Water Pistols, Demos And World Class Enduro. Tweedlove 2018 Fires Up.

by 0

The jewel of the Tweedlove festival – the big weekend of the Whyte British Enduro Championships is well underway and we’ve been running around, getting a full taste of things.

Ruaridh getting low on Stage 3.

It’s not just about enduro racing though, there’s a whole weekend of events going on. (starting on Thursday, because that’s when weekends ought to start) with the Media Night, which featured the annual film and photo competitions, as well as talks by the local enduro heroes of Katy Winton and Ruaridh Cunningham and a sneak preview of the Dudes of Hazzard’s new (epic cross country!) film.

Joe was not singing this time.

Friday dawned clear and sunny and I took the opportunity to sample some of the great XC riding in the valley in the company of RIDELINES, with a ride out to Gypsy Glen, which was running dry and fast, as the whole area is at the moment. Then we took off into the forests to see some of the stages being practiced by some of the hundreds of riders who’ve come here for the weekend. Even the locals had a few surprises in store, as the organisers had taped the courses so that they didn’t always follow the regular lines of the trails that the locals would already know.

A little Gypsy Glen action to clear the head in the morning
And some cold feet to finish if you get the ford wrong.

Then it was back to the race village for a look at some of the hundreds of delicious demo bikes in store before suiting up for the Love Cross event – a hard and fast race around the race village, with cheering crowds and water pistol snipers. Even the youngsters weren’t spared a soaking. 

A festival of flags…
Getting serious in the Love Cross final
There was no mercy in water pistol alley
None. At. All…

Meanwhile, up in the trees, the pros had been practicing the trails.

A lesser-spotted Winton
Katy is going for it this weekend. Podium or nothing. And preferably the top bit of it.
Great to see Tracy Moseley visiting the event after having a child this spring.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Heading out for a big 60km loop of the valley (and beyond!)

And now the weekend proper starts, with hundreds of riders lined up for Gritopia and Skinny Tweed this morning and a town green full of demos (and rather fine food…) Later on, there’s more demoing, an outdoor cinema and a chance to relax with a Tempest beer before Sunday’s carnage. See you trackside!

Some of the hundreds who lined up for Gritopia this morning.
Who wouldn’t be that cheerful with a sunny morning?
This has been telegraphed in from out on the course. Not half bad…


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Leave a Reply