let me use his firm fork spring in the i felt like i was riding pretty well.
This morning i got three practice runs in and after a little rain the track was a bit greasy, but still a lot of fun.After the first run i was sat third but new i could make up a little time. I took the win after the second run with the top 3 Experts on the same second.
Very happy that i took the win today, making it 6 wins out of 6 rounds, taking the series win and moving myself up to 1st place in the Expert British Rankings. Very happy that i will be moving up in Elite catagory for next year. Thanks to everyone who has helped me this year.
Now its time for a bit of a rest whilst i try and secure enough support to compete next year, then start on my winter training plan.
BDS Final, Caersws.
This weekend was the final round of the BDS at Caersws. I managed to get set up and walk the track, just before it got dark, the track was one i hadn't ridden before but the track looked good, real fast and open with some awesome turns.
On Saturday it was overcast but stayed dry, the track was fast and dust and was cutting up really well by the end of the day there were a few turns getting blown out but they were repaired just after practice. I got ten runs in on Saturday and really enjoyed riding the track.
Sunday morning i got another 2 practice runs in and as i was getting sorted to go up for my seeding run i had to have an emergency pack up of the KNOX easyup and at my kit as the wind picked up and i didn't want anything geting damaged. As i got to the top for my seeding run, the rain started, we were all stood at the top of the hill under the timing easy up with dry tires, no nud guards or tear offs, it was terrential for about half an hour. My seeding run was crazy riding down what was now a muddy river. As soon as i got down i got into dry gear, put spikes, mud guards and tear offs on ready for my race run, the rain stopped so it gave time to pack up propperly. I seeded 10th but didn't really take much from it because of the conditions.
In my race run the track was dry in sections, hard pack greasy in others and i didn't feel like i had a very good and fely i wasn't rolling quickly. In hindsight i think i should have gone with cut spikes, but despite that and taking a random line after the tunnel that i hadn't hit all weekend. I finished 6th which i am happy with but i'm a bit annoyed i have the speed to be on the podium and just missed out on my first national podium.
Only 2 races left this year now, Moelfre next weekend, hopefully there won't be as much wind there.
NDH rd5 Alwinton
Round 5 of the Northern downhill series returned to Alwinton this weekend, the track had been extended up top with and new stump section.
Saturday started off with a little drizzle and the track was pretty muddy, but slowly dried out every run, I got 7 runs in and felt good, I really enjoy riding this track and it git better all weekend as it cut in and became very rutted and rough.
After 2 practice runs on Sunday morning it was time for the first of two race runs. I made a couple of mistakes in my first run, just over cooking a couple of sections leading to some good one footed action and a couple of stalls in tight turns. But I came down 1st in expert and felt I could go quicker.
After a bike wash and a bit of food it was time for run 2, I pushed as hard as I could up top on the flat pedaly section, and hit the entrance to the first woods quick but ended up with. A foot off and out of control just before coming into the first 2 steep turns that was it for my 2nd run I carried on like this most of the way down, just pushed a bit too hard and ended up losing time.
Very happy to take the expert win, making it 5 out of 5 with 1 round to go, but a bit annoyed I couldn't hold it together a get closer to the 2 fastest riders.
Overall another awesome weekend. BDS final at Caersws in 2 weeks is my next race.
MIJ Welsh Champs, Caersws
This weekend was the final round of the North Wales Series which incorporated the Welsh Champs. Over Friday night there was a good bit of rain which meant a greasy start to the day but the track dried out quickly as it was warm and windy in between the light showers. I managed to get plenty of practice in on Saturday and the track was fast and started to get loose and broken up in some of the turns.
Sunday night saw even more rain but again the track dried quickly. Just as we were going up for the first race run it rained heavily which turned the hard pack track into a pure greasy muddy nightmare to make it better I had dry tires on, it was a battle to get down the track in these conditions, but I managed to get down and I was leading expert which I was very happy with as some of the other riders had wet tires on.
Again the track dried quickly for the second runs and I kept the drys on which seemed like a gamble at the time but as I got into my run I realised it was the correct choice as the track was bone dry and went 15s quicker than the first run. I finished 3rd, would have loved to have taken the win but happy to take another podium. 2 weeks until Fort William now for the final BDS round.
