Monthly Archives: May 2013

TiS at UK Gravity Enduro – Hamsterley

TiS at UK Gravity Enduro – Hamsterley

TiSEnduro

This doesn’t happen very often, members of the TiS crew actually racing at the same race together. Individually we’re often out listening to the beeps but collectively, its been quite a few years. There Should actually have been 4 of us in this picture but unfortunately JoBo picked up an injury on his w*nking arm while trying to pick up ICU points in a practice at Swedish mates race. His attempts to impress his Swede better half with race winning times back fired and landed him in the docs instead. Heal up soon lad. Ruari ‘ Bar Drag’ Hallam, his brother Gee and myself all attended round 3 of the UK gravity enduro series at Hamsterley. Gee is back from New Zealand for a mo:nth to visit friends and family and his sister Katie kindly bought his the race entry for his birthday. Alongside her partner John, it was a heavy hitting Sheffield Crew. Even Poppa  Hallam was in attendance and kindly took all the photos in this post. Thanks very much Peter (hope you dont mind me using them!). There were many other of the Sheffield Fam racing too I’d travelled up with my mates Dave ‘fastest hardtail in last years series’ Griffiths and Carrie ‘overall womens champ last year’ Poole,

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The conditions for racing couldn’t have been better, it had rained on friday which left some sections damp and greasy but non of us are used to dust so it just played in to our hands. The trails at Hammers were brilliant, a real variety of trail types. The first two were fairly natural loads of roots and off camber sections with a bit of loam thrown in for good measure. The third and fifth stages were pure trail centre with many berms and a few loose flat corners to keep things interesting. The forth stage started at the top of the 4X track and ran down a very tightly taped DH run, great fun.

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Practise on Saturday was a real eye opener for me, I haven’t raced an Enduro for about 5 years and it took me a long while to get up to speed. My mates Dave, Carrie and Mandy showed me the way though and the whole day was just like going for a ride with a bunch of mates… apart from the sun and warmth. That was very strange… we even got sun burnt.

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Late Saturday afternoon was a seeding run. Stage 5 was used which had some of the highest speed sections of all. That said, there was loads of pedalling required, keeping on top of a gear and sprinting where ever possible on the upper section. Lower down the hill was more of a challenge to carry speed and hold your nerve through the quick berms. Popping out in to the arena at the end I, along with many others, managed to wash out on the final corner. Bugger.

geeenduro wheels

Sunday was race day and it was an early start as the ladies were off first. I got to the start of stage 1 early and wondered down the track to watch the action. I’m very glad I did as I realised my race craft is crap. There were so many high lines and ‘cut’ lines being employed by the quick vets I saw that I had to rethink my race plan and somehow managed to hold all the new lines. Great fun.

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The rest of the race day went pretty well. The weather gods were again smiling on us and the sun was out all day. With a fairly short loop it was all over in a couple of hours and we were back at the finish cheering in the rest of the racers. The atmosphere was great and the grins infectious, Steve Parr had put on a great event and everyone seemed to have a great day.

In the TiS stakes I managed to Squeeze out the fastest time on the day with a 19:16.58 only good enough for 23rd in Masters. Ruari came home 24th senior with a 19:26.74 and Gee 30th Master with a 19:40.56. It really was a great days racing and reminded me what I’ve been missing out on for all these years… now for some Enduro Mates Races!

Norges Cup, Back on the hunt UCI Style

This past weekend I headed abroad once more on the quest my those oh so valuable UCI points.. So here’s what happened..

The plan was crack out a top ten at the Norges Cup in Drammen, Norway. A quick Bank holiday weekend trip with a happy ending.. Well, it nearly wasn’t..
I had planned everything to run quick & smooth without taking any more time off work, who have so supportive of me these past two seasons, so I could save that valuable holiday allowance to book time off for the World Cup rounds I was hoping to head off to..

