Friday, 10 July 2009
three into one
An early morning start for Jon and I with controls set to the heart of the north of England (Bacup). Phil was already in place to provide the southern element of the VCM pincer movement.
The Scots farted about signing in and sorting kit out whilst Phil headed out for a practice of the DH section (downhill as in a trail that goes down hill rather than true DH). Sadly, young Mr Moore managed to land the last (and only) double a little bit heavy on the front end, held it for a bit, then went down in a dusty heap. Whoops. Quick trip to A&E and he was quickly back on site to heckle, whilst having his wounds cleaned out by the local MRT.
The remaining 2/3rds of VCM headed over to the start of the trials section and both aced the hill climb. Jon went on to clear all sections, whilst I made a right arse of the balance beam and rock steps and finished the trials with a two minute deficit for the XC. We took a while to enjoy Matt's unique brand of encouragement on the hill climb and Jon made 1001 attempts to clear the whole climb (rather than the just the scored section) - FAIL.
Sun+peely wally Scotsman=burn baby, burn.
Onto the DH and the beep-beep-BEEP that gets the heart running high. Jon goes well and finishes with a one minute penalty (this based on closeness to the winning time) and I mince my way down to additional three minute penalty.
The rest of Saturday was a blur of a big beer run, beer and an awesome bonfire. Braw!
Sunday dawned bright and the VCM crew assembled (scratching and yawning) to face the challenge ahead. Quick briefing then off to the start line for two racers and one marshall.
1100 and we're off. At least the zero penalty types are. Jon goes at 1101 and I enjoy another 4 minutes of chit chat with Steve the Singular Ringer (who'd punctured on the DH) before we set off. You know how this goes. Up, up, up, across, down with a mandatory beer stop (for some) with Phil. Special thanks to Dave Anderson for some very special heckles (I have a lot to learn), Matt for the laughs and to the winner for lapping me at the top of the final descent and cutting short my misery.
Phil: bell rung
Chapeau to all involved - a new classic is born in the North.
2010 event is 3/4 July - you can enter here http://www.singletrackworld.com/2009/07/july-3rd4th-2010-the-singletrack-classic-weekender-2/
If you're passing Bacup with a bike, seek out Lee Quarry. It's a wee gem of a trail centre, in a quarry, up a hill and hopefully a model for reclamation of similar sites across the country.