Let us introduce you to our new Downhill Team Rider, Jonny Oddy! A Lancashire Lad, he’s 25 years old and has been riding for 10 years. We like Jonny, he’s confident, with a great attitude and that, combined with his penchant for stylish riding gear, made him a good choice for us. He kicked off his season at Rnd 1 of the Pearce Downhill Series in Ludlow at the weekend and had a pretty good race, all things considered! Here’s the lowdown, words by Jonny!
The Pearce cycles downhill series is one of the longest running in the UK, it attracts a great variety of riders and this event had a turnout of 328!
For those that don’t know, Downhill Mountain biking is simple, fastest to the bottom wins!
In this particular series you get two race runs, your fastest will be the one that stands. This can be helpful when you feel like sampling the dirt on your first!
The category I race in is Expert, this is the second highest category and is the stepping stone to Elite.
I went down Friday with some friends and this involved putting the gazebo up, walking some of the track and having one or two beers (okay, maybe more).
The hardest decision came Saturday morning - what jersey to wear?! After letting the lads decide, it was the red moto style Poster Jersey for Saturday and the Stars and Stripes for Sunday. Either day I would be the best dressed by far! On top of this I opted for pants as they are the comfiest I have ever ridden in, allowing you to pedal freely and look sleek in the process.
Saturday is the first day you can get your tyres on the track, its best to try and start steadily. I didn’t manage this and ended up crashing on my 2nd practice run of the day, wiping out on the slippy rocks towards the top. All was good, jersey and pants still in one piece ”breathe”.
7 runs in and confidence is high, until a mishap on some rocks…
This was the final run of practice anyway so I returned to the pits and changed to my spare wheel for the following day.
Now it was time for a swim in the nearby river to cleanse the body and soul! Yes it was as cold as you would think in March!
Race day is always a nervous one, the appetite is not what it usually is and the conversations are slower to get going than usual, however once the bikes are out and we are back on track it all runs freely again. 3 runs in the morning to keep up to speed and then its time for a long wait!
4 hours after the final practice run it is time for race run 1. 3rd at the speed trap (43km/h) and 7th at the finish line, the nerves have definitely settled now.
Another 2 hours 30 goes by and its time to do it again but hopefully faster. I gave it my all and really felt like I had gone much faster but crossing the line the commentator shouts ‘1 second faster’. I guess that’s racing!
I ended up finishing 8th/20 in expert but only 6 seconds off the win. A good start to the season!
Massive well done to Jonny, we’re impressed! We asked Jonny for a few words about his start to the season, he said this…
We’ll be keeping tabs on Jonny across the season as well as making sure he looks sharp at every event!