Friday night ship out, me & Mari (PA/wag) were on the road to the airport for 17:30, loads of time to get stuck in traffic in Glossop & still make our 20:45 flight. Easy done as it turned out Glossop was not even that bad! (For a first) Everything was going according to plan, on time, organized, right up until check in. Lost wallet. Uh oh. Hadn’t a clue where it could be. Last I remember I had it at the bus stop, damn. A quick call to the bus company but no sign of it. A 45 minute round trip with only 45 minutes to our flight time.. even bigger uh oh.. Jet Parks plus were awesome, they sent me a personal pick up from an Irish fella named Willy, top guy, cant thank him enough for ragging that bus around getting me back to the car park to search foe the wallet. But no joy. It must be either checked in with my bag.. or someone has it. Hoping for the former i was rushed back to the airport, bouncing over kerbs & worrying other drivers as we sped back to the terminal. Dropped as close as possible i ran to meet Mari, picked up both hand luggage bags & sprinted to the gate, girlfriend in tow. Just in time we made it to are gate, only to find the flight itself had been delayed slightly, which was nice. A bit more time to add that bit of worry as to where the wallet actually was..

A few anxious hours later & the time had come to collect baggage & see what situation we were in… was good news? At first no, no signs of the little fella. oh bugger, my heart sank a little, then success! Nestled away in between my shoes, there he was, sneaky thing! relief..

So, on we pressed. Rent-a-car, then hotel for a sound nights sleep.
Again all was running smooth but time was really getting on. Gone 01:00 in the morning & still traveling, I had been up since 04:30 am the day before! Starting to feel tired & really want sleep we pulled up at the hotel, Which turns out they mixed up our booking with another hotel some 15 minutes back up the road. So off we went again. 03:30 am we eventually got our heads down. 23 hours awake in total, great.
Up at 07:45 am for breakfast. An all you can eat mix of hot & cold buffet style delights & those that know me when it comes to food know this is never a ‘quick feed’. A little insight into how I ate..
It started with a large warm plate, A large helping (and large means what you would imagine as large, plus more) of eggs, beans, meatballs, little sausages, some onion omelet things & potato chunks, with a side helping of a couple of sizeable hand cut slices of seeded bread & coffee. The size of meal you’d normally look & think, ‘Wow, I’m gonna feel full after this!’
But that’s not all.. Onto a helping of porridge & more coffee, before helping myself to the cold buffet, a couple of bread cob sandwiches stacked with hams, cheeses & salads before heading back for another plate of warm. Not as much as first time around admittedly but considering the size of round one, even half that portion size was still pretty sizable.
Not done yet, a bowl of cereal & yoghurt, more coffee before another sandwich & a take away coffee.. That just about covered it I reckon.

Enough about food, Time to ride!
30 minutes down the road we arrived at Drammen Skisenter. Pulling into the car park a noticeable in feel between British rounds & this one. So much more relaxed, no one rushing about, no struggling to squeeze runs in, just calm & welcoming. The chairlift probably helped a lot, set just off the road, such easy access.
We set up our pits for the day, built the bike up & headed to the lift, around 11:00 for first runs.

Slide1The track was cool, a huge rock slab to build speed before dropping into a very loamy section. Due to pretty severe weather in the build up to the race, this section as littered with thick deep mud bogs that killed your flow, but as more riders descended, soon dispersed the most & dug down to the bare rock.
A tricky switchback before a large rock roller to build speed! A couple switchbacks later before opening up a bit. Building speed was fun on this track! Smashing through 2 very soft turns, easy to bury the front end & get pitched forward before opening up over large rolly rocks again. 1 more tricky wooded section before exiting onto the ski slope to the finish line turns & jump.
A rad track. so enjoyable it didn’t feel anywhere near as long as the race times suggest.
I headed straight back up.. no queue, at most it was 3 people deep, just pleasant.
Unfortunately this time around I clipped a rock in the high speed rock roll section, got bucked pretty bad but held her down! Determined not to crash! (it pays off being strong!!) damn rock though bent my pedal pretty bad, too bad to be able to ride it.
A quick call at the Norwegian Santa Cruz & one of their riders sorted me out with a fresh set of pedals, cheers guys! would have been really stuck without you!

