NDHuro- Proper Enduro

Northern Enduro – Kidland – 2013

 

This being one Northern Downhill’s events one could be sure that the gravity aspect of this enduro will be well and truly represented, it was. Having raced the DH the day before I mostly knew what was on offer for one of the stages, stage three in the enduro simply used the DH track with a small detour round the steepest section in the middle. With no time to walk these stages but a rough idea of what would be involved I opted to go for the same tyre choice as in the DH full on Continental Mud King spikes. The transitions between the stages followed the same routes that the uplift uses for the DH, one section of this near the top of stages one and two was interesting. Going through a recently felled area it was hard work in places but it did improve throughout the day though and with more bedding in it will be fine, the rain didn’t help though and made it a bit wet in places.

 

Stage one did not disappoint, starting on the top of the hill it used the same start point as Alwinton DH track, twisting and weaving between the roots and stumps in the open before the narrow tree section. As the track reached the fire road, stage one veered right for a quick pedal along the track before dropping off left into the infamously steep woodland of Alwinton. This unused and undug section of trail with it’s off camber straights and steep switchbacks meant that spikes where a huge advantage. The new spikes on the Mud Kings enabled the bike to hold high lines, opening up the tight corners which means a good constant speed could be carried through the whole section. A short pedal over some rocks and through a little stream, a short incline and back on the original DH track. Plenty more roots, stumps and tight trees before another infamous Alwinton section, the wooden bridge, this has stopped a few people in their tracks and halted many a flying run. Across the bridge, up the following bank and the final steep chute to the finish. Fantastic. Back up to the top for stage two, this started in the same place as stage one but turned left at the fire road, it had a similar feel to the first stage, fresh and loose trail but this was even steeper in places. The key to riding this was to keep a constant flow going, on the day I likened it to carving through powder on a snowboard. The more you stop and start the more awkward it becomes. This also brought you back onto the DH track just above the wooden bridge. The transition up to the top of stage three wasn’t too bad, being shorter than the others, you soon found yourself at the top of the Kidland DH track. As mentioned previously, this used the same track as in the DH the day before but with a minor detour round the steepest section in the middle. This stage was different to the other two, where they were fresh and loose, this was well cut in and used, fresh, loose ground replaced with rocks and roots. Some may criticise other gravity enduro events for not having enough of the gravity about them, the same could not be said here. The format was similar to other gravity enduro events, a number of stages to be timed on and make your own way between them but the use of course may have been different to what some may have been expecting. A quick look at the amount of DNS results show that some riders may have underestimated the types of track that Carl and his crew develop, certainly more favoured by the more technical riders.

 

The event ran with a very simple format, an open time was given for each stage, just make sure you complete each stage while it is open. This gave the riders the choice of squeezing in more practice but then having to race back up to fit in the first stage or, having a slightly more relaxed morning and getting up to stage one early and having more time in the afternoon. I opted for the later, this meant the trails were less cut up and I missed the worst of the rain in the afternoon.

 

The racing went largely without issue, no major delays to speak of. What I liked was the cumulative timing screen at the end of each stage, this showed you our overall place and category place. Knowing your position before moving onto the next stage gave you an idea of how to attack on the next run. Most of the riders who started stage one in the race went on to finish the event, most of the DNS results were from people who didn’t complete a single stage. The final stage on the DH track saw some big differences in the times being the most technical and the final steep corner into the finish ruined it for a few riders.

 

All in all I’d say the event was a big success, with the majority going home happy. They may be a place for the more mellow and less technically challenging gravity enduro events but personally I’d like to see more of these demanding, downhill orientated endure events.

 

 

Results –

 

14 – 18

James Purvis                        9:59:488

Peter Hook                            11:59:391

Jonny Kerr                            14:28:991

 

19 – 29

Calum Ross                          10:23:103

James Knowles                    10:38:067

Matthew Hakes                    10:53:494

 

30 – 39

Chris Lazenby                      10:11:208

Andrew Devine                    10:20:681

Lee Baxter                             10:43:054

 

40+

Steve Deas                           11:12:545

Michael Strangeways         11:21:384

Brian Donkin’s mate!          14:37:628

 

Women

Helen Gaskell                       11:39:034

Sarah Newman                    12:33:442

Angela Coates                     15:16:530

 

For full results see www.rootsandrain.com

 

Chris Lazenby.

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