Northern Downhill Series Rd 4 Ramsgill, yorkshire champs.
This weekend was the 4th round of the Northern Downhill Series and was held at Ramsgill on a totally fresh coarse which was a complete contrast to the forested steeper tracks in the series. This track was off camper turns, no berms and you had to be on the pedals and carry your speed.
I was the first rider down bother days and managed to get 15 runs in over the weekend which I was happy to get another good weekend of time on the bike with only 3 weeks until the final BDS round at Fort William.
After ending Saturday with a bone dry run on minion DHF, it rained most of Saturday night so I put the spikes on for the first run. After 3 practice runs the track was drying very quickly so I put minions on again, this was a big mistake, I was all over the place and ended up 6 place after the first race run. As the dark clouds came over I thought I had thrown it away with a bad decision.
Luckily it stayed dry and with the spikes back on I went over 4 seconds quicker to make it 4 out of 4 NDH wins and took the fastest time of the day. Very happy with the result Caersws next weekend for the Welsh Champs.
National Champs 2011, Llangollen
This weekend saw the biggest national race of the year take place at Llangollen. The weekend started with a very fresh muddy top section of track with a fairly dry lower section. The top woods were real steep and tech but so good to ride, there was a new middle section which ended up riding really well and the lower section was as we raced at the Bds round here 3 weeks ago. I set of fairly chilled out and built up speed over the coarse of the day on Saturday. I was happy with where I needed to be and enjoyed riding, the coarse got dryer and faster all day.
I got my usual 2 runs in before seeding but had a bad run in seeding messing up the first inside line if the drop and looking a lot of time, thankfully I held it together for my race run and finished 29th senior and 8th expert which is my best National champs result to date.
Scottish Champs, Killin, Day one.
Just sat in the tent after a day pushing up the hill and thought I'd update my blog as for once at a race I have both battery and signal. The track is in a really nice location, looking over a loch, it was prity much just grass this morning, but has cut into a really rough, rutted mud fest with some technical little rock sections. Just got back from walking the track and it has dried a lot since my last practice run, would be good on dry tires in some places but then its 6 inches of mud in others. If it doesn't rain tonight it might be time to take a risk with the drys in the morning.
Scratchmere Scar, NDH Rd3
Just back from an awesome, dry, dusty, sunny day at scratchmere had a good day yesterday I managed to get 9 runs in, although it is a short track, it is so fun to riden and I found myself wondering why I don't get myself over there more often as its only 45 mins away from home and I haven't ride here since the last time the NDH here. The track was dusty and loose with some tight turns and a flat out section towards the bottom. I got 4 runs in this morning and felt good and the track was getting rougher. In my first race run I did a 1.09 and had a good run but felt I had carried more speed along some of the flat sections in practice and as I was just over a second off the fastest time of the day I was confident I could take the fastest time of the day. I went as hard as I could in the second run, but it turned out a little too hard I got off line on a lot of the track and had 2 massive moments, I ended up 3 seconds slower than my first run. I took the expert win by over 2s but was 2s off the fastest time of the day. Happy to make it 3 wins out of 3 in the Northern series.
BDS Rd4 Llangollen
This weekend i was down in Llangollen and after a poor run, a snapped chain and a canceled race i was keen to get a result in the 2011 BDS. Saturday was wet and with full spiked on i felt the track was at its best saturday morning when it was wet, i managed to get 7 runs in on saturday and changed to dry tires after 3 runs as the track was drying quickly.
I did 2 runs on sunday morning before my seeding run and the track was almost dry.
I took my seeding run as a race run to see how hard i could push the turns i had a couple of big moments, lost a bit of time and held back a little on the sprint in the field to the finish. I seeded 8th 1.9s off the fastest expert and i was happy i could take some time out of my run.
The race runs were around 45 mins later than planned so we were all at the top of the hill for a while. I pedaled as much as i could along the top section, in between the bus stops and hit the first few corners really well and felt good, but the track was dusty and the turns were blown out, i washed out wide on a couple of turns, after the drop in the middle of the track the left hand berm was worn badly, it fired me out more to the right than in practice and i squared the next right off, i got the bottom of the track as i did in practice and gave everything in the last sprint into finish.
