British Enduro Series Finals - Innerleithen
Last weekend was the final round of the British Enduro Series in Innerleithen. A home race for me I was looking forward to getting the show on the road. The trails were a pleasant mix of golfie and DH tracks. An excellent course was laid on by the BES team. The racing followed the lesser known format of practice in the morning, followed by racing in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday. We would be racing two stages on Saturday and three on Sunday. The whole week leading up to the race had remained dry and the trails were running fast.
I hadn't ridden my bike in a while. My Professional Legal Practice Diploma course has been on the intense side of things and I've struggled to get rides in. That being said my fitness is still ok so I wasn't too worried about that with most stages being downhill pointing, there was very little turning of the cranks involved... for the most part.
I was also riding a bike I had never ridden before. Some of the more eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that this weekend I was not riding a Kona. There is a genuine reason for this and I suppose I should address the issue here - My bike from Kona is currently on a boat somewhere. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond both my and Kona's control the bike was not going to arrive in time for the race. So I drafted in a friend and asked very nicely if I could borrow his bike for the race weekend. I now owe him many beers and a debt of gratitude because I was able to have a great weekend racing and riding with friends and I didn't have to sit on the sidelines.
So how'd the racing go? The racing went well... For 1 stage at least. Stage 1 was a high speed run down a trail known locally as "repeat offender". I was absolutely delighted to see I managed to start the weekend with 5th on this stage despite my chain coming off due to there being the lack of a chain guide on my loaner bike. From that point, I suppose things went a bit downhill. I had a massive crash on stage 2 when my foot got stuck between the front wheel and fork (I still can't figure how that happened) and I went flying over the bars. I still finished day 1 in 8th on 37 sec off the lead, knowing that I was perhaps more comfortable on these trails than some of the regular fast guys. All to play for on day 2 then!
Unfortunately day 2 I dropped my chain on every stage, sometimes it even jammed and my cranks were stuck in a parallel position. This was frustrating but I tried the make the most of things. I enjoyed pushing my limits and was really happy in how I was riding all weekend.
I ended up 10th in the end - a disappointing result but I had an awesome weekend regardless.
Big thanks to Fall Line Cycles, Hannah and Owen from Extra UK for their help this weekend and to SRAM tech UK for fixing a broken reverb remote in record time.
My last race of the year is next weekend at Ae for the final SES and with a bit of luck we'll see my new Kona on display.
Till next time!