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Winter Dual – Round 1

Winter Dual – Round 1

The clocks have changed, the nights have drawn in, it’s wet; which can mean only one thing.

Dual

Last night saw the season opener and it was a cracker. It pissed down all night, it’s was as slick as I’ve seen it and it was so much fun. In the brief history of TiS dual, this is the first night I can remember when Its rained all night. Thankfully I’d thought to pack a tarp so Steph, our timing angel, stayed relatively dry. As did the laptop.


With it being the start of the season, interest was peaked, and we had a total of 39 riders. Too many! This meant the first half an hour of the evening was spent with quails whittling it down to 32. Great fun though as the left lane had a killer 2nd left turn. You had to setup for the following traverse and stay high otherwise you’d be paddling or running up the little hill. Several fell victim.

Racing was tight from the off and the mud took many a victim, changing racers fate in a heart beat. Big wheels were in abundance, with the 4 mid sized versions in the top ten.

Its great to be back in the woods.

Heres the results

winter dual 1 2013-14 - Overall

winter dual 1 2013-14 - fastest

winter dual 1 2013-14 - Points

Sheffield Mates Races 2013 – Get Involved!

Sheffield Mates Races 2013 – Get Involved!

Its exciting times at TiS , the Summer Series of Mates Races is about to get underway. Now by the nature of these races they have to stay a bit under the radar and somewhat exclusive… well to mates. Unofficial throw downs they serve to pit amigo against amigo in a race for bragging rights and pub plaudits.

We get a lot of requests about how other people could get involved with them but unfortunately this just cant happen. They would have to become official, paid for, insured races and that’s what we run Peatys Steel City DH for. Until now that is. We run Dual races all through the winter to bring a little flood lit joy to the dark winter nights. Well, we’re bringing dual to the masses and hoping that this year it wont flood!

As park of Sheffield’s Cliffhanger outdoor festival we will be setting up the dual poles on a grassy hill in Graves park on Sunday 7th July. The course will be out all day for anyone to come and have a play. If you wish, you have one chance to lay down a qualification time. Should you be among the fastest of the day, you will get the chance to compete in the finals. A knock out competition pitting the best of the best against each other to decide the winner. This will be run in true TiS style with each entrant throwing down a prize as an entry fee and the winner getting first pick. Timing will be with stopwatches and fast fingers. As always, spiked tyres are banned to keep things even.

The race will start at 3pm sharp so all practice and quali’s will be done by 2:30pm, then it’ll be straight in to racing. We’ve raced on grass several times before and believe me it gets very interesting and very sideways especially with a bit of rain.

Theres a facebook event here which will be updated as the week goes on:

So come along and pit yourself again the best TiS has to offer.

On the Saturday at Cliffhanger our lycra loving Ride Sheffield brethren are helping to organise an XC Eliminator event , More details here

Winter Dual Round 8 – Fast Grass

This was a race which had to be seen to be believed. The move from our loamy home turf over to the close horse cropped grass of Farmer Jacks field was a real eye opener to all who raced. The Speed was unbelievable! So So fast. Scary fast. But the grass was gripper that you could believe, but those that believed cornered like nothing else. Truly amazing to watch.

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The push back up was all that kept us warm. Photo – Josh Lewis

The cold and foggy winters night added to the atmosphere and the steep push up was enough to keep everyone warm. The grip lasted only so long though. Soon enough it began to give way and not always in a predictable manner with some brilliant crashes as a result.

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One of my favourite ever dual photos, Me and chegs setting up. Photo – Duncan Philpott

Duncan’s edit goes a long way to explaining the evening. Shot by him and part time pro tog’ Josh Lewis you can start to get an idea of the speed and some of the crashes. Joe Bowman goes down hard in the semi final against Chay at 45 seconds after a lovely big tank slapper (those are loose dogs girly screams). Joe had been on fire all night and had the right hand lined totally wired (see 54 seconds). The final big right hander was just the fastest and driftiest corner. Loosedog also suffered the same fate after look hot in practice, however he went down in the first round.