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New pedals fitted & back up the hill. 2 more runs but was starting to struggle with fatigue & tiredness. So headed back to pits for a lie down.
So, 4 runs, a lengthy pit stop & it was still barely 14:00!
A lie down turned into a nap.. nap turned into a sleep.. so I called it a day & went for a track walk. 17:45 & still riders on track, Norwegians have riding priorities dialed!
A couple of fresh lines had appeared in the tech sections, something I was keen to try out in Sunday mornings practice.
We headed back to our hotel, passed out pretty early on after scouring what delights Norway had to offer on telly. Why oh why do you guys seem to have a channel dedicated to breast feeding?! Its just creepy!
Back up for more breakfast (see above for portions) Before arriving for 09:00.
To the the lift for 9:30, practice closed.. oops.
So, First run Sunday with trying new lines would be seeding run, not the best prep but that’s the position I got myself in!
A gentle run scoping things out. Over the line & in 10th place. Pretty positive.
Top ten was the goal for the weekend, this would give me the points needed to compete at World Cups this year.
Off for race runs.
A bit different to what I’m used to this year, no trainer, no music, just myself & my thoughts.
Its easy to over think things & get wound up before a race run, something I have struggled with greatly in the past. So for now its off for a walk, a bit off warming up whilst picturing back to back clean runs of the track.
Into the start gate & a sudden flutter of nerves, before being able to shut them out with some clean thinking.
Onto the pedals & away! cranking hard I could feel I was under power from fatigue but no excuses, time to race.
A small error into the first woods dropped me off line slightly, not loosing too much time though as moment was kept.
Onto the open section & time to open up, some stiff pedal strokes before nearly ditching it in the soft switchbacks. Thrown over the front wheel as it dug in, foot dab to hold upright, before getting back on with it.
The final wood section was clean & smooth before smoothing out the final turns, squashing the last jump before crossing the line.
Slightly nervous as id crossed the line in 2nd & waited for the next man down to see where id end up.. A chance of missing out on that top ten was a possibility.

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Fortunately for me that didn’t happen! 7th the end result, a little further back than id have liked but still, job done! Happy with the result & 100Euros better off! Cheers Norway!

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So, back off to pack up with smiles on our faces. A good weekend of sun & bikes with a result that would give a life long ambition of competing in World Cups a reality.

Thanks Norway for having me! You were all so awesome! See you later in the year for Hafjel!!
Cheers all!
SwinnySlide1

A bird’s eye view of Bolehills

A bird’s eye view of Bolehills

Its strange to get a new perspective on something so familiar. Bolehills is my local BMX track and I’ve spent many happy hours casing the jumps and giving myself a bad back on the pump track. A few weeks ago during that unfamiliar sunny spell, a crack team of big and little riders on big and little wheels rolled out to help document the track in its 30th year. VUAir are a local company supplying aerial camera services and they brought up their quadcopter to buzz around the track capturing it from every angle. The final edit is brilliant, giving that new view of an old place and capturing some quality, Dicking About.

Bolehills may not be a thing of beauty, but it really is a thing of beauty.

 

The Crew. The Monks, Baybutt, MattSteezeBikes, VUAir Crew. Photo: Baybutt

‘Win’ an Santa Cruz Blur Tr: Peaty’s Steel City DH

‘Win’ an Santa Cruz Blur Tr: Peaty’s Steel City DH

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May the forth be with you. Well it was, last weekend, for the 3rd Steel City DH as this great edit from Gee Milner shows. The biggest little race in the North just keeps on expanding. This year, aside the 200 racers who ensured the entry was sold out within an hour and a half, over 100o spectators filled Grenoside woods heckling and eating and drinking everything that was on offer in the bombhole. When was the last time (other than a fort bill world cup) a mountain bike race had that many spectators in the UK? Peaty had to think back to the Malvern classic’s way back when to remember a similar atmosphere.

This great edit from X Trail Films gives another angle of the day.

