For the third race in the state series this year the club finally came back to one of our favourite venues in the pine forests at Wellington Mills, after a year’s break and a new-ish track. Not only that, it was the first race where we would get shuttled up the hill, instead of having to push our bikes up. All this combined for the highest attendance this year, with everyone excited to ride the new tracks.
What we didn’t look forward to was the torrential downpour on race day, making for some pretty miserable conditions, the kind that makes you question why you’re there in the first place..
Photo by Daventrish Blacker
For the third state downhill round this year the club went back to the (in)famous Nannup downhill track. Reputed as Western Australia’s steepest and gnarliest downhill track. Had that not been enough, after a fairly damp Saturday practise promising a perfect track on sunday heavy rainfall during the night had everyone scrambling to put on mud tyres and a completely different track to the day before. A multitude of crashes, broken bones, spirits and bikes all came together for a brilliant weekend’s racing.
For this year’s second race in the WA state downhill series the club rescheduled to race at Golden Grove at the same track as last year. This meant that for the first time since starting racing I would already be familiar with the track, leaving me concentrate on riding the same or similar lines, just faster; instead of learning a track from scratch.
Photo Courtesy of R. Zardins
After going well in practise, race day just wasn’t the same with bike problems and a few little mistakes making for two disappointing runs. Quite a few other racers had bad luck with one of the top guys having a big off, taking some time to be stretchered off the hill! Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Momentum Photography
I often get surprised/impressed replies when I tell friends that I race downhill, as if there is some special skill requirement to take part. Whilst very kind to one’s ego the truth is that pretty much anyone can and does take part in the WA state downhill series. Regulars include 10 year old kids, rolling down the tracks on hardtail bikes to fast talented elite riders who compete for a top 10 spot at national level (and for Australia the national level is close to world class). Also this time we once again had the fortune of 5 time world champion Sam Hill racing over the weekend!
Everyone has their own goals, though. Last year, being my first season, mine was not to come last in the lower ‘Sport’ class, which I managed by quite some margin. Others may be aiming at winning their respective class or going for the overall win. Whatever their goals, everyone could call themselves a ‘racer’ and be totally correct!
At what point though can someone really consider themselves to really be part of the action? Continue reading
This year is shaping up to be very busy for mountain bikers who race in Western Australia with no less than 3 separate series covering the newly emerging ‘enduro’ racing format and classic downhill racing.
Stage 3. Photo by A. Marinova
To kick off the season WA Gravity Enduro (WAGE) organised a 4 stage enduro race at the Goat Farm, just half an hour’s drive away from Perth’s CBD. Being WAGE’s second event ever they did a fairly good job of organising the event with the biggest problem coming in the form of of timing system issues, meaning the first stage times were not counted towards the overall time. Continue reading
As some readers may already know I have been working away at constructing a fully featured dedicated mountain bike track at the Lake Giles exploration site. Most of the planning and building took place from late 2012 to mid 2013 using nothing but hand tools and recycled rainwater.
Located in the Yilgarn bush in Western Australia, this is not your local track! The nearest paved road is some 120km away, the nearest major town a good 250km away and Perth just shy of 700km from the trail. Isolated and wild would be the best way to describe the bushland here, but it also uniquely beautiful – this is no desert!
Entering my second downhill race, part of the Western Australia state series, I had a chance to snap some shots after my race run!
We also had the privilege of racing against none other than Sam Hill who took advantage of a long break between the UCI Downhill World Cup calendar to race at home. Not many sports give the opportunity of novices such as myself to race against a 5 time world champion, reputed as the fastest rider ever by many.
8 Days in the South Island of New Zealand riding my newly built Cove G-spot bike in the Queenstown area. Words can’t describe the beauty of this place well enough, so I will stick to the pictures!
A day of fun around Swinley forest with a couple of sessions at the sandy cutting and plenty of going round in circles – at least we know every single route that gets to the coveted hydrant !
Castellane MkII! No surfing but plenty of swimming, cycling and walking. Highlights include camping at the Sommet de Cremon and a 6hr mountain bike tour of the lake up from Courchons down the west shore of the lake through the crazy La Baume and around the barrage in the south.
All in all some rather gnarrrrly rocky path decents and a worthy return to Castellane altogether !