Did John Lawlor cut the course at 23 seconds? He was certainly on it throughout the night but lost his back end in one run on the last corner and couldn’t quite run across this line in time. His #WontBackDown partner Clay porter made a mistake in his first run and Ruari punished him for it. Peaty showed him how it was done though and was just screaming through that last right hander and took the overall win on the night against Chay.

Massive thanks for Farmer Jack for the use of his field, it really is perfect for Dual. Thanks also to our inimitable timing lady Steph Anderson and her assistants for the night, Dave Camus and Joe Spivey.

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So Timmy Dared to miss a round, its this because he has it sewn up already?

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Winter Dual Round 6 – Snowy Berms

Baybutt captures the mood

Winter Dual Round 6 – Snowy Berms

First off… watch this great edit done by Baybutt, it’ll sum up the nights activities much better than my waffle.

Round 6 was planned to be held up at Farmer Jacks field on the amazing cow patted berms. Massive thanks to him for letting us play! That was before the snow came… again. In the days leading up to last Tuesday there were many texts and phone calls checking on conditions and accessibility. It all just adds to the excitement. On the day, the roads were clear but the farm yard and the berms were under a few inches of neige. Peaty was out early shovelling off the first few corners to make sure they were running ok and Josh Lewis had run a quad over them a couple of days before. JoBo helped with the final few corners later in the afternoon after he’d played cash in the attic at Steve’s.

Baybutt captures the mood

When I arrived the Genny and bulding lights were getting set up and Jack already had a massive fire going to keep us warm. All the makings of a royal nights racing. Once the rest of the lights were set up to illuminate the lower turns practice started in earnest. Despite the snow the course was actually pretty grippy once you could distinguish between snow berm and dirt berm. That track is so much fun with a couple of very challenging corners.

With 23 riders signed up racing got underway at 8 and straight in to the big guns, Will Swinden vs Chay Granby. Chay is currently trying to chase down Timmy at the top of the table and is feeling the pressure. He managed to fend of Mini Swinny… but only just! Team ‘This is Peaty’  also faced off in the first with Steve deliberating whether Joe could use the points more than him. He decided not and smashed him. Craig Evans was on fire from the off and carrying more speed out of the first right hander than anyone else by far, absolutely amazing to watch.

The Winter Racing Scene: Photo – James Irwin, Bike Garage

As our lovely timing ladies had decided to take the night off I was down at the finish line being ably assisted by a lovely cast of drop outs. First of Chris Pearson joined me and we developed the ‘rocking out’ technique for stop watch synchronisation. After being put out in the first round Baybutt and Joe Spivey also came to help out and we danced about, took the piss and jumped out of the way of crashing racers getting squirly on the finish table top. Tom England rounded out the evenings timing crew, many thanks to you all. That poor, poor whistle.

The 2nd round put an end to Chay’s points dream as Dave Camus showed him who was boss. Craig Evans also broke the 15 second mark for the first time while racing Tom Duncan who ended up over a berm. The Quarters saw Timmy out classed for once by Craig, amazing, and Loose Dog also showed me how it was done but at least he gave me a smile doing it. This setup a Peat, Evans Semi which was much hyped and anticipated. Craig had been putting down consistently faster times all night, could old school rise to the challenge? They both felt the pressure and had sloppy and slow first runs but Craig was ever so slightly ahead. In the other semi Chris Pearson showed his skills and kept his cool dispatching Loose dog who had another massive off in his second run. The same happened to Craig in his second run, misjudging the flat left and giving the win to Peaty.  This was almost as humiliating as loosing his car keys and having to call his mum to rescue him. Steve went on take the win although only on time as Chris won the second leg and Craig had to make do with 3rd.

 

One thing that struck me again about Dual was that the racing is actually only a sideshow to the main event. Socialising. There’s so much chat and banter going on all night that a lot of the runs actually go almost unwatched. With there being a lot of snow about of course there was the obligatory snow ball fight, epic by any proportions. Naturally this also spilled over to the racing and the last few rounds of racing had added flying obstacles. Brilliant.

