Doddy races the Erlestoke 12
Last weekend Doddy went back to his roots and took part in the Erlestoke 12- a 12 hour XC race starting a mid-day and finishing at mid night. The event has been successful in previous years under the name Set 2 Rise, but used to run 6pm through to 6am- although peoples body clocks requested different starting times…
When I started mountain biking, there was only XC and only XC bikes- so it felt great to turn up in the race paddock with nothing but the mentioned everywhere, and mainly hard tails too. Although I have a Charge Duster Ti hard tail, I’d kind of forgotten how involving hard tails can be and how much it would remind me of my early days racing once I’d get going.
For this race I was in a team of four with Charge Bikes head honcho Nick Larsen, sports marketing ace Rob Smyth from Red Bull and the infamous Bill Amberg; the iconic leather-smith. Bill has recently collaborated with Charge bikes to make a gorgeous vegetable tanned leather saddle- I was lucky enough to try one of the first four during the race. I spent a lot of time in the saddle, and have only good things to say about it- plus it’s a work or art. Lovely stuff.
We rode the 12hour, and although we were doing it for fun there was certainly some competition between myself and Rob for the fastest lap time! We worked on a one lap format for the first couple of laps, then settled in to two lap runs which suited me better as I found I could get in the groove and wouldn’t be much slower. I struggled riding single laps as I just chased anyone in front of me and ended up doing most the lap flat out- the track was so good I couldn’t help but ride it on the limit!
The first half of the lap was pretty quick, with a couple of horrible drag climbs, but the second part- split by a vicious little road climb was phenomenal. I heard people complaining of their hands hurting, and finding the going tough through the twisty singletrack- but I was too busy hammering to notice! The trail was so twisty that when I found the groove I was loving it. Yep, my back was hurting, my legs were burning and I don’t think there was a single spot on a lap when I wasn’t gulping in air- but it just made me ride faster. It was the best singletrack I’ve ridden in a long time.
A huge hats off goes to SPAM biking for the course design, the incredible hard work they put in and the slick event- I hope there’s a next time as apparently the MOD aren’t making things easy for the organisers. It will be a shame if it does’t happen again, as core events like this are what really gel the UK mountain biking scene together. I can’t emphasise it enough- fun events like this are essential- and if the men in suits that make the kind of decisions we fear are reading, then please drop us a line here at MBUK to see if we can help at all.
After 11hours and 42minutes after Nick started the race I finished my 5th and final lap in a time of 42.17- which I was pretty happy with given I’m an office monkey these days and it was blacker than black out there. A bunch of beers and tequila were consumed after to celebrate our 10th place, courtesy of Bill, and we enjoyed that round the fire chit chat. Just without the fire- maybe next time eh?
A huge big-up goes to the Charge pro team who won the mixed team 12 hour with 19 laps, and the Charge fun girls team, featuring my better half Steph who managed to win their race. They were the only girls team in their class, but that doesn’t matter! They soldiered on and rode 5 laps, which considering how technical and tough the course was, was great for their first race!
Also, we spotted Tim Flooks running the Solo 12 on his singlespeed- he loves it! I have to say though, Chris Noble needs a huge pat on the back for taking the win there with 16 laps over 11.25- on a singlespeed. He must have borrowed his knees from the Terminator to be able to get round that many times- there were a lot of vicious climbs!
And thanks to Duncan Snow and Dave Robinson for the photos. Check out www.MBKPhotos.co.uk for all the images from the event, plus more…
Any how, enough waffling for now. I’ll let you know a bit about the special bike I was racing next- a prototype Charge Cooker titanium 29er…
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 10:32 am and is filed under Blog, Blog, Cycling Plus, Mountain Biking Uk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.