I finished 2.8s off the fastest expert which is a lot closer than i was here last year, but i wa sgutted to finish in 15th when i felt i was capable of getting my first BDS podium. Back training tonight, after resting yesterday, i will be racing at Scratchmere this weekend, followed by the Scottish Champs at Killin, then it will be 2 weeks until we return to Llangollen for the biggest British race of the year, the national champs.
Glencoe BDS Rd3, CANCELED
Saturday was terrible weather, gale force winds and torential rain, once on track it wasn't too bad and I enjoyed riding, the track was very rocky and challenging. I managed to get four runs in between the weather and the track closures which wasn't too bad after speaking to a few people realised most people had done between 0 and 2 runs. After an emergency pack up of the pit on Saturday due to random gusts we decided not to risk it on Sunday as the weather was deteriorating. I managed to make myself get up the hill and get two runs in, ready for seeding, after washing my bike I was informed the race had been canceled, and the car park dispersed rapidly. A massively disappointing weekend after having such a good month building up to it, would really have liked to be traveling north tor Fort William to race the world cup but I'm back home, getting sorted for the next race.
Northern Downhill Rd2 Kidland
This weekend was Rd 2 of the Northern Downhill series, this saw probably the biggest turn out of Elite/Expert riders at a Northern round with 3 Elites and 6 Experts with an Elite rider from South Africa stopping off on his way to the Fort William world cup.
Saturday was dry and the new changes the boys had made to the track were riding very well and it was so fun to ride. I got 8 runs in on the saturday and really anjoyed it, after three hard weeks i had an early night, i was in bed for 7.30pm.
It rained hard on saturday night but because there was a lot of rock in the track and it was fairly well covered i stayed with the dry tires. It rained on and off all day and was very windy, so the track dried out as the day went on.
In the first run i had a couple of big moments with feet off the pedals on one leeving me very close to a tree, but i gladly held it. after the first runs i was the fastest time of the day by a very small margin but i knew icould go a little quicker.
Second run i got the bits i messed up in the first run nice and clean but over cooked 2 corners and stalled against a tree on my shoulder on the first mistake then with my front wheel on a tree on the second, i managed to go slightly quicker but Peter Williams managed to go quicker taking the fastest time of the day from me by 1.9s. Happy i won my catagory by over 4.5s and that i was so close to getting the fastest time of the day, but wish i could have had a cleaner run.
Very happy with how my training is going and i am consistantly progressing.
Glencoe next weekend for the 3rd round of the BDS, I CAN'T WAIT!
Alwinton NDH Rd1
This weekend was the first round of the Northern Downhill series, i turned up on Saturday and rode a good few runs in the sun on the steep tech track, it started to get rougher as the day went on and some big rocks were getting dragged up but it was getting faster and was really fun to ride.
Saturday night threw some rain down leaving the first runs in the morning fairly greasy but i seemed to be getting more grip in the turns so i kept the dry tires on and it gradually dried out all day sunday until it was back to how it was on saturday.
The NDH races are the same format as the SDA races and have 2 race runs, so for the first race run i made sure it was a clean solid run and was happy i was leading experts by about 8s which meant i could go for it in the second run.
Second run i felt quicker everywhere but then ran wide on a turn before a little drop which meant i got sucked into 4 inches of mud and nearly got pulled over the bars doing a nice one footer over the drop. I would have liked to have gone under 2 minutes so i was closer to the fastest time of the day but i am happy to win Experts by a good margin and i'm the training is working. I have a good period of trainiing before the next race so i will hopefully progress further in time for the next BDS at Glencoe.
Ae Forest SDA Rd1
After a last minute descision to race at Ae as i wanted to see how my training was progressing, i traveled up to Dumfries on the Saturday morning. The track was wet on the first run as i was one of the first riders down, but it soon dried out and became faster and faster as the day went on. towards the end of the day the new turms at the bottom became unpredictable and started getting blown out. After traveling home to have a good nights sleep in my own bed instead of the tent, i returned sunday morning, got two runs on the track which was a little greasyer than on saturday, but was still riding very well. In my first race run i felt quick on the top section and didn't want to bin it on the lower corners, so i backed off slightly and did a 2.13 and felt i could go sub 10 and was happy i had a time to go from. The second run i went as hard as i could, i made a few more mistakes than in my first run but went a second quicker leaving me with 5th place, 1.6s off the win. I'm happy with how much i have progressed since the first round of the BDS. Just going to do my strength weight set, next race is this weekend at Alwinton the first round of the Northern series.
