The UK has been missing its premier UK Gravity Enduro Series, but great news; 2018 sees the UK Gravity Enduro Series return!
We decided to catch up with the UKGE Organiser Steve Parr.
Rideio – Steve! Good to see you back organising UKGE again!
Steve Parr – Thanks Ems, it’s exciting to be back!
Can you briefly describe whats in store for the 2018 UKGE series?
Lots of ups with huge amounts of fun downs and a finish arena stacked with industry goodies. We are going to pick up exactly where we left off. Relaxed atmosphere, great food, awesome stages and a proper day out on the bike what more do you want?!
Two venues confirmed, any details on the other venues or are you still scouting out new ones?
Yeah we are still scouting venues and talking to land owners, we are hoping to have venues up and down the UK.
Can you explain why the series finished in 2015?
How long have you got?! Basically it was a real shock to see British Cycling pull out of the fastest growing cycle discipline in the UK. Add to this the added pressure of becoming homeless along with Liz being pregnant made for some poor PR and decisions from me. Round 1 of 2015 saw it targeted by scum bags, 11 bikes were taken from the pits, 3 being my demo fleet of MDE’s. This was such a low point for me and this made me step back and realise that my family came first.
What’s behind the decision to come back?
Gone mental I think!! Some crazy person, think it was Vini Poli, started a hashtag campaign #bringbackparr. It got a fair bit of support straight away, this started the grey matter going. Then I got messages from people within the industry asking to me come back. That confirmed the decision.
Do you think Enduro racing as a sport is growing?
Enduro is still in its infancy in the UK, not even 10 years old yet! As a discipline it’s going to carry on growing year on year, bikes and riders are so much better now. This is where the majority of bike sales for the industry are now, so it will continue to grow and develop.
2015 saw some exiting venues such as this full of natural goodness in Triscombe
Everyone likes fresh venues but how hard is it to gain new venues for the series?
Just got off the phone with a new venue for UKGE. Gaining new venues requires hard work and a lot of luck, so many things can go wrong as you start to develop the location. Locals can stop supporting it, FC or NRW can stop you working instantly and there is usually no way back then. UKGE is unique in enduro as well, we have the final stage at all venues coming into a DH style arena, without this it’s a none starter for UKGE
What rules will be in place regarding full face/open face helmets in the 2018 UKGE?
Helmet rule is very simple, you’ve got to wear 1 secured to your bonce properly at all times. On stages your full face or chin piece must be in place on your head secured properly.
A helmet of choice would be one with a removable chin piece- Check out our First Look on the GIRO Switchblade here.
And any insurance requirements?
No personal insurance required for 2018, but it is highly recommended.
You used to run the BDS with Si Paton, what do you think of the recent news of his retirement from organising the BDS? did he go wrong anywhere or just that numbers are declining in DH racing generally?
Feel sorry for Si, his world has been turned upside down outside of racing. I ran it from 2007 -2009 with Si and we did lots to kick start the DH scene in the UK, made no money though!
The bottom line is that racing, be it bikes, horses, cars, motorbikes or pretty much anything that requires people to spend lots of time sorting, is expensive. Everyone wants money for their services in the UK.
Enduro has a nasty history of ‘creative’ line choices, is there a way to make sure these tape jumpers don’t get away with it?
We will continue taping at least 80-90% of our courses, same as 2015, anyone found making their own lines will be dealt with instantly and not allowed back for at least a year maybe longer. We know who some of the “cheaters” are and will be watching.
The only person they are cheating is themselves, shame they won’t admit publicly they are slower and have to resort to cheating.
Sometimes the temptation is too much!
Cheers Steve, we look forward the UK having a premier Enduro Series again in 2018, we will be covering them all on Ride.io
Looking forward to seeing you on a stage in 2018 Ems.
Will keep you posted on all developments as and when they happen, wont be long before we announce the title sponsor!
Entries will go live on Saturday February 3rd at 09:00hrs. Places will be limited to 300 spots per venue
Make sure to keep your eye’s peeled on Ride.io for any news for the 2018 UKGE series
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