Nick Hamilton

Spring Race Series – Round 4 – MegaDeath!

Your truly presiding over the prize giving (Photo: Dom Worrall)

Spring Race Series – Round 4 – MegaDeath!

Round 4 will go down in history as the one on broken road, where two world champions turned up and half the racers puked on the finish line. Carnage from start to finish, just like it was meant to be. Dreamed up drunk in the Lescar and held back until the time was right, it couldn’t have gone better. Watch out for a write up of this race and the whole series in Dirt soon.

You’ve probably seen this video Duncan edited together of all of our amazing helmet camera footage,  it captures the atmosphere perfectly so you can witness the carnage first hand.

ThisISheffield Team Kit, Stokes, Bowman and Hamilton (Photo: John Alexander)

We all met up for a ride up the broken road on Mam tour, 36 of us in the end. Steve Peat came along and brought along his house guest Brian Lopes who was in the country to race at Dalby. Rob Stokes even made a guest appearance flying in especially from Chamonix again and the new This Is Sheffield team kit also made its first appearance. We met at the bus terminus, geared up and rolled out. As we crossed what would be the finish line I explained a few rules. In order to complete the race you had to neck a pint of ale on the finish line. Spilling or chucking away of beer would be severely punished by DQ. We continued to ride up and everyone took in the features they would have to negotiate on the way down. Nothing too bad but elbow to sharp elbow with you mate put a new perspective on things.

Pushing up to the top (Photo: Dom Worrall)

World Champions Rolling Through (Photo: Henry Marsh)

Once at the top, everyone was instructed to turn their bikes upside down and line them up. 36 bikes actually take up a surprisingly amount of room. We walked down the hill about 50 metres with loud groans from most complaining that they were riders not fell runners, some of us are both! The Le Mans style start worked brilliantly and it was carnage from Peaty hollering ‘Go!’. We all battled for position pushing and shoving for all we were worth. Ruari POD obviously hadn’t been listening too closely as he ran straight to his bike rather than running round the back with everyone else as instructed. Joe Bowman was similarly deaf as he took off straight down the hill rather than following everyone else around the end of the line. Thankfully Lopes set him straight as sent him back up the hill with the rest of the pack. The first few corners were open and uneven meaning lots of shoulders were rubbed and places stolen. Swinny was well out in front from the start, a combination of talent and pole position, he took advantage and shot back down the hill, closely followed by Timmy. Tim had turned up somewhat late and had sprinted all the way up the hill to catch up, he and his brother Chris were still panting at the word go.

The Off Camber Shale (Photo: Dom Worrall)

Checking out the lines (Photo: Henry Marsh)

Once through the first gate we hit tarmac and the big ring was engaged. To keep it interesting we used grassy parking lumps to slow us down or catch air depending on your speed. Shane Townsend took a tumble here and left a bit of skin behind, all in a nights riding. Further down we slid through the next gate on to the Broken Road Proper, where the sides got distinctly precipitous. Negotiating a descent drop at speed or risking a pinch puncture chute was first up. Several riders punctured that night, including Alec Hartley who had a flat by the time he got to the start line. After a fast grassy or tarmac corner came a brilliant off camber shale slope with multiple lines. Steve Taylor made a last minute course correction on entry and nearly lost it on the way in, thankfully his skills saved him and Joe captured everything on video. Rob Jolley took a tumble on entry here too thankfully stopping before the edge and getting going again quickly.

Jordan, Nick and Ruari riding the Shale (Photo: John Alexander)

The next feature was a bit of a step up with a couple of line choices then it was on to a sharpish right hander and in to a grassy chute. At the bottom there was a narrow get-off gate just before the road sprint to the finish line. I rolled in 5th place to the finish following Swinny, Timmy, Luke Meredith and Jordan Gould. By the time I got there Swinny was across the line with his pint empty and Tim was well on the way. Taking a couple of deep breathes I managed one large mouthful, that was it, breathing required again. Next to me, Jordan was in even more of a state, he puked as soon as the amber nectar hit the back of this throat and couldn’t hold anymore of it down. One lad spilt most of his pint down his face then chucked the remaining half away, he was DQ’d for such brazen waste of Ale. As my Father said despairingly “you’ve taken a health giving sport and turned it in to a drinking game”, he’ll get to know the CGCC better one day. There were some real wrecks on the finishing line, lots of little voms and quite a few big ones, however after we’d all got our breath back, you could see the grins spreading again. This had been something to tell your mates about, to say you were there.  To laugh about and talk about for the next week and especially bring up at Stoke’s Birthday in Corp on the Friday night.

Rob Jolley hits the deck (Photo: John Alexander)

The usual prize giving followed with Swinny taking first pick and selecting a nice looking packet of cookies, Tim took the Malt Loaf. Katie Hallam took the ladies crown, 16th place out of 31 finishers and the only lass. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of lots a people: Simon Garrard, Adam Wiles, Anna Dearnley, Phil Taylor (I think), Ester Stokes and Jeff King all did their bit, many thanks. Also thanks to all the came to shoot photos and video, Dom Worrall, Henry Marsh and Rich Braybutt, its great to have this shit documented for posterity.