BDS rd 2, Moelfe.
A bit of a mixed weekend really had a few mechanical problems, mech, fork lowers and a lot of wheels getting rattled because of the track being so fast. I wasn't really enjoying practice Saturday as the wind made the jumps very unpredictable, but I got more and more into it and felt good by the end of the day. Sunday I got 2 runs in before seeding, in my seeding run I had a reasonable run just kept stopping my self from peddling too hard so I was as strong as possible for the final, I was 17th after seeding 5s back and knew i had more in the tank I just hoped it was enough. Unfortunately on the first straight my chain snapped and got tangled in my mech when and was banging against my chain and I had to stop to sort it, then just roll down to the finish. A disappointing end to an awesome summer weekend. Alwinton in 2 weeks.
Good week of training.
After a disapointing 1st round of the BDS, i needed to do some work before rd2 at Moelfre. This all started by getting the van unloaded Monday night and getting everything cleaned repaired and ready to go again, by about Thursday it was all just about back to normal. Tuesday night i had a good power weight session, leaving me aching for two days, but managed to get up to Whinlatter on Wednesday and Thursday evening. After work friday i rested in preperation for a weekend on the Downhill bike, just back from the best day i've had in ages on the bike and got everything ready for an early start to get on the uplift over at Alwinton, can't wait, then i'll be back in the gym monday night adn as the clocks are going forward i'll be on the downhill bike after work most of the week.
Check out this new video by Sam Oakes that we did a couple of weeks ago.
BDS Round one Nant Gwertheryn.
Late last night I got back from the first round of the BDS. Saturday was nice and dry and had had 7 really good runs down the track and felt quite good. Saturday night the weather change bringing wind and rain which resulted in some emergency easy up pack up. I tried to put it back up Sunday morning but it was still too windy and just resulted in a broken easyup. I had two practice runs Sunday morning, but felt drained and a bit flu'y. I got up the hill early for seeding to get properly but after 45 mins found out seeding was canceled due to an injured rider on track. I returned to the bottom of the hill for food and to try and keep warm.
My race run was at 4.25, I felt good off the start and few the first few tues but after the first boggy pedal I felt weak and made a few small mistakes getting off line. Then into the lower section I felt weak when sprinting. I finished 14th, very disappointed with the result but I don't think it was helped with the lack of sleep and not feeling too great but I've also learned I need to put a lot of work in over the next three weeks to get my fitness back to where it should be for round 2 at Moelfre Hall.
Just uploaded a shot from Sunday, Charles, Sam Makes and I were out for 14 hours shooting using every minute of sunlight, the video is being edited at the moment. Can't wait to see it, what a day.
Had a very good weekend, I picked the new jerseys up from being printed printed at ast signs. Then I went and did a load if full runs at setmurthy on the DH bike.
This morning I got up at 3.30 and made my way to keswick we did a lot of filming up Skiddaw then on to a downhill track I have built, then on to seascales pump track. There will be a full report, with video and pictures very soon.
Keilder mass start, Final.
Starting from why seemed like a other town to the boys in front was a bit dishartening, but I gave it everything off the line and passed a few on the Sprint, then once we were on the loose flat out fire road a managed to pass a few more before getting caught behind a chain of 5 riders being held up by one guy up ahead managed to get by him and one or two more on the climb. Once back into the singletrack I managed to get up the inside of a rider with a bit of a front wheel to front wheel tire buzz, I gave all I had to try and catch the riders up ahead but that was it, finish line. I'd managed to get up to 12th passing about 16 riders good weekend, looking forward to the BDS!
Kielder mass start race
Had a good days riding today over at kielder forest, pretty tough course, a bit annoyed I was on the back row in my heat race, I managed to get up into 8 position despite being stuck behind numerous people on the singletrack sections, I made the A final but unfortunately I will be starting on the 8th row so I will have a lot to do.
Good night ride.
I had an awesome night ride on the Trek remedy KMB are loaning me for the weekend I did all three loops 27km in total. I can't wait to race the first BDS I just over two weeks!
