Monthly Archives: August 2011

This Is Sweden

This Is Sweden

Missing it. Sweden is a magical place, famous for its trolls and beautiful people… Their bikeparks are also beautiful, with tonnes of them popping up all over the mountainous Northern regions of the country. Jarvso is new, built by the Gravity Logic team, most famous for the infamous Whistler Bike Park. A decent lift, with 7 amazing trails. The wet stopped play early on,with the camera fogging up and nearly dieing, but check out a wee section from the crank it up style trail.

Bike Check…

Bike Check…

There’ll be a few of these bike checks appearing over the next few days from some of the other guys… So, if you’ve ever wondered what a lanky photographer rides then take a look..

So here it is, HMS Five. With a wheelbase longer than an Ironhorse Sunday and looking slightly like a gate in its 20″ guise I’m yet to ride anything better for monstertrucking loose peaks descents on an XC ride. Most people comment on the black chrome Chromag bars and they are about the only piece of kit to take note of. The rest of the bike is a result of a few years of part gathering on a student (and photographer) budget.

Click the photo or here for a bigger view.

Steve Peat Dirt Shoot – Saturday 13th – 8:45am

Steve Peat Dirt Shoot – Saturday 13th – 8:45am

Grant Robinson, Dirt TOG supreme, is in town this weekend to shoot Steve Peat on Saturday morning. We need a big crowd!

If you can help out and want to chase Peaty, who will be wearing a costume, please turn up at the Cookson cycle speedway track at Hillsborough, Sheffield no later than 8:45am. Its just off Herries Road and it will take less than an hour.

Here’s a map of where the track is http://goo.gl/maps/hqFx

We need as many people as possible, so please brings friends, relatives, girlfriends, wives and things to make noise!

Carrie Poole Clinches the UK Gravity Enduro Series

Carrie a top the podium (Photo: Su Leeming)

Carrie Poole Clinches the UK Gravity Enduro Series

This Is Sheffield’s favourite Faffer clinched the overall win in the Women’s category of the UK Gravity Enduro Series at the weekend. Carrie Poole’s 4th straight win means, just like Aaron Gwin, she’s got series sewn up. She finished first at Eastridge on Sunday and would have placed 2nd in the Elite Women’s category just 20 seconds behind Helen Gaskell.

Ticket to Ride have sponsored the Womens category so Carrie will be riding away with a free holiday.

Congratulations Carrie!

Carrie a top the podium (Photo: Su Leeming)

Jack Reading: Whistler


I’m just on the road down to catch a flight from Vancouver driving away from my Crankworx 2011 effort. This was my fourth visit to Whistler for the competition and has been my most successful yet. My Dad made the trip out with me to provide race support and do some riding himself, although that did get cut short for him when he got a bit too aggressive with the jumps and had a nasty crash picking up a shoulder injury.

I arrived in Whistler three days before the first race, just enough time to get back into riding the mountain I know and love as well as recover from the jet lag. With a re-organised Crankworx, meaning I had two downhill races stretched over four consecutive days, I was conscious that it would be a real challenge to get my body and my bike through the entire effort.

First up was the Canadian Open Downhill which races down a traditional downhill style course that is rough, fast and technical lasting just over 3 minutes. The track is amazing and easily comparable with some of the World Cup venues. I was 13th in this one last year and was aiming for a top 10 this time. The weather wasn’t typical for a Whistler summer, which made racing more of a challenge than usual with wet slippery conditions. I only take dry tyres to Whistler because it is usually all that is needed, and then even when it rains there is so much rock that spikes would probably be more sketchy. In some places the dry tyres really were crazy wild and I had to be very conscious of these spots come my race run.

I went well with a fast, wild run to come down into 2nd place with a 3.10 and only 2 seconds off the pace. This was good enough for 8th place overall when all the riders were down and I was 2nd Brit behind Danny Hart in 5th. So I got off to a great start and was feeling confident going into the second race.

I was 7th in the Garbanzo downhill last year and have been gradually getting closer to a podium finish over the past 3 years. It’s a race from the top of the bike park which takes about 14 minutes if you’re pinned and when you finish you can barely stand. This year was going to be a wet one and again I was aiming for a top 10 finish, and hopefully an improvement on last year’s 7th. Ellsworth were back in Whistler for Crankworx so I was really pumped up to perform with the added pressure to produce in front of the team.

I had a really great run and when I came through the finish I went into the hot seat by about 10 seconds with a time of 13.58. It’s such a strange race because when you’re on the way down it’s so hard that you feel like you’re about to come last! Until the final rider came down I was in 2nd, only 1 second from the win and it would have been such a disappointment to lose out by that much if it had stayed that way. However it didn’t, and Sam Blenkinsop went fastest with a 13.46, so I was 3rd and claimed my first Crankworx podium and $1000 prize money. I can’t use words to describe the feeling, only seeing my face on the podium tells you how chuffed I was!

Over the last month I have been thinking a lot about how I have been attacking my races. By mid season I had got myself into a rhythm whereby I was riding well within my limits, going for OK results and smooth race runs. Not only is this not my style, it is also a fantastically good way to limit my progression. I had been frequently going to big races like world cups, seeing lines that I would like to do and know that I could do, but deciding not to have a go at them. These lines would be the crazy ones that I know in my head I am capable of, but gave myself the excuses not to do them which would be – ‘you’re not here to win’, and limited training time means ‘you’re not as strong as the top guys’. Then a handful of the top guys would send these lines come race runs, and in the back of my mind I would be thinking, ‘man, you know you could do that’.

I have just had an amazing Crankworx, with results right up their with the full time professionals. I had the old feeling back from when I was the wild expert in 2009 who was mixing it with the elites in the UK. I felt fast and loose and sometimes out of control, but it pays off. I am now leaving Canada after two weeks solid training and racing in the best shape I have ever been in and a confidence level which has gone through the roof. I see a line I want to hit and I hit it. In previous years I have left Whistler at the end of season in fantastic shape but with no big races left. This year thanks to an early Crankworx I will be rolling to the French world cup in a week’s time. I’m not saying that thanks to this new attitude and a great riding/racing period I will be bringing home an amazing result, because who can predict racing, anything can happen. However I am saying that I have a plan to turn up and perform at the very highest level I can, in an attempt to prolong this successful period after Crankworx has shut up shop!

I’ll keep you posted!

LycraFest Video

Mass Start (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

LycraFest Video

As part of the Spring series we decided to have a short Course XC race around the local Park. We taped off a section of trees and created 5 minutes of hell with no respite and just painful climbing. To make matters worse we made it an endurance test, so how many laps could you do in an hour. To add insult to injury we made Lycra Mandatory with the most tasteless and garish getting extra points!

This little edit should hopefully give a good impression of the pain… of seeing all your mates in Lycra! Full race report and more photos of the lycra here

Mass Start (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

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