This Is Swinny: Taking 1 for the team
A couple of weeks back i popped over the hill to Farmer John’s in Stockport to compete at the North West Champs.
A small hill with a flat-ish pedal section up top, a couple of jumps and wooden structures, before dropping into a short technical section before the finish at the bottom of the hill.
With there being no uplifts, we decided to skip Saturday practice and just crack out a couple of runs on the Sunday morning before finals.
This nearly backfired as we were unable to string a full run together due to nature of the short track mixed with bad weather and the tricky tech lower section of the track. A steep chute the crossed a rocky platform before tackling a tough rooty section. This part of the track was key as momentum was easily lost if you got it wrong and as the track went back up hill slightly, meant you stopped dead if you made an error.
Despite being unable to get a full run in a was feeling strong on the V10, I had cranked my suspension to the hardest setting and pedaled my heart out! A good mid-week xc ride with Jolley set me up nicely for the weekend. I was feeling confident on the bike and was enjoying trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible.
I’ve had a few mixed results here in the past, because its such a short track, any mistake made can’t really be brought back further down the track. You have to get up to speed as quick as possible and the first couple of corners can be tricky if you over cook them and miss your turning point, pushing you off line for the following corners and just sapping your speed.
Fortunately, on my first timed run, I rode smooth out of the gate and was able to crank hard throughout the whole top section. From there we dropped into the switchbacks, which I’ve always ridden pretty strongly, and committed to the lower rooted section. Here I got very lucky, a rock caught my front wheel at the bottom of the chute and forced me to dab a foot, which stayed off for main part of the root section, getting pushed offline I somehow cleaned the bottom corner and carried good speed out. Just a bit of time to regain composure before backing off to make sure I cleaned the final section to the line.
All went well and I crossed the line 5 secs clear, not bad on a 1 min 30 sec track!
I was feeling pretty confident no one would beat that time so was buzzing going up for my second run, thinking where I could push on a bit to make more time. However, this run didnt start so cleanly. A mistake in the first corner set me up poorly for the next couple and I lost all my flow.
As this run wasnt going to plan, I had a brain wave and tried to no break the rooted section. This did not work in any way, straight down trying to turn that treacherous corner. Oh well, I plodded onto the finish and crossed the line.
My first run was good enough for the win and also to take the fastest time of the day, which i was rate happy with!
A good platform and confidence booster before the next round of the BDS.
Cheers everyone for the support!