The location for Rnd 2 of Southern Enduro, on Sunday 10th June, was Pippingford Park in East Sussex. We had two Crews there repping 250LONDON and having a ruddy good time, The Motley Crew and Team Far Kew....
They both sent us race reports and pics and, as it would be rude of us not to share their stories and happy wee faces, here they are. First up, The Motley Crew. Words by Nick Townsend...
GREAT RESULTS FOR MOT!
Glorious Pippingford, amazing weather for the 2nd year running. The 4 MOT's all arrived in good time! David, his usual super early self, Dom had been hydrating all week was raring to go, Alex actually turned up and I even managed to wake up on time! Sadly we were missing Matt from the Crew this time, pesky work getting in the way!
Practice was simple enough, we all got round and even cleared the mandatory gap jump that was manned by an overly encouraging photographer, who kept shouting “pedal pedal” at us!
Now on to the race. We all came flying out, setting a real good pace. Dom over took David on the way through. A few mechanical issues, mainly an exploding rear mech, led to the best post run hissy fit ever, with David cursing and throwing his bike around! The expletives where legendary. So after cooling down he headed off to the race village to see if they could patch up his bike.
With one man down, there were 3 MOT's left. Luckily, the next 3 stages where pretty much incident free. At the end of the last one, guess who caught us up? David with his patched up bike!
Great results for the team, 3 in the top 10, and I managed to snag 2nd place.
ON THE BOX!
Cheers Motley Crew, well done, we like your spirit, please keep up the good work!
So the boys from Team Far Kew are up next. A man down this time around, no Ryan to make up the 3 Muskateers, but Brad and Will repped in style as usual. Words by Bradley Beets.... (lots of words by the way, he likes words, but they're good words, he gives good descriptions of the stages!)
A CREW OF 2 FOR TEAM FAR KEW
A bright and early start and I, having attended Pippingford Park last year, was super keen for this round, as it was my favourite last year, largely due to the glorious sunshine they had at last years race and the epic trails. Assessing the soon to be scene of carnage, Pippingford Park was a quiet and peaceful place with some competitors just arriving and waking up. The sun was just starting to break through the low grey cloud cover and a nice gentle breeze was caressing the land. We hoped this would stick around and blow through the trees to keep us cool on throughout the day. The silence was then broken by the arrival of Will, in his Trabant. Now for those who don't know what a Trabant is, it's a 595cc 2 Stroke Weapon of a car that belongs to Will. Now the team were on site, bike check and prep was underway.
The night before Will, had this vision of new tyres equal more grip, so we threw two new tyres on his Orange, but we forgot to throw some sealant in the rear tyre. Nothing like the night before and morning panic prep for racing, is there?
With the bikes ready and the riders signed on and somewhat ready to go, we attended the riders briefing and were ready for practice.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, HOPEFULLY
As the trio was no longer, the terrible two set off for practice. Stage 1 start was right next to the van so there wasn't a long arduous pedal to get to the start. The stage starts with a pedal and has a few sections where you can sprint but its mostly tight turns, following along the fire road with a few off camber turns to make sure you're awake!
At last, we meet the transition, our nemesis for the last ride, this one, however, seemed to more friendly and direct to the top.
Once we arrived and located stage 2, we decided to amble down and see what was what. I was aware of a "Gnarly" Rock Garden in this stage from last year, so we had to have a gander. After watching another rider and see the light, Will sent it 1st time over the rock garden with me following suit. There was an uphill pedal mid-stage and a root that jumped out mid-corner. Be aware of this one!
Back to the top we pedalled.
Stage 3 started with a few drops and some off camber sections but nothing too scary. The only challenging section we found was a chute with a quick left turn at the bottom and a few roots. We nailed it 1st time and went back for a look and were confident with the run.
Last but not least, Stage 4 to do. I remembered this from last year as being a stage where maximum brap can be achieved! We rolled and assessed the situation, which was good and, hopefully, full send can be had in the race. Unfortunately, the one jump that you could really send was shut due to maintenance but stage 4 still delivered!
Right at the end of the stage, there was a little jump over a small waterway or you get your feet wet or slip in. Will decided, he would give it a whirl, ready for race run. He made it, but once he got to the other side, he nearly faced technical difficulties. Will kept it upright and we headed back for some food, I chose to reserve my jumping for later!
REFUEL FOR THE RACE
Back at the pits, and being the adventurous type, I opted for a PBJ sandwich, whilst Will went with a tried and tested formula of Mexican food again!
Fed and watered, we decided to tinker with the bikes for a bit, making fine adjustments and checking everything else was good to roll. The weather had most certainly joined us and the other competitors today, with the sun shining over the park. Both of us appreciating our 250LONDON Jerseys, which are lightweight and vented to keep us cool whilst sending it! (PS, this isn't a paid advertisement, just a large relief).
Being that the transitions of this round weren't as long as Round 1, we felt fresh and ready to attack our race runs. As there was just two of us, we decided to do our race runs together, some may say for encouragement, others may say different...
By now the queue to race had started to build up, so we joined in ready for a hell'uva day.
