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Brechfa New Year Enduro 2012

Brechfa New Year Enduro 2012

Billy Thackray Billy Thackray

Rob “Box” Cooksley and Hazel Wakefield take home the silverware at the Brechfa enduro down South Wales way.

Brechfa Enduro. Bad Ass


Words and photos: Steve Jones

It was just another day at the Angel in Llansawel. A group of Scarlets supporters had mauled themselves into the corner underneath the gigantic fireplace in a parallel world with the mixed bunch of local farmers smashing the living daylights out of the resident supply of Carling and dry roasts.

Box and the Llansawel Hendrix Experience

Outside the proprietor and her boyfriend pulled hard on a brace of Lamberts, beside them the tired mud stained face of a banker from Cardiff propped his bike up and sank a Guinness. Three high viz blokes guarding the junction south to Talley or north to Rhydycymerau hinted at other goings -on. Down the street the village hall had become branded up, a group of women handing out free party bags to riders rolling in from the surrounding hills.

Back inside the hall was a return to normality as a local quartet gently rocked out an eccentric mix of tamborine and violin type tunes. It was all less than familiar.

Some well-known faces began to pop up. Doris the local bed and breakfaster handed out tickets to Tracy Moseley but she was here to provide hospitality to boyfriend James Richards and DirtTV video man John Parkin. Well that was a while after she had spent the day helping on the timing and finished discussing the weather with Doris, a large man, measured of gait, long in the nose and wonderfully hard on the fags.

Stage 2 action

Brechfa mountainbike clubs “Frostbite 40” was very much the place to give yourself a New Year beating before relaxing to a well made cup of tea and bacon sandwich whilst the timing crew busied themselves away back stage to get the results out. Refreshing commitment in all things two wheeled.

About 30km it was regularly up but the alongs and downs came at frequent intervals too. A chilled three hour outing and back for lunch to the welcome smile of Doris, that silver haired old fox tricking us all with weather talk.

Best kept sign.

A mean wind vied with riders for control of the first stage, a trail type descent full of berms and yet surprisingly short of grip. Balanced in flow and tempo this was an upbeat start under clear blue skies, and after a couple of climbs mixed in with the stuff of twenty first century trail centres, we arrived at Frostbite’s Special Stage 2 having not really witnessed anything chilling.

The trail rose, dipped, carved right into a set of rollers but thereafter pretty much ruined the entire field on a vicious half dozen uphill switchbacks. Part of the temporary and mostly forgotten pain and suffering of enduro riding this spilled us out with a tail wind and marvelous turn of speed into the lower and darker parts of Brechfa forest.

The climb

A man with a red van and box of bananas greeted us high on the hill and after a quick loop that included some high quality singletrack we danced into one of the Gorlech trail descents. Small jumps and turns, it banks hard left and drops you – a bunch of four wheel drivers with wax jackets were stuck in a pitiful rut – then we flew off, my riding mate and photographer Roo Fowler pushing the edge of his tyres into the valley floor.


Fifteen minutes of climbing dumped us into the highpoint and finale – another eight minutes of climbing. Call me old fashioned if you will but this was fucking relentless. Yet now sat at home with over a gallon of Loweswater Gold to look forward to it was but a transitory moment of…well I’m not exactly sure the benefit…muscle building maybe? I look forward to the super compensation – that’s always been an inherent part of mountainbiking – you get rewards and you get damages.

Tracy Moseley on marshalling duties this weekend

Enduro is bringing riders back together. The Frostbite mixed lycra with baggies, Troy Lee with heart rate monitors. Everyone took something but ultimately it was about people getting to grips with events run at an affordable cost – twenty quid to Air Ambulance – by a bunch of folk prepared to give up their Sunday morning, Tracy Moseley included.

Rob "Box" Cooksley won the event on his Intense Spider 29er

[table id=41]

  1. Doreen Grey

    Looked like a crackin event, gutted i missed it.. Any more planned?

  2. Rudy and Dave

    This enduro things all well and good but it’s a bit of a phase like 4x and freeride were. I suppose the washed up has been Downhillers and now Unemployed 4x racers need something to do though to keep them off the scrap heap! To be honest with only the downhill bits timed it just seems like xc racing for unfit lazy people.

  3. Sasha

    “XC racing for unfit lazy people.”

    Sounds right up my alley. I’m massive and lazy. Massively lazy, basically.

  4. Pro! (Rudy and Dave again)

    Yes rudy and dave are right on the money. You only ever hear about these events afterwards. I think they’re scared of getting too many people involved and then the as they put it “washed up downhill and 4x pros” and mountain bike jurno types would certainly not do so well.

