Ae Forest has been busy lately with three races in the last three weeks – an SDA race, national enduro, and now national downhill races. Weather wise, the last two weeks there have been… interesting – greeting us this weekend were the boggiest of conditions!
Waking up in the dry and having to dive out into the heavy rain and trying to bash out practice runs in the wet along with standing in uplift queues in the rain was a grim thought. But then it’s the same for everyone!
I managed six runs on Saturday practice. I headed up on the first uplift because I was pretty keen to get out and throw myself down the hill to warm up. Riding was so fun. The track was pretty straight with not many corners, just flat out and rough. This made things pretty wild and it was more like surfing down most of the track, either drifting, or being airborne. Decent. Right good laugh with good people.
Sunday was race day and again I woke up to heavy rain! I managed two solid runs in the morning before qualifying though.
Qualifying came and I had a good run going but ended it at the big double. There was a pretty wild, muddy and rooty right hander, which was a drifter. I didn’t want to dab a foot and get my cleats full of mud so hit it full commitment, feet up. I saw a high high line in the corner after it and hopped up onto that but I got a bit carried away and ended up too wide into the steps and stalled. I had to hop the steps on the far right from a track stand and then had to pedal hard to the double, snapping my cranks on the landing.
I didn’t want to drive seven hours back home without doing my race run so had to search around the shops, stalls and ask friends for a spare set of cranks. Luckily for me, Harry Molloy from Solid Bikes was there to save my day, lending me his cranks due to an off ending his weekend.
I was knackered come the race after rushing around searching for bike parts. It was pretty stressful but managed to sort out my bike in time and get up the hill in time for my run! I had a good run, nothing mega wild but good enough to place 10th in the Expert category and had a heap of fun whilst doing so.
It’s great to be back in the top 10 and in the mix after a season ender last year. I was ranked 5th overall in Expert until I ruptured and lacerated my spleen half way through the season.
All in all it was a top weekend catching up with people I’ve not seen since last season, and seeing new faces around the race area is always cool!
Cheers to everyone who’s made the weekend a good’un and everyone who helped me out. Also massive thanks to my sponsors Morvelo and Mulebar for everything they do.