February, has been a good month, had a lot of good riding, plenty of spinning sesions and towards the end of the month it started showing signs of spring and the DH track I practice on got some tlc. Also I got some awesome news this week, thanks to Knox I will be competing again this year and I am very exited as this weekend will be my first ever mass start downhill race, thanks to KMB for the loan of the Trek remedy. Then two weeks later its the first British Downhill Series race of the year in north Wales. Just a few things to organise this week to make sure everything is perfect for the start of the season. Go Time!
The light is staying on longer everyday, summer is in sight and I can't wait to ride some fast dusty races. I ran a half marathon last night and my legs are heavy, this spinning session isn't going to be fun, hopefully be worth it though.
Another good week of training.
A good week of training again this week three good spinning sessions, two 27km night rides and a good weights session in Teds gym followed by another hard spin. Feeling good, can't wait to get on some uplift's and shred the DH bike!
First week of January
A good end to the first week of 2011. Managed to get 4 night ride's in two good spinning sessions and a good weight session all after work, finished the week off with some more xc and some good muddy downhill. Thankfully I was fully kitted out in cold killers and 3dry so I was toasty warm for all the rides. Managed to get some good shots too hopefully be able to post them soon.
First 2011 DH ride
Had my first day on the downhill bike in 2011 and it was dry, had a good few weeks off the DH bike just hardtail and training for a bit of a change and it felt good to get out on the DH bike. Next few months should be good, I can't wait to race again.
I managed to get my van running properly again, so today I got up and went straight to whinlatter with Phil Ashbridge, there's a lot of ice up there at the moment but It was still a good lap. Finished the day off with a night session at the pump track which was pretty cool, should have pics from the pump track soon.
Last Saturday I wet for a bit of a hike up a rocky trail down the bottom of borrowdale, the trail was very rough in sections and was really good in sections but on the whole maybe a route for the hardtail if I decide to ride it again, check out the pics in the gallery.
Just finished an awesome MOTO session at Nethertown, thanks to Phil Ashbridge for sharing his Suzuki, track was riding mint, got nicely cut up and ended up pretty rough, good bit of training.
The Bike is Back.
Had a quiet weekend this weekend, watched plenty of boxing and motorsport and feel good to have had a rest. The DH bike is rebuilt and ready to race again and the hardtail is fixed so both are ready for a hard winter. Just need to get some confirmation for next year to give me the focus for the dark early morning rides. Managed to get a couple of awesome shots from Charles Robertson which I've put in the gallery.
winter road ride
Just back from a 30mile road ride, kept warm from the winter chill by my dry inside t-shirt and bottoms, matched up with my cold killers jacket and gloves.
Five Two Race Team
Just sat at the bottom of the hill with the Five Two DH boys just about to set off to Dent for the 3rd and final venue for the day.
Northern Champs, Kielder.
This weekend was the Northern champs race at Kielder. Then track was the descent of the black trail, which at first was a bit slow going, but after a few runs the track cut in and it was riding quite well, it was still quite hard going to move the DH bike around some of the tight turns. Very happy to come away with the title of Elite/Expert Northern champ.
British Downhill series, Caersws.
After managing to get the afternoon off work i was able to get down to Caersws in time to walk the track, pitch the tent and get some food cooked just before it got dark. It was just freezing through night so it was pretty cold in the tent but it was ok because it meant the track was sun baked and flat out all weekend. I was pretty happy with how i was riding and felt pretty quick. After watching the Nitro circus and a bit of jousting in the tent i got an early night which was broken up by 4 re-inflates of the airbed!
Sunday morning was bright and sunny again and i managed to get a couple of runs in before seeding.
My seeding run went ok and i had a pretty clean runi seeded 6 and i felt i could take the win if i did the same again but put everything in on the pedaly sections.
So i put the tire pressures up a bit and went for it, i messed up on the swich backs nearly going off track over a huge stump which knocked me off my rhythm a bit but felt i got back into it befor i dropped into the field. unfortunately i had my head down pedaling hard and when i looked up i was off the fairway and in the rough and it was dragging big time which left me running with into more rough out of the last turn. I finished 12th on the wrong end of the 1,46 with 6th place being on the sharp and of the 46. dissapointed with the couple of silly mistakes i made and i had another good weekend on the bike, I just hope i will still be racing in 2011!!
