Ollie Attends Welsh Gravity Enduro Event

An early season chance to race took me and my mate Craig to BPW for a mashup version on gravity enduro hosted by Welsh gravity Enduro. I like this type of racing as it allows you to repeat stages as many times as you like in the allotted time in attempt to set your fastest possible time. It also encourages you let it all hang out knowing you can have another go if you make any time consuming mistakes.
This particular race had three stages between 1-3 minutes long with a 4 hour window to set your fastest three accumulated times.

So after a mountain pass detour enroute due to localised snow we arrived at BPW surprised to see no snow, but there was -2 degrees temperature and chilling strong winds, time to kit up for the elements!
Waterproof Royal racing shorts, Upper Downs jacket and the trusty snood were pulled out of the van as I knew it was going to be a cold one.
We headed up the hill watching day riders come off the hill with bikes weirdly covered in dried frozen mud. Topping the first climb we chose to hit the shortest stage, a punchy 1 minute stage where pumping and good cornering would keep your speed in between the odd well timed pedal stroke.

First run down scoping lines always helps on this race strategy, so then quickly pedal back to the top whilst my lines are fresh in my mind and hit it again harder fastest and take the low smooth line through the rock garden. Happy with that, now onto to the next one.
Fellow race heads Jesse and Karl from QECP massive giving friendly advice that ‘Die Hard’ stage was muddy meant we’d tactically leave that one til last and keep the bikes clean and light.
Our next stage was the longest of the day, which included the trail ‘roots manoeuvre’. As it says on the tin some tricky rooty sections that sat the bike up and almost into a standstill followed by some fun gully like features that felt like a riding a roller coaster. Kamikaze Craig had a sit down mid stage so back to the van and a chance to warm my frozen hands up.

Second run down was fast with only two rooty slow moments. Pedal back up via the live timing van, good news I’d got the fastest time, but the fat lady hadn’t sung. So only Die hard left to ride before we’d set a time for all three stages.
The conditions were crazy throughout the day, the cold dry wind now blowing sandy dust across the fire road climb and the sun popping out through the heavy cloud just for a few minutes. No doubt we left the best stage to last, ‘Die hard’, a sprint into the trees huck the doubles and carry your speed through the tight S bends. Pre jump, pump and ride the bucking bronco all the way to the finish. That was wild!!
Convinced I’d be on the box we called it a day and dropped down to the visitors centre with only 40 minutes racing left
4th bloody place, the worst position to come in and only 2.8 seconds off the win.
A long drive home thinking a lot of ‘what ifs’ but I can take confidence that my bike two years on is still an amazing race weapon and I’m mixing it with the fast boys having had a fairly low intensity winter training. Bring on next weekend where I pull out the Dh bike for Pearce Cycles race at Kinsham. Big thanks to Robbie and Dave for the continued support and getting my bike up to standard for racing in 2018.