The Handlebar Festival

by Ben Haworth 0

The Easter weekend’s three-day Handlebar Festival, which kicks off on Friday 10th April at Hawkstone Park, Shropshire, is set to be a scorcher with plenty of handlebar-related, high-adrenaline action and lots to see for all of the family.

Mountain Bike Mayhem

The Clan who are Scotland’s premier Mountain Bike, BMX and Trials cycling display team and famous throughout the UK for their daring tricks and stunts on all three types of pushbike, will be performing demonstrations throughout the weekend. This expert team is expected to wow the crowds with its exciting displays of trials cycle riding over jumps and objects.

The Clan, who are passionate about bikes and stunt cycles, will also be hosting a family orientated area, where spectators can have a go at performing tricks and riding special bikes under the direction of the team’s trained staff. This specially devised ‘Bike Games Zone’ will prove challenging and exciting for those who fancy giving it a go, and there will certainly be some interesting bikes to try.

Motocross Madness

The all-new event surrounds the opening round of the 2009 MX3 World Championship and the European MX2 series, both of which feature British riders who travel to Hawkstone Park determined to show their potential on the world stage.

Current leader of the British MX1 Championship, Brad Anderson, will contest the MX3 races aboard his PAR Honda CRF450R. Anderson will be the main man flying the flag for Great Britain this weekend, and he’s gunning for a place on the top step of the podium.

The EMX2 Championship is where European young-guns cut their teeth before progressing to world championship level. The fact that MX1 frontrunners, Kevin Strijbos and Sébastien Pourcel are both former EMX2 champions illustrates just what an effective proving ground this series is. So keep your eyes peeled for the fast guys, as they are likely to be making a big impact on the world championship series in the very near future.

Motocross aside, the concept of the event is to introduce new people to each sport, and event organiser, RHL Activities, has put on a host of handlebar related activities throughout the three days. With free tickets for children under 14 years old, it’s a bargain weekend out in these credit crunch times, with something to entertain all of the family.

Frenetic Freestyle

If you’re a fan of big tricks, and even bigger air, then don’t miss the Monster Energy Freestyle Motocross crew, who will be performing on all three days of the Handlebar Festival.

The four-rider Monster Energy FMX crew will be keeping the crowd awed and entertained with a wide repertoire of tricks; all performed 20 metres above the mini bike racing circuit!

And if you’re worried that you don’t know your nac-nac from your superman, then don’t be, as the team will have someone on hand to explain what’s going on, and how each trick is performed, throughout the display.

British team rider, Chris Brock, has been away in Spain over the winter perfecting his technique, including the infamous backflip. Although we can’t promise he’ll be able to pull off a backflip this weekend, we’re sure the aggressive style of the UK’s best FMX rider will leave you impressed.

Mini Bike Melee

The Handlebar Festival will also host mini bike races during the course of the weekend. Some ultra-competitive adults from the mini bike world will race these miniature dirt bikes around a purpose-built course. This kind of racing is a growing sport with its own British Championship, and experts will be on hand with information should you be interested in getting involved.

Quad Quest

Four-wheels will also feature at the Handlebar Festival with the quad tryout zone. Anyone who wants tips and advice on quad riding and racing, as well as having a go at riding a in a safe, controlled area, should head down to this section, where industry experts will be on hand to supply you with all the information you need. Quad racing is also a growing sport in the UK with a range of different disciplines, so if you’ve ever fancied a go at this high-adrenaline sport, then now’s your chance to find out more.

Trials Technique

One of the Handlebar Festival highlights is expected to be the demonstrations from Trials expert, Graham Jarvis. The 33-year-old reigning British Trials Champion will be displaying his exceptional skills over various different obstacles. Jarvis will be riding his Sherco trials bike and offering lots of advice about this super-skilled sport during the three-day event.

The world renowned rider, who regularly holds training schools, is well respected throughout the sport, having finished in fourth position overall in the World series on three separate occasions.

And if this isn’t enough to whet your appetite then there will be a range of trade stands to see whether you’re a handlebar enthusiast or just fancy a browse. RHL Activities is well known for it’s massive variety in entertainment and The Handlebar Festival, which is a new addition to the event organiser’s major event roster, will certainly be no exception.

The Handlebar Festival will definitely be an extravaganza with the masses of racing, shopping, displays and fun, so why not bring down the family for this super-cheap weekend out. Tickets are available on the gate priced at £10 for adults on Friday and Saturday and £25.00 for Sunday. Children under 14 years go free for the weekend.

The Hawkstone Park circuit is located just off the A49 between Shrewsbury and Whitchurch, near to the village of Hopton. The exit off the A49 can be found between the B5065 and the B5063, and is sign posted Booley Stanton.

Event Timetable…

Friday 10th April 2009

14.00: FMX Free Test Time
14:00: Mountain Bike Demonstration
14.00-17.00: Honda My First Licence Try Outs
14.00-17.00: Quad Demonstration & Try Outs
15.00: Trials Demonstration
16.00: Press/Invited Guests 4X Race
17.00: Mountain Bike Demonstration

Saturday 11th April 2009

10.00-10.30: EMX2 Free Practice (Group A)
10.15: Mini Bike Practice
10.40-11.10: EMX2 Free Practice (Group B)
11.10: Trials Demonstration
11.20-11.40: MX3 Free Practice 1 (Group A)
11.40: Mountain Bike Demonstration
11.50-12.10: MX3 Free Practice 1 (Group B)
12.00: Mini Bike Racing
12.40-13.05: EMX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice (Group A)
13.05: Mountain Bike Demonstration
13.05: EMX2 Start Test Session
13.20: FMX Display
13.20-13.45: EMX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice (Group B)
13.45: Trials Demonstration
13.45: EMX2 Start Test Session
14.00-14.20: MX3 Free Practice 2 (Group A)
14.20: Trials Demonstration
14.30-14.50: MX3 Free Practice 2 (Group B)
14.50: Mountain Bike Demonstration
15.15: EMX2 Qualifying Race 1
16.10: EMX2 Qualifying Race 2
16.30: FMX Display
16.50-17.20: MX3 Qualifying Practice (Group A)
17.30-18.00: MX3 Qualifying Practice (Group B)
18.10-18.30: EMX2 Last Chance Qualifying Race
18.30: Mini Bike Finals
19.00 FMX Display

Sunday 12th April 2009

09.00-09.20: Warm Up For Non-Qualifiers
09.45-10.05: EMX2 Warm Up
10.00: Mini Bike Practice
10.30-10.35: MX3 Start Test Session (Group 1)
10.40-10.45: MX3 Start Test Session (Group 2)
10.40: FMX Display
10.45-11.05: MX3 Warm Up
12.00: FMX Display
12.25: EMX2 European Championship Race 1
13.00: Trials/Mountain Bike Demonstration
13.30: MX3 World Championship Race 1
14.00: Mini Bike Racing
15.25: EMX2 European Championship Race 2
EMX2 European Championship Podium Ceremony
16.30: MX3 World Championship Race 2
MX3 World Championship Podium Ceremony
17.15: FMX Display
17.30: Non-Qualifiers Race