This leaves the top of table pretty tight but Timmy is looking pretty unassailable at this stage. Can Chay pull his Socks up and catch him up or will Chris overtake him before he gets chance? Until the next time…

Winter Dual Round 4 – The Christmas Special

Winter Dual Round 4 – The Christmas Special

Sticking with the age old tradition, the last dual before Christmas was a festive affair. This consists of everyone togged up Santa outfits and all the prizes being wrapped up secret santa style. Its adds to the fun and gets us in the festive mood. This year we outdid ourselves and everyone made a real effort including our lady timers, Steph and LJ who were sporting red dresses and LJ even had matching lingerie. Amazing. Thanks as ever to both of them for keeping us on track and timing us.

Ho Ho Ho – A great sackful of Santas. Photo – John Horscroft.

I set out a slightly different course on our familiar hillside with the corners and the big traverse working the other way round. The first set of double lefts into a big right around trees got slick quick but not as much as the traverse. If you lost speed here, you were screwed as it meant a slightly uphill pedal. The remainder of the corners were fast, loose and close to your competitor, especially the last few tight ones. Great fun.

The Lovely LJ Showing off her Christmas goods. Furry Muff. Photo – John Horscroft

The Christmas spesh has also brought a few dual stalwarts out of the wardrobe which was great to see. First off I got a massive man hug from our own James Swinden who’d forgone Pilates in favour of getting sideways in the loam again. Also showing his winter Hobo Chic look for the first time this season was Stephen Peater of Ecclesfield. It was great to have them both back and in the same Santa suits they rocked last year. As well as Cheg’s, Steve brought along his mate Turtle who hadn’t raced our dual before, but more about him later. Henry Norman was also back racing for the first time this season and especially in the festive spirit as his wife Helen is expecting their first child! Congratulations to you both! (Just hope it misses the ginger gene…).

Timmy and Swinny Facing off – Not trying at all. Photo – John Horscroft

We had 28 entries overall which tested the new bye system (which means my comprehension of it). It worked out well though as the Pearsons turned up after eight with Joe Spivey in tow. As punishment they got no practise at all but unfortunately Chay didn’t get the bye he’s been promised. The first round saw a few interesting match ups as ever. JoBo got drawn again Swinny but had an epic fail in the second leg and didn’t put up a fight. Henry was paired up again Jake Monk and unfortunately failed to beat a child, something I hope he continues with into fatherhood. I was drawn against the ever quick Will Swinden. He fell badly in the second leg on the big right hander leaving me with a clear lead. Unfortunately I panicked, froze and still managed to lose. Gutted. In the second round Chegs and Swinny faced off first and it was a close one with Swinny only winning by half a second. Peaty came up against Will who resoundingly took him apart on both legs and 5 seconds overall, maybe it was the increased drag from the beard? Then came the Pearsons. They’d had a few rides down the sides of the track to figure out where it went but no actual practise. Tim had the easier draw and showed Joe Spivy who it was done. Chris was up against Chay who’d been practising for an hour and is rapid anyway. It was very close but Chris took the win in both legs and went through to the quarters. The Quarters were all tight, non more so than the brothers Pearson however Turtle, in his first dual outing, was smashing his way through the field. Watching him ride was an education, he was cornering on drifty loam like no one else, bike right over but still in control, feet up and peddling. I was impressed. The semis saw him face up again Swinny who managed to get a half second vitory and move on to the big final. Timmy brought a halt to Will’s progress and also moved through to the Big final, where Swinden senior beat him enough in the first leg to make up for a second leg loss. First time back this season and he takes the win. That boy can’t half ride a bike (and gives the best man hugs).

Get on board the Santa Train. Photo: John Horscroft

Once the poles and the lights were packed away it was on to the prize giving. With all the prizes wrapped up it made for an exciting selection process. The first few were shown off but it soon descended in to a blur of flying paper. As Turtle picked up his prize for 3rd place a definite grumble was heard from that side of the ring of people. He stepped back in to the ring, head bowed and admitted shamefully that he’d been running spikes. Swifter than the USADA with Lance he was stripped of his prize and his crys of not knowing the rules fell on deaf ears. Spikes are banned to keep things even and this was a very good demonstration of why. Tsk tsk Turtle.