Well done to the BDS team!
Helmet cam footage to follow.
kidland, Northern downhill, series final.
Just got back from a good weekend at Kidland forest on an awesome, steep root track and happy to come home with a win by over 5 seconds, can't wait for the final round of the BDS next weekend at Caersws.
English Champs, Caersws.
Just got back from the English Champs in Caersws and it was a good weekend. I arrived there on friday night straight from work and got my tent up which was a bit mission as it was very windy and its a big tent. Saturday morning was pretty chilled out with the uplift starting at 10am, the first 2 runs were dry but after a very heavy shower the track became very slippy and there was people crashing everywhere. Towards the end of the day it dried up fairly well but after practiced it rained again.
Sunday morning was nice and sunny and the track was drying fast. after my second run i realised i had snapped 1st and 2nd gear and my whole cassette was smashed, but thanks to Jenko and John who gave me a cassette i had gears for the race runs. My first run wasn't too bad a couple of corners i lost speed in and i slipped my pedals a few times, once was bad with both feet of when i should have been sprinting for the finish. Marv sorted me out with his spare pedals as my pedals seemed to have lost one too many pins and were useless.
My second run was better and the track was bone dry and there was only one or two sections i could have carried more speed on but i was pretty happy with my run. I finished 5th in Expert and was 1.8 s off becoming English Champ i was 4th english man and just off the Champs Podium.
Had a good weekend and look forward to the BDS round here next month.
Helmet cam run of track at www.liamlittle.com
Irish champs 2010, Rostrevor.
I made it over to Ireland on the ferry with my wife and 2 dags on friday afternoon. I met up with the Wolfe family when I was walking the track, it was good to see them as its been a while.
It was a little strange walking the track as people were riding it. The track looked good it was fast and rough with a few really important flat sections which you really needed to carry a lot of speed onto. I went and got the bike and rode the lower section for a couple of runs.
Saturday morning was nice and dry and I managed to get 5 runs in before seeding, I seeded 16th which wasn't too great but I'd ran straight on in a turn and still wasn't 100% where I was going so I had a good look at the track Saturday night.
Sunday morning I was up nice and early as I needed to get some runs in, I managed 4 before the race run and I was now happy with where I was riding and the speed I was carrying. I had a good top section with just a small mistake in one of the first couple of turns, but I settled I and felt I was riding well, I got to the penultimate fire road which it was pretty much plain sailing after that just needed to get on the pedals early and get the power down, but just before the fire road I clipped a rock with my pedal on the take off of a jump and it threw my over the bars onto the back of my head and back, it was a pretty scary crash and I was very worried about my neck for a couple of minutes. Just got away with a sore colar bone from the helmet digging in and a stiff neck and shoulders, my back was saved by my Knox Aegis spine protector. Pretty gutted and sore just on the ferry home, about to dock in stranrear. Well done to Dan Wolfe 2010 Irish national champ.
BDS rd4 Helmet Cam.
A practice run at Moelfre Hall BDS rd4. from Liam Little on Vimeo.
National Champs, Ae forest.
Just got back from a very wet weekend at Ae forest the track was probably the best i've ridden at Ae and the race ran smoothly, i got nine runs in on the saturday (i'll put a link to a head cam of a practice run when the track was dry as soon as its finished uploading). I felt good all weekend, i felt strong on the bike and i was 10th in the seeding run which i was very happy with as there were alot of world cup regular's incuding Gee, Peaty, Bryceland, and Hart. Unfortunatly in my race run after a good top section i picked up a rear puncture which ended my run as the tire cam off the rim and the inner tube wrapped around my hub. A very dissapointing end to an awesome weekend. Chin up, back into training, focused on the next British Downhill Series round at Moelfre Hall, North Wales in three weeks.
Northern Downhill Series, Alwinton.
