Chicksands Mini Downhill
“The Sands of Time”
Mini- something small, something miniature or midget like.
The results from the Mini Downhill race at Chicksands are really of no consequence to what actually happened on the day. The sands race was unusual as downhill races go. A hill that was in no way steep or technical, so far to say that you could probably get down it on a tri- cycle, as long as it was fire engine red of course. However, for me personally - someone observing from the cheap seats, the event on the whole was a blinding success. Great to watch (as you could see most of the hill), no long delay in between race runs and a crowd that seemed completely into what and whom they were watching.
Racers were a plenty. A full grid, in Moto G.P. terms. Some on downhill bikes, some on free-ride bikes (if you think there’s a difference), but the masses were on their trustee hardtails. That’s the beauty of a race like this. You don’t have to re- mortgage the house or ask mom and dad to cash in their savings bond justto get a bike that is suitable. An M6 would have been completely out of it’s depth on such terrain. The fact is, a Barracuda would have been more suited to the job.
Four crossers were out in force. But why wouldn’t they be? In between their mini race runs, the four man track and dual slalom run were both within arms reach – well, a few spins of the crank anyway! What more could you ask for. Race, play, race, play. Fun in the sun. Perfect!
I spotted a pack of Welshies. Amongst them Rowan Sorrell, World Cup Downhill racer and master trail builder. It’s fantastic to see a rider of such a high calibre at a grass roots event. Shaun Bevan, the hardtail 1.04 living legend was also hanging around in the Welsh pack. Apart from their obvious riding skills, I must say that both “Welshies” seem to have their ‘just stepped of the salon’ hair piece on. I wonder what conditioner they use? Perhaps it’s the Welsh water? Shampoo and set anyone? Lovely…….
Our very own South East DIRT mag man was testing the mini Downhill track. “Rodeo” Rod Fountain, who can not only ‘Spin a Yarn’ and put it to paper, ain’t to shabby on his factory Curtis either, setting a respectable time of 34.565. The ‘Fountain of Knowledge’ not only has a fantastically well groomed beard but was racing in a state of the art denim outfit that wouldn’t look out of place at a Billie Ray Cirus concert. Yee Ha Rodders.
Times, race that it is, were quick. The fast boys were in the low thirties (seconds). Slower times came in just under the minute mark. Nick Geoghegan had the fastest time of the day with a 30.909, but everyone who hovered around the thirty second mark were basically haulin ass. It meant nothing that this was only a thirty second run - the quick lads in every class were fully committed, to no holds bar racing. A race is a race for some people. Job done. Nuff said.
Here’s what a few said. Racers that is.
Helen “Yoof” Nicholl. Fourth in women’s class. Time- 47.062.
“Thoroughly enjoyed every second. The course started out muddy, slippery and pretty chaotic to ride but it soon dried out and made for some good racing. There isn’t really much more than I can say other than it’s been a great day and I hope the next one isn’t too far off………”
Tom “Where’s Jerry” Shilvock. Eigth in senior’s. Time-34.411.
“Chicksands Mini Downhill race was like a can of wood stain. Smelly. No, I mean exactly what it say’s on the tin. I haven’t raced downhill for years as I just got bored of waiting around only to have a couple of practice runs and two timed runs.
So when this race came up and the Midlands O.A.P massive wanted to come down then I thought it would be worth my twenty quid. There is so much other stuff to ride you can’t really go wrong. It’s fair to say that it was a good full day of riding. So what if it wasn’t a full on downhill race, it was fun and for me personally that’s what counts.”
The people have spoken. Well, two anyway. Who am I to disagree? I only disagree with my wife and cat. The organisation was on the button. The atmosphere on the little hill was top notch and the weather was text book perfect. If you want proof, here’s a few photos taken with no flash and its not just because I can’t afford one, it truly was a beautiful day.
Mini Downhill racing. Just because it’s small, doesn’t mean to say it’s not going to be big. Sounds a bit strange really, I know. Kind of like David and Goliath. I can never remember who won out of those two blokes but my money is on the midget with the mic……….make that two and a half blokes then.
Youth - Tom Knight - MTB Bitz
Women - Sarah Jane Hewitt
Senior - Gary Drake - AW Cycles
Master - Colin Williams - Solid Bikes
Pro-am - Nick Geoghegan - AW Cycles
Full results here.
Thanks for reading. Remember, your butcher is for life not just for Christmas.
Chicksands Mini Downhill