As we’d received a month’s worth of rain during the morning, it just had to be the opening race of the winter dual season. Traditionally as soon as the clocks go back we rendezvous on a Wednesday night somewhere in Sheffield to continue a tradition that dates back to 2010. This is when we first attached our bike lights to trees, stuck some posts in the ground and raced flood lit and loose. These events are for some the most competitive racing they do; they matter more than winning trials competitions or national DH rounds. For others, this is the only racing they do making it even more important. For everyone, it may be a laugh but as soon as the whistle sounds the elbows are out, the race face is on and friendships forgotten.
The first race of the season is always a good one. It’d been over 6 months since we’d met up for a dual race and the old friendships and rivalries soon fire up. The community that has grown up around dual speaks for itself; Sheffield is put to rights and plans for world domination formed between those trees. A lot of the doers of our scene bump knuckles and trade shite prizes through the winter, trading as many compliments as insults. It’s a reet laugh.
Conditions were almost unbelievable. Despite the deluge Endcliffe was dry and running fast, but unpredictably loose as always. With a track that featured a massive right drifter and Timmy’s death corner finale there were some spectacular crashes. Matt had a huge high side, Baybutt double punctured and even the mighty unshakeable Chrisy P drew blood from a nasty gash. Sam and Willy’s coming together off the line was one of my favourite moments, neither of em giving a shit about the other and both ending up in a scrambling heap on the floor. Classic Dual.
The results tell their own story, which misses out the technical issues of dying laptops and Chris not being anywhere near as good as Steph at timing.
At the micro pub afterwards a new rule was discussed which will be known as the Pearson Rule. These trials riding brothers have dominated or races throughout the seasons with their unbelievable skills and consistency. Chris was barely off the top spot all last season and Tim was only just behind him. In an attempt to open up the overall a little and also to give some of us slower riders a chance to advance beyond round 1 we’re trying out a new t’ing. Rather than being a random start order, riders will be seeded based on their position in the overall. The fastest will face the fastest in the first round, meaning only one can continue. With slower riders also facing their own. Let’s see how this goes… we’ll report back.
Although the lack of light in the evenings may depress us, at least we have dual to keep us sane. See you in a fortnight.
Massive respect to my fellow semi finalist Rich Baybutt for Chopping together the videdit and Rhino for shooting in portrait. Never one to conform.