Archives: Dual Race

Stockholm Sideways: Dual Goes international

Hanna Jonsson is the better half of our own JoeBo and a rider through and through. She’s recently moved back to her ancestral home and taken some of what she learnt on these fair shores with her… Hanna Explains…

Ever since I moved away from the UK, the one thing I really miss is those amazing cold nights in Endcliffe Park, sliding sideways against someone else! So I decided it was time for the notion of “mates racing” to move overseas to Sweden. I planted a seed in a few peoples heads one afternoon riding bikes up in the north to see if anyone seemed keen. When Lina Skoglund called me about a week later, saying she was game, I almost jumped up and down with excitement!

After some good nights of planning – finding a good spot, getting permission, finding prizes, searching the Internet for good dual poles (which we ended up finding in a farming shop for electric fences) – we were good to go.

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Me and Lina explaining the rules! Photo Credit: Steve Murphy.

As Swedes are tentative to all new things in life – the EU, taking political stance, change – we weren’t sure how the new concept of “Dual Slalom” would go down. Although there tended to be a good turn outs for local DH mates races around Stockholm, we didn’t get much feed back on our race at first.

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No infra-red technology, just basic stop-watches and an old-fashioned “Ready, Set, GO!”. Photo credit: Bengt Luthman.

Come race day, a grey, rainy, cold November day, we thought we were going to be less than 10 people racing. But facing the typical English weather, we started creating the dual course anyway. It became a tad bit longer than the one we normally have in Sheffield, and it was on a grassy, of camber slope – talk about slippy cornering!

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Lino Bäckman to the left showing of some one-footed drifts and the winner of the day, Calle Lustfeldt, to the right. Photo Credit: Steve Murphy.

To our surprise, as we started practicing, more and more people started walking up the hill! And, learning that an established cyclocross race was held on the other side of town, we were thrilled to get 19 people racing and a good number of spectators and hobby photographers on the hill watching! One guy even randomly turned up and raced, as he had been stood up by his mates for an xc ride in the area.

Unfortunately, Lina had broken her thumb a few weeks earlier, so she couldn’t race and stood for the timing during the day.

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Daniel Chapuis in the orange jacket took 2nd place! Lina stood for the timing. Thanks to Sandra for a helping hand with timing as well! Photo credit: Steve Murphy.

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Ricky Larsson’s face showing how much fun it was! Photo Credit: Bengt Luthman.

Smiles were EVERYWHERE and epic crashes were unavoidable. I don’t know the last time I saw so many turtle-slide-crashes! With a very very slippy course, Qualy saw some tentative runs so that people would stay on their bikes; were TIS own JoeBow took the fastest time!

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JoeBow showing the Swedes how it’s done, taking a 3rd overall. Photo credit: Bengt Luthman

But when the Dual began, there was no holding back! Racing saw everything from harsh father-son racing, to a DQ due to 3 broken poles, a DNF due to a broken thumb, a fair few crashes and A LOT of sideway action!

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Sandra and Alexandra representing the girly mountain bikers category! Also showing what colour your helmet should be! Alexandra was the days DNF, with a badly broken thumb! Healing vibes! Photo credit: Bengt Luthman.

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Ricky showing how a turtle-slide really looks like! Photo credit: Bengt Luthman.

What is so great about Dual Slalom, is that it is so easy to organise! Once you got the poles bought, all you need is some stop watches and a sheet of paper to write up times! It was hard to explain to people how easy it is!

As the race went on, the grassy corners got slippier and harder! And although the weather was awful, people stayed to cheer on their friends once they’d been knocked out the competition! The atmosphere was buzzing!

It is amazing how a couple of poles, a group of bike lovers, and a little bit of organisation can transform a grey, rainy November afternoon to the funniest day ever. Thanks a million times to Lina – who had all the right contacts to get prizes, permission, forums to spread the word and the will to get this thing going!! Thanks to Specialized, Evoc and Houdini’s for prizes! And a massive thanks to every one who came to help out, race and spectate, and made it such a fun day!

Till next time!

Hanna

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Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 3

Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 3

23rd November 2010

Continuing the progression of Sheffield’s ghetto dual scene, round three proved to be another classic. Back up in Swinny’s field word had spread further and this season’s largest attendance braved the cold but dry and clear night. Moving up in the world, the usual bike lights on posts/trees were supplemented with a generator and halogens to light up the course. The normal format applied though, practise from 7 and racing at 8. Spikes are banned to keep everything loose and fair and the course is marked out with short lengths of plastic overflow pipe cut for purpose. Every racer has to supply a random prize as an entry fee with the winner taking first dibs on the best. Ranging from tasty 5:10 jerseys through to cable ties and tea bags, it pays to be fast.

The racing is usual dual style, a head to head knockout with two runs, one on each lane, and the fastest combined time moving through to the next round. With 27 racers turning up seeding runs were in order with the top 16 moving on to the finals. The finals start order was chosen at random and paper plate number boards handed out.

The track (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

The course was a long one with a high stakes gorse corner to start us off, too tight and your gloves wouldn’t be saving you. In a grass field with an hour’s practise for 27 riders the surface soon cut up to reveal the mud below. It became so slippy that even the first corner was proving too difficult for some who went down hard. Foot out, committed turns were the winning formula with some unbelievable drifts being laid down. Once through the long peddley start traverse and around the gorse the course tightened up and the turns were difficult and tight. The surface was unpredictable giving rise to many a spectacular off accompanied by big grins all round. However serious the racing may get, it’s all about fun after all, we are dealing with bikes here.

 

Rob Jolley (Photo: Dom Worrall)

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Winter Dual Series Round 1

Daylight savings is every riders fear, as it finally becomes time to admit it’s winter.
No more bbq’s, pump track sessions and trails for at least 5 months. But this year, instead of moaning and acting all English about it, we donned the waterproofs, grabbed the hardtails and sent things sideways….

Pic taken by the one and only Dom Worral

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