This weekend saw the Northern downhill series in its second year venturing to another new venue at Alwinton, which is very close to the track at Kiddland, an already established race track which will be used later this year for round 5 of the Northern downhill series, check out http://www.northerndownhill.co.uk/Northern_Downhill/Home.html
I arrived at Alwinton on Friday night and had a walk up the track, it looked awesome, a few loose turns in the trees straight off the start lump, which then fired you out into a grassy section with two flat out loose grassy turns, then it was into the first steep rocky shoot which had a couple of drops into the two hardest corners on the track which a lot of people struggled with. This was then followed by a series of fast off camber turns with a cool tree trunk/stump hip, a bridge across a gnarly gully before the final flat out shoot into the finish arena.
After a quick rally stage, down to Alwinton behind the Huggy Caddy at warp speed we had a pizza and returned to Chateau Little (the tent) which on Saturday received a severe ass woopin from the gale force winds leaving me with a torn fly sheet and 6 snapped tent poles, Mint!
Saturday morning was perfect weather and the track was flat out and dusty, after the marshals were found, briefed and placed on the hill which even involved CharlesRobertson of MTB-void.co.uk doing a good deed and marshalling as once again a race finding its self short of marshals, I managed to get a few runs in the morning and felt like I had most of the lines dialled in as did a few other riders, to name one Matty Leggett, youth rider was pinning it everywhere, even the soon to be named by Commissar Jones ‘the un-ride able corner’ which the majority of riders where struggling to get around. There was a bit of a delay in the middle of the day due to an unfortunate incident around the bridge over the gully which resulted in the air ambulance being called due to a suspected C3 fracture (which luckily turned out to be muscular damage). This wasn’t helped by the first helicopter to arrive, having to return without the patient because of Hydraulic failure. The on course medics and marshals did a great job of getting him down to the bottom of the track ready for the second Helicopter to arrive. Needless to say practice was extended to get a couple more runs in. After practice we returned to find the ruined tent and spent an hour splinting tent poles with spokes and cable ties and gaffer taping the fly sheet until it was once again water tight.
Saturday night involved a quick drive into Rothbury to Jones’ local for food, pool and even free WIFI which kept Charles smiling.
Sunday morning was a lot greyer than Saturday and all the talk of rain seemed to be materializing. We quickly packed the tent up and went over to the track. Just as the uplift started the rain followed suit and stayed until after the second race run. The first 2 runs in the wet were ok and the track hadn’t changed too much, but after another hour of rain it was time for race run no 1, the track had changed allot, it was getting very slippy, I came down with a time of 1.50 which was soon beaten by Ben hall with a 1.46 WITH A REAR PUNCTURE, which was a bit worrying, he was followed by Ben Whitehead and Nick Turner who had both been rolling in the mud. The last rider down was Peter Williams who came down very unhappy and had also been sliding down the hill in the mud and decided not to risk another run as did quite a few other riders. After waiting for Huggy to change a tube and a quick craic with young Leggett who told me of his huge crash which ended in him breaking a boulder with his head, the 4 Experts took the last uplift to the top of the track. The track hadn’t changed much from the first run, and I pushed on a bit more than in the first run which resulted in a very sketchy run with not very much of it with both feet on the pedals, I came down with a 1.41, after a crash Huggy came down with a 1.42 which resulted in my first fastest time of the day.
Once again another awesome race from the Northern Downhill team despite the shortage of marshals and sponsors. The Northern Downhill series if you don’t already know always put on a good event and the effort these guys put in is great. If anyone is interested in helping the series to grow, either by marshalling at the events or by sponsoring the event please contact the guys at Northern Downhill via the link above.
1st Race back
I had a good weekend at innerleithen at the first round of the IXS european cup the track was amazing it would be good as a world cup track real fast and rough with some big hucks to sort the men from the boys. I was pretty happy friday got all the hucks done and all my lines sorted pretty quickly. Felt pretty rotten on sat, not sure why just felt empty and weak then had a slide out in a turn in practice which hurt my thumb a bit and then banged it again in my qualifying run. Felt a bit better on sunday but was just a bit annoyed as my fitness is really good at the moment. I got myself sorted for the race run, ibuprofen, paracetamol, asprin and monster energy. Had a bit of a messy run with too many mistakes one which left me no option to go around one of the hucks which was a bit dissapointing considering the crowds that wre around it. I finished 51st but considering the rest of the field and some of the problems i had over the weekend i think my training is good and now just need to focus on winning at Llangolen NPS in 3 weeks time.