Well, what can we say? It was a crazy idea to bring back that old-school racing vibe from the mid-90s: a weekend of racing different disciplines (trials, downhill and cross country) with one bike, one set of tyres and a big smile. Judging by the reactions, it was an idea whose time had come and for the hundred and something riders that made the whole weekend, everyone had a great time. The downhill and trials were mortal enough that most people did well, but with room for improvement for next time, and the XC was one of the more technical courses out there and not what you’d probably find at an NPS.
The Trophies were all laser etched by Hope Technology.
Here, giving the prize for Fastest DH time to Ali Clarkson is Councillor Bill Challinor, Deputy Leader of Rssendale Council and County Councillor Tim Ashton of Lancashire County Council (Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning). Cllr Ashton stayed for over an hour after the prize giving to find out more about Lee Quarry while his son, Jacob took a spin round the course with Ed Oxley. It was great to be able to show these councillors the benefits of the local and county council's work that has made Lee Quarry possible.
The Senior Men's Podium, L to R - David McFall, winner Mark McPhillips and Joe Beddingfield
Senior Women's podium - Tanya Boyten, winner Kirsty Forrester and Caroline Pryce
Veteran Women's winner Susan Hawkridge
Veteran Men's Podium, L to R, a headless Mark Wheadon, winner Darren Crowley and Ant Mayer.
Junior Podium - Ewan Bugler, winner Keith Baker and Tim Bevan with Cllr Bill Challinor.
There were many chances for a prize (far more than actually winning the race) with everything from 'Best injury' to 'Interpretive Pole Dancing'
Ed didn't win a prize...
Marshals were drawn from Lancashire's Voluntary Rangers, local racers and, here, from the Blackpool Seaman's Mission.
That's dust that is... DUST! Summer was fully in the house at the Weekender.
The main campsite provided sheltered camping and a mellow vibe for the evening bonfire
Ant from Ride On was chasing XC racers to encourage/scare them into riding faster.
The XC course went past most of the sponsors' tents for maximum heckling opportunity. Here a racer whizzes past the Kona booth.
The first wave of XC racers takes off for four laps. It was possibly the most motley-looking front row of an XC race ever. And so it should be!
Even with the lure of Dave's flask, Chipps still couldn't get the pink bike through section 1 of the trials. Fail!
Florian from Magura drove from Southern Germany just for this event. He's threatening to bring the whole workforce next year as he loved the mellow feel of the weekend compared to the rather serious German events.
Andy Gowan from spnsors MMA/Maxxis has his eyes on the line in the downhill. He was the rider who could truly answer 'What tyres for the Weekender?'
Section One of the trials provided a great spectacle from the main arena. Marshal Matt is still hoarse from shouting encouragement at EVERYONE!
What tyres for Lee Quarry? Why, these ones. of course...
Singular Sam impressed with his drop bar/rigid combo before the race, but actually selected his front suspension Singular as his one bike for the weekend as even he admitted that the course was a little too rough for Dugast tubular tyres on carbon rims...
Andy Mee from Kona/Paligap provided everyone with good-natured banter all weekend - and put in a very respectable 15th overall.
Phil 'the Horse' Moore put in a storming couple of practice runs, but fell foul of the final tabletop jump and crashed, leading to a bit of medical attention. He was well/glued together enough to step in and marshal the next day though.
DJ and chief commentator Brant from Ragley Bikes kept up a non-stop stream of commentary chatter for the weekend. Backed up by DJ Dave A, they were an entertaining team.
The local bobbies on bikes turned up to keep the peace, soak up the sun and put in a couple of hot laps. Rather too hot in one case as the PC on the left fell foul of one of the jumps and managed to discharge his CS Canister and break his handcuffs. He was awarded a prize for his efforts though.
You can't put on an event like this without volunteers and we had a great crew of mountain bikers and Countryside Rangers who stood in the sun and cheered people on.
Yep, that was worth a prize...
Top food all weekend from Steely's Catering. They were praised for their mountain biker-friendly portions and prices too. Darren's a mountain biker, so he knows what riders like...
Just some of the haul of goodies that riders got at sign-on - DMR's DVD for the first 50 entrants, and everyone got Fenwicks degreaser sachets, Powerbar Ride Shots, stickers from Maxxis and Singletrack and the latest issue of Singletrack.
Tony Lund from Lancashire Council was the driving force behind getting the go-ahead for the event and did all of the complicated logistics of getting enough water, loos and power to the campsite, not to mention the biggest bonfire ever.
Your Singletrack Weekender Team... Top work by all. Premier Partners