Pictures are now up in the gallery, here. If you are in a picture and would like a larger version (free) email me the picture number or use the contact form. About a quarter of what I shot is in gallery, if you send me your details i.e. race number, bike, colours etc I’ll have a look and see if I have any of you.
The video is now up: Youtube (HD) | Vimeo (HD)
So here goes my attempt at a short write up. Since the first time i read that they were trying to set up a Northern series i was excited about the prospect and Myself and James W got our entrances in nice and early to avoid disappointment. Even though the event took place on the same weekend as the First Peace Cycles round i was keen to get the entrance in as the track was limited to 150 riders, due to it being a new venue.
So after passing my driving test on the Friday morning 🙂 we set off mid afternoon with a very packed car full of stuff. Two bikes and three people in a Audi A3 we started the long Journey up North towards Kidland Forest, in the Northumberland National Park (for those who don’t know where that is somewhere between Newcastle and Scotland) so after a relatively hassle free Journey despite the best efforts of a Caravan driver and two people who decided to have a little bump on the motorway. We arrive in time to have a walk of the track, the track was exactly as described steep, covered in roots and rocks and all together very impressive and someone daunting.
So after finding our way to our accommodation, we had a “interesting” meal that we put together, before hitting the sack ready for the Uplift the next day. So the next morning we pack the car and follow the instructions we had got from the lady who ran the accommodation. We decided to follow here instructions as on paper it looked to be a short cut to get the forest in which the race was held. But after a promising start the short cut turned into some what of a sticky situation as we ended up in the middle of a moorland which is used by the military to practice on. So after turning back we finally made it to the forest after back tracking and heading the way we originally planned!
Anyway back to the track, the track itself turned out to awesome to ride down will the main problem being the number of people littering the track-side after crashing epically towards the bottom of the track. Making it almost impossible to get a full ride down without having to stop for riders in front of you on the practice day. With the uplift system being somewhat different to what i am used to with Bikes being carried on cattle trucks with riders traveled in somewhat luxury on Coaches. Luckily it stayed dry all weekend!
So after a somewhat disappointing 6 uplifts on the Saturday ( we got really unlucky with timings) Sunday morning practice begin with me and James W wanting to get a couple of full runs in before our timed runs in the afternoon. We managed 4 uplifts which was awesome and i was feeling really good about lines, it just came down to the race runs. So Sunday practice finished and riders began to gather at the top of the course ready for the race runs. And after a delay and some confusion about who was going when the timed runs began.
My first run went okay with a couple of mistakes leading to a rather slow time of 3.19 which i was a little disappointed about but i knew that i could improve greatly on my second run. But unfortunately due to some timing problems my second run time was not recorded correctly meaning i had to go back up to the top and do it again. So by this point i was getting rather knacked! But i still managed to improve on my first run time with a 3.10 despite a shocking top section as i had no energy left to pedal. Which placed me 29 out of 40 in the Senior Category. James W managed better than me with the fastest time of 3.01 placing him 8th out of 28 in the Masters Category. Overall a great weekends riding and racing and a great start to the Northern Series.