Yours truly presiding over the prize giving (Photo: Dom Worrall)

So to the points, 16 for first place as usual but I’ve now instigated a new rule, everyone that attends gets a point. Also in this case, Jordan got a bonus point for best puke and Stokes got an extra 5 for travelling the farthest to compete.

MegaDeath points

This leaves the series standings with a new leader, Wills poor performance and Swinny’s winning streak catapults him up to first place. Ruari and Tim are also rising up  pushing Jordan down a couple of spots.

Series Standings after Round 4

This was one to remember, but the next race will be too. XC in Endcliffe Park, as many laps as you can complete in an hour and lycra is compulsory, extra points for fluro!

Spring Series – Round 3 – Mini DH

As the Sun continues to shine, so the Spring Series continues to gather momentum. Race 3 was a mini DH out in the peaks on an old favourite track which has a steep wide open, fast top section that then dips in to the woods for some bar smacking tight flowing turns. It then pops you out in to a rough rooty left which sets you up for two of the sweetest berms in the Peak. If you can hold your line out of the second you pedal hard in to a big booter with a lovely flat landing. All over in less than a minute, which most of the other lads are used to.

Tim Pearson heading down toward to woods as the sun sets (Photo - Duncan Philpott)

Helmet Camera footage by Duncan Philpott featuring Ruari, Swinny and Dunc’s own crash at the start

The series is starting to draw more of a crowd and certainly more attention. Last night we had nearly as many spectators, hecklers and drinkers as we did riders. Thankfully it was an experienced crowd who’d brought pans and wooden spoons to make as much noise as possible. Perhaps not quite what was wanted in the middle of the Peak District but certainly what was wanted for a great racing atmosphere. The race was slated to start at 7:30 so riders were up practising from about 6 and the tight wooded section quickly claimed a few casualties. ThisISheffield’s in house photo genius Duncan PhiliPhoto was already bleeding by the time I arrived, his arm had lost in an argument with a tree. He later did exactly the same thing again in the same spot which put him out of the race. Thankfully this meant he took lots of great photos. Henry Marsh managed to head butt a tree which also finished his racing for the night meaning he took photos too, thank you.

Pushing back up for another run (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

Joe Bowman on the Cotic X (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

After all the racers had chucked 2 quid in to the jam jar and popped a prize in to the bag racing got underway. Henry Norman still out from racing with injury but concentrating on marathon training was kind enough to take on timing duties ably assisted by Simon Garrard. Simone was unfortunate enough to take the starters roll so spent half an hour stood at the top of the exposed track gradually freezing his tits off in the wind as the sun went down. The later racers also had to suffer the same fate hiding in the heather to keep warm. Reports of Swinny kissing caterpillars were greatly exaggerated. Joe Bowman was out of the race again due mechanical issues, with his van. However, he did turn up to heckle and session the track on the Cotic X. Going back to the old school, mobile phones and a stop watch were all we needed and each racer was sent down the hill in turn with a “3, 2, 1” and a Tarzan cry.

Racers waiting for their run with Si Garrard ready to send them off (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

On the racing ridge (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

Jordan Gould took an early lead, 6th out of the ‘start hut’ and getting down in 37.12 also reportedly putting in the best jump off the bottom booter. I was next down the hill and put in a 39.97 sliding me in to an early 2nd place. However, next down was Ruari ‘POD’ Hallam who sent the final jump in a 37.91 closely followed by Steve ‘BikeTrack.org’ Taylor with a 39.94. The Ladies made a welcome return to racing with Jody Vallance bringing along Liz Bowman (any relation?) for her first race. Liz took the win with a 53.53 on only her 4th mountain bike ride in 3 years and was looking pinned over the top section. She narrowly beat Jody by just over a second and it was a good ride from both lasses. The next rider down the hill to worry the leaders was series leader Will Swinden. There was a real split between riders on hardtails or full bounce and strangely there didn’t seem to be much between them. Will was on his Curtis and put down a 38.56 sliding him in to third spot, however his elder brother was about to get on track. Swinny was looking super fast all night and also had the recovery of the night. Getting out of shape on the top section he clipped a bush, pitching him forward on his front wheel towards a little booter. Somehow flying off this he managed to get back on two wheels and make the next corner, amazing control. Swinny took 1.5 seconds out of Jordan with a winning time of 35.59 and a well deserved return to the podium.

