This weekend I was in Pitfichie for the second round of the Scottish Enduro Series. Located a few miles north of Aberdeen, Pitfichie is a well-known riding destination for those who work and live in Europe’s oil capital. Despite spending 4 years in Aberdeen at University, I’d only explored Pitfichie twice in all the time so I didn’t know what to expect.
Saturday practice confirmed that the trails here are rad. NoFuss Events had chosen some awesome stages and with the help of Chris Hutchens, a long time supporter of the area as a top riding destination and top elite racer, the stages were some of the best in the series yet. This was of course aided by the copious amounts of dust, loam and sun. Hardly any mud was spotted which made for a nice change.
I felt good throughout practice and my bike was feeling on point after getting a pre-race service from Fall Line Cycles.
Race day came around and me and all the other elites set of for stage 1. This meant a four or five mile road ride to the mouth of the forest before climbing the steep hillside to access the first stage. It was about halfway up this climb that I realised I’d forgotten my timing chip. I couldn’t believe it and rode back to event HQ as fast as I possibly could. I got back and collected my timing chip and headed for stage 1, hoping to reach it before it shut.
I made it just in time but was pretty tired having sprinted up the climb and done the road ride twice. I gathered myself and set off down stage 1. I was angry at forgetting my timing chip initially so I channelled that anger into my riding and rode the top half of stage 1 quite well.
All was fine until I hit a rock, or something immovable and my bike made the most awful noise. I carried on but saw the chain was now off and wrapped around my crank arm. I coasted to the finish and looked at the damage.
My chain had impacted on something on the stage and there were now 5 or 6 stiff links. This meant I couldn’t pedal without the chain skipping or derailing and it was in danger of snapping at any minute.
I made the difficult decision to abandon the race after only one stage. I was really gutted as I wanted to ride the rest of the awesome stages but sometimes things go wrong and “that’s racing” as they say.
I’m remaining positive and looking forward to my first EWS of the year at the end of next month. Bring it on!