We decided to run in the same order as practice, Will in front with me following. We set off, sprinting outta the gate like some crazed individuals hell-bent on having fun. Unfortunately, due to the large start queue, our legs had gone cold and were toast by the Race Village. Will didn't have much in the tank but I felt like I could push on, but not before we both forgot about this little hump jump and crashing our way through it! This unsettled both of us, more so Will than me. Will smashed his way through a small bush to collect a small tree stump, luckily not collecting it enough to get a puncture. We pushed on as hard as we could! Onto the road sprint, we felt like we were doing rather well but couldn't help but think "Damn! This stage is longer than it was in practice!!!" After a few more twists and turns, I was finding my rhythm and catching Will, only for a small lapse in concentration to make a connection with a tree. This lost me some valuable time. Both of us reached the end out of breath, but so did everyone else! We took a few minutes to catch our breath and thoughts before pushing on to stage 2.
Back at the top, we caught up with Ethan, from Sick Bicycle Co. Turns out he lost his water bottle on Stage 1 and had to backtrack to find it before rejoining the circus.
As we set off on Stage 2, some flat and loose corners were ahead and the rock garden was laying waiting to claim victims but we powered on and through, with Will sitting on my back wheel until losing some speed through the flat corners, slowing his progress on the rock garden. This stage was loose flat-out corners, which were proving entertaining for me, as this was my first race clipped in and it made a huge difference when a sniper root popped up and claimed my front wheel. Luckily, it didn't claim me and a foot dab was all that was needed to keep upright and going forth, this did slow Will down though. We powered on as best as we could, trying to save some leg power for the mid-stage climb! Grinding our way through the climb and making it to the end, we waited for Ethan and set off back to the top.
Now at the start of stage 3, I had the bright idea of Ethan showing us the way. Was this a good thing or not? Let's find out.
As I was struggling with clips, we opted to let Will follow in 2nd with me in 3rd. We set off, following one another. Ethan stormed away with Will following and me trying to keep it all together, slowing realising, this wasn't my favourite stage! Will keep on Ethan's back wheel as best as we could, but damn the boy was fast!
With Ethan and Will entering the chute section, Ethan got all sorts of sideways own the chute nearly taking a tree with him. Will made it through but faced issues at the bottom with the loam, now being so fine due to the mass of traffic it had just endured. This caused Will to nearly lose the front and rear tyre but a quick foot down saved him from kissing the deck. The same can not be said for me, I came down the same way as in practice but wasn't quick enough to get it turned in the loam and then lost the front in the loam. Whilst picking himself up he, realised the others were gone and he was now fighting the tape. The track head was not without incident either. Will, whilst chasing Ethan, had out-braked himself on a tight left-hander and lost all momentum. He watched helplessly as Ethan stormed off. With both the Team Far Kew boys regaining speed, they dashed for the finish line, albeit reaching it at different times.
Last but not least was the final climb back to the top, where we opted for a little walk, to try and save some onions for stage 4.
As we reached the top, we were greeted by many other riders, embracing the calm before the storm that was stage 4. I think this stage was a firm favourite among many other riders as well as the team.
Again, they set off in the same order as stage 3, with Will giving Ethan some more space this time. Will and I set off, determined to catch Ethan and just send it. We pedalled hard out of the gates into the first jump and into the berms. We felt at home on this track as it was just pure speed and fun! Will hit the 1st berm a bit wide, unsettling him for the next, but he felt this was a faster line. Will inadvertently decided it was time for revenge on me for slowing him up previously, by going wide and losing momentum on an awkward right-hander. I jest, Will just got the line choice wrong which unsettled both of us! We both stormed on, hoping for the finish line to come up soon, as we were both spent at this point. We pushed on down the awesome track, that was stage 4, enjoying the final chute down to the end.
As we had prepared ourselves for the creek jump after the finish, we started a sprint out only to see others didn't have the same idea. A sharp application of the brakes and the day was done.
All that was needed now was to get back to the village and hand in our timing chips. We were joined by Ethan and cycled back to the race village, exchanging highlights of our day with each other.
Once the chips were in and provisional times collected, we headed back to the van to gather our thoughts. Not much gathering was done, with Team Far Kew and Ethan, just sitting around for an hour or so, chewing the fat about riding and the day's events.
RESULTS ARE IN...
Times: Will claims the fastest time again with 11 mins 46 sec with me claiming 12 mins 07 sec. I blame the tree and Will for the hold up, but racing is racing. Will claimed 21st in his class and me 25th in mine!
The Team was spent but cannot thank all the people who made Southern Enduro Race possible at Pippingford Park. It had just about everything you would want from a race, jumps, rock gardens, loam, tight turns and chutes, all they need is the speed and fitness! Both myself and Brad are looking forward to Round 3, which is being held partly on Okeford Bike Park grounds and the forest around. The team has visited Okeford a few times prior, so have some fun stories about riding there!
Again thank you to the organisers and marshalls who made the day possible!
See you at the next round!
TEAM FAR KEW
Nice one Team Far Kew, a thorough blow by blow of your race day!
Thinking of racing the next Transition Bikes Southern Enduro Event? Well the next one is the Southern Enduro Champs on the 14/15 July. Click on the image below for more information...