TiS at UK Gravity Enduro – Hamsterley
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!