Rhubard. Photo – John Horscroft

The Controversial Turtle using his unfair advantage to challenge the mighty Swinny. Photo – John Horscroft

After the 4th round the top of the Gnar points table is already hotting up. The best 7 out of the 10 rounds will decided the winner but at the moment Timmy is comfortably sitting at the top, with Chay 14 points behind in 2nd and Will Swinden sitting in 3rd.

 

Winter Dual round 3 – Enter the Death Chute

Winter Dual round 3 – Enter the Death Chute

Winter Dual round 3 – Enter
the Death Chute Inspired
by a death downhill dual
video posted up on Dirt
and emboldened by certain
comments about the loop
the loop feature I decided
to change things up a little
for my Birthday special.
Now this is where things
get a little hazy and all
information contained in
the rest of this post has
been dragged through a
Rum filter. This is because
my so called mates decided
that for some reason I
deserved to be poisoned
with rum as a birthday
treat. Now I’ll admit
that on occasion I have
been known to encourage
the imbibing of Rum in
celebration and forfeit but
this is always with

Continue reading
Winter Dual Round 2 – Loop the Loop

Winter Dual Round 2 – Loop the Loop

The second round of this season’s dual was a bit too popular. After having spent 10 minutes figuring out how to frig a 32 person gird for 26 the week before I’d come prepared, but then 36 racers turned up and we had to run a qualification. As these races go on, things do get smoother as the way they’re organised evolves. However, that week only Steph was hardy enough to come along and do the timing, which meant that I was on the second stop watch for the first time in a long time. After eventually remembering how it worked, I also remembered just what a job timing is and just how essential it is to everything these races are about. So again, a massive thank you to Steph for coming along and timing for us and also thank you to everyone else that helps out, Izzie, Laura, Mari, Henry. You’re absolute gems and we truly couldn’t race without you. Thankyou. Anyone racing should also pay big thanks to these wonderful people, hugs are free!

Dave Camus breaking loose – Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

I’d introduced a new feature in to this track which proved to be a bit of a leveller. After a short run in from the start line, there was a triangle of posts with tape around. The rider had to loop around them once before continuing on down the hill. The softness of the ground meant that it was actually impossible to pedal back up the slope. It turned in to a demonstration of cyclocross dismounting and remounting techniques with some much more successful than others. Both riders had to start the loop through the small gap in between the two triangles which did make for some good elbow actions. Once Quali’s were done, we got down to racing. Dunc had a bad loop and couldn’t get back on his bike meaning that he was beaten by two children to a place in the finals even on his brand new 5, courtesy of Orange!

Duncan Philpott in on bike photo shocker. Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

The first round saw Steve Hardcastle’s return to dual short lived, as was my own, being taken out by Dave Camus. Jim Norton faced Will Swinden but couldn’t match his speed. Ruari very narrowly missed out on a hugely humiliating defeat at the hands of Oscar Monk after a fall in his first run left him need to make up over a second. Luckily he held in together and advanced through.

Malco Carving. Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

The second round saw the departure of Tom Duncan to the very on form Danger Green who advanced to the quarters for the first time in a while. There was a real nail biter between Chris Pearson and Will Swinden with Chris taking the win by only two tenths. The Quarters saw Chay put out Danger and Craig dispatch Ruari. Luke Meredith missed a post in his second run after a closely fought battle with Chris, setup up a semi again Timmy. Tim’s victory saw him in an incredibly close Big final against Craig Evans who was riding at Whistler speeds. Their first round was too close to call and Tim’s dual expertise and questionable rear tyre were not enough to hold off Craig who got the win. Chay and Chris were equally close in the small final but Chay just took 3rd place by half a second.

Chaymus getting the bike over for 3rd place. Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

Massive thanks also to Marco Wood-Bonelli for coming along with his camera and documenting the action. Another great round of dual, I don’t think we’ll be seeing the loop the loops again anytime soon but you never know until you try.

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