  5. Spooky

    Load of bollocks Rudy & Dave. I think its more to do with the spiralling costs of DH these days, not everyone can afford to spend £70 to enter a race for what, half an hour max on the bike? Enduro’s represent much better value for money and are probably just as enjoyable. Don’t think its a phase either, these events are far easier to organise than any 4x event and will probably continue to grow and grow. How longs the mega been going???

  6. 4xlego

    BTW freeride still going, 4x has just changed organization, and wait oh yeah the MEGA is more popular than ever ! DUH

  7. Bikebrechfa

    Steve – thats Pat not Doris – great description of my neighbours though fella.

  8. Dave666

    Yes because Nicolas Vouilloz is a washed up dh racer for sure? Enduro has been running for years on the continent, its been a long time for the UK to catch up. Most podium placed competitors in other parts of Europe have also stood on podiums at WC dh events, Absalons training partner and brother is Olympic gold medalist xc racer so I dont think its for the “unfit” either. Sure the UK may water it down a bit and make it a bit more “gravity” based than our fellow Europeans but thats to encourage more people into competing and this in my opinion is a good thing (plus we just don’t have the terrain in the UK). Spooky – Mega has been running for 16 years now – plus look at the majority of bikes sold – am, full susser not xc carbon 29ers and full blown dh rigs. This is a renaissance period in UK mountain biking where what matters is riding bikes, no bickering about one genre vs another, when I started in the 80’s one bike did the lot and to be crowned world champ you had to be proficient in all disciplines, T-MO recognises this and has made her move, good on her, she like many of us just loves riding bikes, your welcome to have your say but think before you type…

  9. C.J. Parker

    …… for Rudy and Dave read SOUR and INEPT

  10. Spooky

    i know how long its been running Dave, that was the point i was trying to make! Rudy clearly has no idea what he’s on about…plonker!

  11. Pro! (Rudy and Dave under a different name)

    In europe Enduro is much more demanding in england it’s held at a trail centre where you can do a full lap in 50 min to an hour, never mind just doing the dh bits and taking 15min. What is Enduro about doing 15min of timed riding at a trail centre!?

  12. Doreen Grey

    As much as i like to think im Steve Peat or some freeride hero im not. I just dont have the terrain, skills or the balls (Neither do 95% of you) to do it.

    Enduro is just more relivant to what 90% of us are doing ie raggin the trails at Trail Centers or your local mini DH track.

    Sounded like a crackin event as was the xc ish one a few years back. As mentioned tho we could do with set of dates. Brecfa is my local and i knew nothing of the event till the night before..

  13. Pro! (I am Rudy and Dave)

    Exactly Doreen there’s just never any marketing of the events until after it’s an utter joke!

  14. Rudy and Dave
  15. churchie

    Ha ha, ‘Rudy and Dave’, still spouting utter shit.

  16. Rudy and Dave

    Hahaha this is like fishing dangle the bate in the form of a comment and watch the rage flood in. We must be a couple of master baters as there’s certainly been a fair few of you suckers taking the bait!

  17. surf1666

    I loved it. £20 is a realistic price for an amateur event. Great to see all sorts of bikes and bikers giving it a go. Big thanks to the organisers. I hope your beer goggles worked Steve!

  18. Hugh Jorifice

    @rudy and dave… you certainly are a right pair of masterbaters… that`s for sure..!!

  19. VonDH

    Dirt really cant you block ip adresses from clowns that post rubbish on here just to get a rise out of people.

  20. Ellava Bigfanny (I am Rudy and Dave)

    Von D it’s only an internet chat forum. You know none of this is actually the real world and that the views of some of the people are probably as you say, just rubbish they made up for a bit of a joke.

  21. billy

    VonDH, yes we’re looking into it. Rudy and Dave/Ellave Bigfanny and Pro! are all the same bloke by the way.

  22. wood

    Awesome event! super chilled atmosphere, have a laugh on the link stages then smash the timed sections! More please

  23. Dave666

    Nice one Billy, sure are some bored folk out there…

  24. stooky

    dont feed the trolls

  25. Parr

    Fair play to Carl and Bike Brechfa for organising the event, sorry i could’nt make it over myself, had to go oooop North, come on Carl organise another in the milder month’s

  26. elbry

    great event, hope they do a summer one

  27. Joe

    nom nom nom

  28. juansamwell

    Gutted I couldnt make it up there for this, sounds like a super sick event, Brechfa is a fine trail center too. good to see more enduro events popping up, should be a good year for it.

    Defo one for the calender for next year this, and massive props to my better half who works up in cardigan and did rather well in the women’s… Well in!!!. =)


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