Hannah went up to Innerleithen as chauffeur to her partner Fahzure. Being from the dry and dusty lands of Slickrock, where riding on muddy trails is considered bad for the trails, he’s barely ever ridden a bike in the rain before. So what better event to choose for his UK racing debut than the Scottish Downhill Association’s Innerleithen round of the BDS and Scottish National Series? Hannah took the camera.
On Saturday’s practice day there was still dry earth underneath, and it was possible to get down without looking like a laundry advert.
This section towards the end caused lots of trouble. A left hand turn off the usual track had you having to force yourself off the natural trail line and to one of three options on the left – a tight left into log drop then right turn, a wider right hand side line which left you with a tighter right turn, and a middle line that you had to get just right between to bar clipping trees. Lots of feet down, lots of pushing back up for another go, and plenty of ‘ooohs’ from onlookers.
Women’s Elite Aston Tutt goes for the left but takes the middle:
Rain overnight and light rain in the morning on Sunday meant morning practice runs had very variable conditions – dry here, wet there, dry with a wet root everywhere.
A few runs into seeding, the turn after that log drop was causing problems. Something seemed to be catching riders, and the logs holding the berm up had been smashed away by crashes.
The seeding runs were put on hold and trail builders moved in to fix things up.
Trail fixed, it was time to get seeding underway again – the dusty roost wouldn’t be there by race time – and there was still plenty of foot out ‘ooh’ action for the watchers.
The road gap in seeding – a chance to throw some shapes, or dead sailor it?
Conditions were slippery and sloppy by the time it got to race runs, with the heavens opening and dumping their contents on riders, spectators and the course for a solid hour, just as the first riders were sent down. It was a race run that really wasn’t over until you’d crossed the line, with plenty to trip you up even within the final 10 seconds of the course.
This steep turn had a lovely root in it, perfectly placed to draw you in to the tree, leading to plenty of clipped bars and pedals, a few hard rear triangle side whacks, and a couple of nasty flying crashes. Here’s a few ‘did they save it’ sequences
Even Making Up The Numbers’ George Thompson got in on the wild foot out action – he might have been disappointed with his riding this weekend, but we can give him points for effort:
All the results from the weekend are here. Does seeing this course make you want to have a go? Or maybe just go along and watch? There were plenty of spectators this weekend and it was great to see so many along to watch the action. Well done to all the riders – hope the clean up doesn’t take all week!