Finally, I’ve done my first UK Gravity Enduro. Its taken me long enough, I remember many years ago listening to Steve Parr (who organises them) discussing his plans for the new racing format, and excitedly thinking how that would suit me. I know Steve from riding under one of his teams back in 2009, he was kind enough to take me on board for XC. For one reason and another I never really got involved with the Enduro scene.
I rocked up this weekend with my 2012 Specialized Enduro Evo, its a beast. The timed stages appeared quite old school DH in some places (wet roots and steep) I was thankful for the Evo, as it soaked up many of the plunging mistakes I made. It didn’t help with the trees I hit or the numerous punch pedally bits either. There was a lot more pedalling than I was expecting and I really suffered. You would expect as an XC racer I’d be happy with the pedalling but I felt like I couldn’t get this thing moving for very long, despite my best efforts. The timed stages mean you have only about three to four minutes to show what you are capable of, any weakness or error is punished exponentially. All that aside, I was right when in last week’s blog when I suggested my skills were outdated, they are, I was crap!
Really good to see so many women not just having a go but are bloody good at it. One of the reasons I moved away from the DH/gravity type racing was the poor turn out of women, two or three per category was a lot. Now you have a nice spread of results with something to aim towards, twenty two women turning up, this will hopefully continue to grow.
Of course, what is always noticeable about these events is how social they are, such a nice atmosphere, really great to chat with folk. It was also about time I caught up with Bruce and Jamie Gardiner of “Mudhugger” too, they kindly helped me out with their enduro mudguards, it was pretty wet on Day, 1 the Mudhugger was spot on. They too got chance to show off their skills – I just want to point out I beat Bruce, not far off Jamie…
Gravity Enduro Round 2 is in Grizedale, not sure what I’ll do yet, I need to have a good chat with Garry at Sportstest, I don’t want to get too distracted. Unfortunately, when I don’t do so well at something that I think I should do well in, I get a bug that eats away at my conscience, it won’t leave. It happened with the 3 Peaks cyclocross, first attempt I was 11th, second attempt 3rd, third time I won it. Watch this space, who knows!