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Dave Griffiths - Photo: James Brown

Dave Griffiths – Photo: James Brown

This years race was given a bit of a twist as it was on 4th May, we pushed May the forth be with you as much as possible with Cotic offering a BFe frame for the best dressed Star Wars character! It was won by a plastic bin tranformed in to a fully functional R2D2. Peaty himself was rocking a full on Storm Trooper outfit with a custom TLD lid aboard his Santa Cruz Brosnon Speeder Bike

Steve 'Storm Trooper' Peat: Photo - James Brown

Steve ‘Storm Trooper’ Peat: Photo – James Brown

Winner of the Cotic Prize for best Star Wats fancy Dress, R2D2

Winner of the Cotic Prize for best Star Wats fancy Dress, R2D2

For the first time ever for the race, the sun had been shining for the fortnight leading up to the race and the woods and the track was dry. The funds raised from last years race had been ploughed back in to the woods by the Sheffield Wildlife Trust and improvements to the track made by local firm Bike Track and volunteers from Ride Sheffield made for the fastest racing yet.  Gone were the days of the muddy slog pedal fest, pumping through the rocky course and carrying speed through the bermed corners was the order of the day.

Mark Wilson kicking up dust - Photo: James Brown

Mark Wilson kicking up dust – Photo: James Brown

As ever the generosity of the events sponsors was overwhelming with prizes galore for all podiums places and the every popular raffle. The race has always served to be completely inclusive with kids from age 10 upwards racing in the rippers category. This year we also had 30 ladies racing, amazing for a race of 200 people. They were split in to two groups; one for those racing for the first time and the other for those more experienced. Our oldest entrant was Pat Horscroft was in her 70th year and celebrating by racing for the first time ever. She was rewarded with a special award and bear hug from Peaty on the podium.

Track builder David Gregory of Bike Track makes the most of his hard work on race day. - Photo: James Brown

Track builder David Gregory of Bike Track makes the most of his hard work on race day. – Photo: James Brown

As ever the atmosphere all the way along the track but particularly at the gap jump and finish bomb hole was electric. With so many people out watching and banging the hell out of the noise makers they had brought the racers were often seen smirking from the hilarious heckles.

Well Prepared career marshal Rob Jolley came armed to the teeth

Well Prepared career marshal Rob Jolley came armed to the teeth

Shef Uni were out in force and the Stoke levels were kept high

Shef Uni were out in force and the Stoke levels were kept high

Although most prizes were given away on the podium or in the raffle one very important one remains. A brand new Blur TR donated by Santa Cruz bicycles. In a size large it up for auction on Ebay with all proceeds (minus the ebay fees) going directly in to the charity pot. The frame with a Fox Float CTD Adjust Kashima Shock is worth over £1900 and we are open to reasonable offers. Please use the best offer system on Ebay to make your bids. Ideally You’ll collect from Sheffield to give cash on collection so we can avoid paypal fees.

If you want to win it, get your bids in here.

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So back to the racing. For the 3rd year running, Dr Peat took the win, this year on his Santa Cruz Brosnon. That means he’s won on a different wheel size each year. Maybe 20″ next year? Full results are available on roots and rain but here’s the podiums

Pro/Am

1 1 Steve PEAT Santa Cruz Syndicate 1:17.293 (1) 1:16.644 (1) 1:16.644
2 4 James SWINDEN StevePeatSyndicate 1:20.373 (2) 1:21.004 (2) 1:20.373 3.729s
3 3 Sam DALE Madison / Saracen 1:22.124 (3) 2:36.933 (10) 1:22.124 5.480s

Rippers

1 22 Sam TAYLOR Biketrack.org go to site 1:47.219 (1) 1:43.888 (1) 1:43.888
2 17 James ELLIOTT 1:52.664 (2) 1:52.988 (2) 1:52.664 8.776s
3 18 Luke MUMFORD TeamCHR 1:56.900 (3) 1:56.530 (3) 1:56.530 12.642s

Juvenile

1 30 Kade EDWARDS Torico Morzine 1:45.902 (5) 1:36.766 (1) 1:36.766
2 31 Oscar MONK Sheffield Dirt Society BMX 1:37.401 (1) 1:55.542 (7) 1:37.401 0.635s
3 32 Jake MONK Sheffield Dirt Society BMX 1:37.657 (2) 1:37.529 (2) 1:37.529 0.763s

Youth

1 40 James HURST Evolution Racing 1:28.898 (1) 1:29.597 (1) 1:28.898
2 44 George VEALL 1:33.691 (2) 1:33.784 (2) 1:33.691 4.793s
3 39 Tom GRICE 1:37.935 (6) 1:35.601 (3) 1:35.601 6.703s

