Uk Bike Park Rd 1 12/13 April.
A report by Ace.
Only got down to the Park at Okeford hill near Shillingstone, Dorset for sunday, but as that’s race day that’s all that matters. So a very brief history, they started free riding and uplifting a few years ago, and other people have staged the odd race there, but last year they dipped there big toe into the murky waters of doing there own events with a 3 race mini series, now they have there own Tag H timing system and are running a 6 race series.
This is a laid back affair, forget the size and hustle and bustle of the bigger races, think grass roots and newbie racer’s. Everything you need is there, portaloo’s, mobile shop, they now have a portacabin cafe and one of the most outrageous uplift’s I have seen. Hands up who has been on Darrells Cwmdown service at Cwm Carn, well take that down the gym, pump it up, jack it up on steroids and add 6 wheel drive and you have the bike park uplift, which I must add has the best bike trailer in service ( no uplift damage to bike ) you roll up and they load your bike you get to the top and they pass your bike to you, even with 20 lbs of mud on it, and they are buying what is close to a snowcat just think of it as a mini tank.
Anyway tracks and racing. The ground here is flint and chalky soil which is something else when it gets wet, tyre choice is critical at this venue ( no place for bald high rollers ), Start at the start gate flick left over two tables,and sprint the singletrack, all the corners are bermed and you just rail round them ( I couldn’t stop smiling all day ) then you start dropping into the woods with banging singletrack and tight to the trees chuck in some big roots another table into the small man made rock garden then over a step down with a signposted chicken run and land on what is close to a flight of steps ( braking bumps ) rail more turns into a root cluster sweet bermed right hander and pedal away, then drop into the finish which was a nasty flat out sprint into a bermed left switchback sprint over the finish line.
I had a chat with Dirt when I started sending stuff in, and they said I have to be generic ( not bang on about hardtails all the time ) cover the basics who was fastest any thing exciting happen any gossip, just a general overview, SO if Jonesy is reading this he should stop now and go down the pub as he won’t like what comes next!
The gossip in the carpark was the arrival of a shiny new Intense M6, people where looking in the back of the van drooling over it, that was as far as it got, it stayed in the van ( too muddy ), as for excitement well Miss Vicki Field had an exciting day ( first race ) the only other girl on a hardtail I have met is Katy Curd ( look at her now) yeah Vicki binned it a few times but she got back on and finshed ( no DNF’s ) and will be racing again, but what was really exciting was the fastest rider down the hill Lee huskinson in 1.57.69, get this, on a hardtail, Fastest Lady was Jo-Sperryn Jones in 2.37.50 I think it’s safe to say an 8″ travel bike was not much of an advantage here.
As it was there first event they had a few small probs as the day went on, but every thing was dealt with quickly, with some extra help for Rd2 things should be smoother, they ran up there own ass’s all day making sure it all happened and it really is worth checking out, I will be going back for another race which say’s it all.
Check www.ukbikepark.com for more info.
Ace. (Hardtail Studded Denim Jacket Wearing Stud)
Uk Bike Park Rd 1 12/13 April.