That's me just back from round 3 of the Scottish Enduro Series in Dunoon. Dunoon is always a good venue and the trails there are super challenging. After a quick practice lap, I knew this race would be a wild ride. Stage 3 was fresh cut goodness and did what all good fresh cut stages do before racing, it became very, very, very difficult to ride. But we're a hardy bunch us enduro racers and complaints were at a minimum.
I came into this race with only one real objective, to finish it. I have suffered some bad luck at the races recently and I was keen to simply get a race finished. Practice was pretty uneventful apart from the midges. They tried to eat me and almost succeeded. We're all lucky I'm still here to tell the tale. They were vicious. I used my GoPro to capture all the stages. This is a new thing for me. I don't usually film the trails because I'm not normally one for using technology. I like to keep things "old school" when I can but I do recognise the benefits technology can have in our everyday lives. So I've made the move to filming all stages and studying them the night before the race to help me remember lines, or in some cases, spot new ones. I have included a little video which gives a flavour of the riding in Dunoon.
As far as the race goes, I didn't have the best of times. The cool thing about Dunoon is stage 1 is a mini prologue through the heart of the town. It is always nail biting but super fun. Unfortunately I had a bit of a stall and was already on the back foot loosing 5 seconds on a stage less than a minute long. The "proper" stages were up and down. I had a pretty good stage 2 which was flat-out open clear-fell. Scary fast!
Stage 3 is where things turned. I ploughed into the first turn and got caught in the rut and was pitched me over the bars. My gloves had mud all over them and I tried to continue but I had another over the bars firing me into a rather large puddle further down the stage. It was sad times and I lost over 1 minute on this stage alone. I knew at this point my race was pretty much over but I kept battling on.
Stage 4 I was keen to put the tribulations of 3 behind me and I was going well until some sniper roots got the better of me and I went down, hitting my face and tweaking my shoulder in the process. Despite this my spirits were still high and riding round with all the Elite guys was great fun. Stages 5 and 6 were ticked off without incident and I was pleased to get some good riding in. Stage 6 was one of the more terrifying things I've ridden as of late. You can see in the video just how gnarly some of it was.
All in all a fun although slightly trying weekend. Huge props to the No Fuss team who run these events. The Scottish Enduro Series has a perfect balance of grass roots feel with world class competition. The level is so high right now at these races and its always hard to compete with top level athletes but I love these races and will keep trying to improve.
Big thanks to Fall Line Cycles for getting my EVOLINK 140 feeling like new and The Drop Suspension for dialling in the shocks. I have a small break now but will put that time to good use with lots of post work rides and maybe even a few roadie spins.
Till next time!