Junior

1 51 Liam MCDERMOTT TRG Racing 1:32.205 (2) 1:29.145 (1) 1:29.145
2 52 Sam ROBSON MIJ Downhill Events 1:31.759 (1) 1:33.699 (3) 1:31.759 2.614s
3 56 Marco WOOD-BONELLI Sheffield Dirt Society 1:33.402 (3) 1:31.767 (2) 1:31.767 2.622s

Seniors

1 217 Luke MEREDITH StevePeatSyndicate 1:24.251 (1) 1:24.546 (1) 1:24.251
2 227 Andrew WALKER 1:25.368 (2) 1:24.842 (2) 1:24.842 0.591s
3 232 David CAMUS The University of Sheffield Cy 1:27.892 (6) 1:25.626 (3) 1:25.626 1.375s

Masters

1 141 Chay GRANBY Cotic / Steel City Media 1:23.862 (1) 1:25.082 (1) 1:23.862
2 142 Rich NORGATE 1:25.262 (2) 1:25.246 (2) 1:25.246 1.384s
3 144 Adam TAYLOR Plushhillcycles.co.uk go to site 1:27.395 (3) 1:29.328 (5) 1:27.395 3.533s

Veterans

1 171 Scott TURTLE 1:30.809 (1) 1:31.374 (2) 1:30.809
2 177 Martin CREASER 1:32.223 (2) 1:30.956 (1) 1:30.956 0.147s
3 151 Simon CHATTEN 1:33.171 (3) 1:32.319 (3) 1:32.319 1.510s

Women

1 79 Cheri MILLS 1:38.970 (1) 1:39.744 (1) 1:38.970
2 88 Carrie POOLE Osprey / Thebiketree.co.uk go to site 1:44.287 (2) 1:44.072 (2) 1:44.072 5.102s
3 83 Becci SKELTON Team Cycopath 1:45.489 (3) 1:54.870 (10) 1:45.489 6.519s

Open Women

1 67 Emma PEASLAND Stilettos on Wheels 2:05.149 (5) 1:49.278 (1) 1:49.278
2 73 Jody VALLANCE 1:53.076 (1) 1:52.788 (2) 1:52.788 3.510s
3 74 Jessica WIEGAND Atgni 2:00.245 (2) 2:02.635 (4) 2:00.245 10.967s

Massive thank you’s to all the event Sponsors, Helpers and Marshals. Many people willingly give up their valuable time to make this race happen and it could not happen without them. Its part of what makes this race so special, the people and smiling faces that help year in and year out. Thank you!

The race is organised by a team of 4 riders, myself Nick Hamilton, Steve Hardcastle, Henry Norman and Joe Bowman. If you see us out on the trails or at the bar, give us a pat on the back if you had a good day in the woods.

Until Next year…..

New Tee – Corpses from Hell Design

New Tee – Corpses from Hell Design

I’m so excited about this new t-shirt design, it distils all that TiS is about in to print form: Dual, Radness, racing and Man Wolfs!

We’ve collaborated with Max Patenoster, the President of the Corpses from Hell Motor cycle gang. Our Man Baybutt is the Sheffield arm of the crew and brokered the deal explaining through sketches, hand gestures and video what Dual racing is all about. He did a bloody good job. When Max finally made it to his first dual race last month he said “Ahhh… I got it right”. So true.

I first became away of Max’s work when he painted the fuel tank of Baybutts CX500. He uses gilding and his own inimitable style to come up with something truly unique.

So here we have it. The all new ThisISheffield TShirt design. They will be initially exclusively available at the Peaty’s Steel City DH this weekend. What are left, will be for sale through our online shop next week. They’re a limited amount so get yourself along to the race if you want one. I’ll be on the registration desk from 8 to 10am then they’ll be for sale in the bombhole.

The tee’s have been printed by Sheffield’s finest Crow and Dunnage  on to the highest quality organic cotton tees.
So, get one before they’re gone. The raddest tee you’ll buy this year… so buy two.
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