Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Photo courtesy of Andy Fricker

Rd 4 of the series was down in kent at the pretty impressive Porc venue. This meant fully getting to know the M4 and a bit of a wrestle with the M25, by far the best way to spend a hot saturday afternoon! Porc itself is a woodland set aside for mountain biking. There is a massive log cabin which sits alongside the track and plenty of earth works scattered around catering for Dirt Jumpers downhillers and obviously the 4X riders.

The track itself is an interesting one, it is a blast to ride being absolutely flat out and included some relatively challenging corners at the bottom as the rock hard ground is covered in a soft layer of fine sand making traction pretty sporadic in places. I dont think however it produces brilliant 4X racing. It is too narrow the majority of the way to allow overtaking and very little preparation before the weekend meant only the main line was smooth and completely free from undergrowth. The first corner was in most cases where the race was one or lost. The inside line had the advantage, the entry was over a small jump wide enough for 3 and a half riders and the exit was wide enough for 2 riders abreast. The outside lane allowed you to generate a lot more speed for the exit of the corner but there was no where to use it as the inside line more or less totally blocked off the exit. From there on any overtaking required a pretty bold manoeuvre or a mistake from the rider in front.

My motos themselves went well with 3 wins and a 3rd after a failed attempt at trying to take the inside on Dave Roberts left me sprawling around on the floor. I grabbed a second place in the quarter but only a 4th in the semi leaving me in the B final up against Gareth Parr, Tom Gethin and Tim Pearson. Off the start in the B final we were all level necking into the first corner. The width of the track wasnt having this though and I felt someone get underneath my bars causing me to veer into the side of Gethin taking us both down in the process. Flipping into the floor gave Gareth and Tim the chance to get clear and Gareth took the win. I grabbed my bike and managed to get down to take 3rd place which left me with 7th position overall. The Senior podium was taken by John Hewitt, Lee Feery and Dave Roberts.

It was a fun weekend of riding but we are now looking forward to the next round and the national champs at South West Extreme which is being held on a totally fresh track that is rumoured to be a massive step up in difficulty with technical features that should create some really exciting racing.

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Monday, 5 July 2010

RedHill NPS 4X


Redhill is one of my favourite 4x venues. It always has a great atmosphere with the camping right next to the track and lots of other antics going on with the dirt jumps and new bomb hole area. The track is flat out and really doesnt take much effort to be properly hauling making some pretty exciting racing.



I have recently made the transition to clips and this was my first time out using them in anger. I am still at the stage where the stupid crashes happen due to forgetting to twist and unclip, apparently this is all part of the learning curve but so far I have done a half back flip pulling out from the take off of a steep jump and forgetting I couldnt just jump off the back of the bike. I almost ate it at Bryn Bettws getting hit by a gust in the air and had a good stack in practice on the saturday over Redhills new rock garden, in short this new clipped in stuff is still pretty hairy and giving me a few to many exciting moments.



The payback is off the gate and the reassurance of being able to attack the pedals without foot issues. This was doing me well off the gate and 3 out of the 4 motos I was out in front by the first corner. Unfortunately 2 of these motos I ruined the lead I had by binning it on the bottom half of the track. The first crash was on the grass chicane, my tyre lost grip on the second corner, grabbed and high sided me into the take off of the following jump. The second crash was on the last corner when Dave Roberts was right on my tail and I pushed too hard losing the front wheel on the grass hairpin. These crashes turned what was one of my better days of racing into a bit of a disappointment as I didnt make it through to the quarters. The senior podium ended up being taken by Tom Gethin, Peter Hosker, and Dave Roberts.



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