Dave Mitchell (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

Will Swinden railing the last berm (Photo: Henry Marsh)

Swinny victorious on the Podium with Tunnocks (Photo: Henry Marsh)

Prizes were given out in the traditional fashion with Swinny opting for the Tunnocks’ Tea cakes and Jordan taking Haribo. Jordan had once again produced a brilliant trophy which will have to be presented later as he left it at home. My apologies to Dave Camus who I mistakenly missed out of the roll call so only ended up with a University of Sheffield T-shirt. With racing done we retired to the warmth and comfort of the Cricket Inn to rehydrate, although Eighteen bikes’ Si Bowns decided to have a pint on his own in the crown. Talk naturally turned to future series plans with some great ideas coming from all corners, my favourite though was Jolley’s suggestion. “Starting at the top of Porter Clough, first neck a two litre bottle of strongbow, run to your bike, then ride as fast as you can to Corp and the first to pull a fat bird wins”. Genius.

Round 3 Results

So the series standings. No change at the top, Will Swinden extends his lead with myself narrowly in second place. Swinny jumps up four places to 3rd spot only 1 point ahead of Jordan and Ruari jumps from mid-pack up to 5th.

Series Standings after round 3

Next race – Mass Start DH. Details will be in the calendar.

The Spring Ghetto Series

After the success of the Winter Dual series and in the aftermath of Peaty’s Steel City DH a new challenge is needed to fill Sheffield’s racing void. Much talked about and plotted the idea with the Spring Series is to do something a little bit different. Everyone loves Dual, if you haven’t tried it, you should. Just get some posts or jumpers, stick them in the ground on a bit of a hill and race your mates. Believe me; you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before. That aside, the C.G.C.C. and T.I.S. consist of all kind of riders riding all kinds of bikes and I wanted a race series that would reflect that.

Will Swinden and Tom Stewart at the race of the series (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

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Bolehill’s Summer Pump Track race – Round one video

Pump Track Podium - Photo: Swinny

Bolehill’s Summer Pump Track race – Round one video

Yesterdays Pump track race at Bolehill’s was a great success with a big turn out and very close racing. After quali’s, head to head moto’s were laid down to gain points to decide who went through to the finals. TIS’s own Joe Bowman, Swinny and Ruari Hallam were all racing in the Senior category. Finals were head to head racing with the fastest qualifier deciding starting lane. Each rider had to complete an inner and an outer lap crossing over half way which proved for some great coming togethers. Dave Camus, whose put many hard hours graft in to the pump tracks renovations, was narrowly victorious over SPS rider Freddie Oxley in the finals with another SPS rider Billy Matthews in third. Marco Wood-Bonelli took the 12-16s and Sam Taylor the under 11s. We’ll make no mention of Oliver ‘Danger’ Green managing to go the wrong way.

Thanks to all the Sheffield Dirt Society Crew who put all the hard work in to putting on the race, make sure you come along to the rest of the series details are all in out events diary

Pump Track Podium - Photo: Swinny

Phil Taylor slammed together this great edit of the days racing, check out JoBo’s shut down maneuver on RuariPOD right at the start.

Duncan Philpott gets this third POD over on Pinkbike

Duncan Philpott gets this third POD over on Pinkbike

This Is Sheffield’s in house Photographic Genius has just been awarded his third Picture of the day over on Pink Bike. The unusual composition caught Ian Hylands eye who said:

Creative shots like this one don’t always work out, but I think this is one that definitely did. It’s a bit of work to shoot something like this, you have to be able to instruct someone to position their head and then not move while you figure out focus, composition and exposure for the reflection in their glasses. I really like how this shows the action and also the trail winding off behind the rider…

Taken at round 2 of the Halo BDS at Moelfre, Duncan uses our own Joe Bowman’s sun glasses to capture Danny Bradford descending and himself snapping. Great work Dunc! www.DuncanPhilpott.com

Danny Bradford captured in Joe Bowmans sunnie's. Photo: Duncan Philpott

Duncan’s previous POD’s:

Duncan's 2nd POD

Duncan's 1st POD of Ruari Hallam

Freecaster.tv coverage of the Peaty’s Steel City DH by Alex Rankin

Freecaster.tv coverage of the Peaty’s Steel City DH by Alex Rankin

The legend that is Alex Rankin filmed and has edited this brilliant edit of the days events for Freecaster.tv. Sit back with a brew and enjoy reliving the days fun.

Many thanks again to everyone that made it happen and helped us along the way. It wouldn’t have happened without you.

Duncan Philpott gets his second POD on Pinkbike

Dan Sheridan at Simply Downhill Round 1 at Nant G. Photo: Duncan Philpott

Duncan Philpott gets his second POD on Pinkbike

Our in house photo genius Duncan Philpott has just claimed his second Picture of the Day over on Pinkbike for this absolute cracker. Shot at the Simply Downhill round 1 at Nant Gwrtheyrn it shows a very pinned Dan Sheridan trying to keep the bike down.

Great work Dunc! http://www.duncanphilpott.com/

Dan Sheridan at Simply Downhill Round 1 at Nant G. Photo: Duncan Philpott

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