One Industries Mini-Enduro Eastridge 2013

This past weekend saw the second in the Mini Enduro Series bought to you by the Naked Racing team at Eastridge Woods.

Quite a lot has been said about Enduro races in recent months, some good and some bad, but there is no denying they are going from strength to strength and if this race was anything to go by, that can only be a good thing. The whole concept of these races are to get people out on bikes and into competition, whilst still allowing the big boys and girls to throw it down and send the lines with style. This combined with the extensive experience of the organisers meant that the whole event was very relaxed and completely stress free.

Rocking up early was the order of the day to this race format. As the locals and keen campers had already ridden the routes on the Saturday, an early start meant that the whole route could be ridden with plenty of time to check out lines, grab some lunch and get on it for the race in the afternoon.

With three stages to race and start time dictated by your number board it couldn’t be easier to follow.
The first stage was by far the longest and with the recent rain the roots and rocks made for some interesting line choices. Throw in a couple of pedally sections and you had a 3-4 minute leg burner. With clever planning you then followed a logical fire road route to the start of stage 2.
At this point it is worth saying that the transitions were not timed and as long as you didn’t hang around too long you could easily pedal them without killing yourself to make the next start time. This also meant that if you had a mechanical you had at least a few minutes to fix and then get back on it and not miss your start slot.

Stage 2 was classic singletrack speederbike action through the woods. Tight and techy with plenty of trees to grab those riders who like to run 800mm bar widths. Sub 2 minutes of fun on this stage.
Then it was back up to the start of the glory run on Stage 3. Following a classic DH line and ready to throw it all to the wind, this was a flat out grunt over jumps in the woods, followed by a steep rocky slot and drop section and then over more jumps to the finishing arena. Throw in a cheeky stream to off-camber uphill section and you were into the cheers of the crowd.

This was not the end of it though. Just to keep the crowd happy and the riders on their toes, the finishing straight had a heinous, though small, moto jump in it. You had the option to keep your speed and bug out, or hit it for potential hero points and crowd adulation. Needless to say this was a carnage spot with multiple face plants and at least one full front somersault to flat. If you survived/missed the jump you then had to navigate a cheeky dog leg and pedal to the finishing gate and personal glory with another sub 2 minute time.

Talking to riders both during the race (there is plenty of time to talk tactics at each start point) and after the event, the resounding feeling was this was the most fun you can have racing bikes. It’s a combination of the thrill of racing and the enjoyment of riding with your best buds. Granted the locals will always have an advantage, but that is the same for any race. And at the end of the day this is not a format which allows for all that ego to get in the way of drifting some corners and getting your braaap on.
The only thing we are now waiting for is the next date and venue for the series and another stab at glory!

Top Fives:
1. John Owen
2. Christopher Keeble-Smith
3. James Flinders
4. Joe Buck
5. James Green

1. Andy Walker
2. Dan Pardesi
3. Nick Edwards
4. William Chambers
5. Rhys Sutton

1. Robin Weaver
2. Rob Marshall
3. Richard Minshull
4. Jonathan Adams-Martin
5. Sandy Plenty

1. Marcus Jones
2. Richard Webster
3. Richard King
4. Peter Roberts
5. Steve Parr

Super Vets
1. Christopher Waddup
2. Graham Parmenter
3. Gwyn Davies

Open 13-17
1. Robert Goodey
2. Joe Harrison
3. Vini Crighton-Poli
4. Ike Francis
5. James Keen

Hardtail ( 13+)
1. Adam Page
2. Paul Mackie
3. Steven Baldock
4. Garrick Thomas
5. Andy Gowen

1. Maxine Filby
2. Fay Cunningham
3. Liz Simmons
4. Helen Wainwright
5. Catherine West

Full results are on the Mini Enduro website and there are plenty of happy snaps on Roots and Rain 

Words – Tim Sadler

Photos – Tom Laws

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