Ae Gravity Enduro – After the rain…

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  • Ae Gravity Enduro – After the rain…
  • Stu661

    You missed a bit out mate.

    The trails used in these events will be largley trail centre quality trails, however we will include more challenging and off piste/natural sections where possible to make it enjoyable and challenging for all riders.

    They also posted on facebook the stages that where going to be used and it clearly stated the downhill track, if the downhill was not in the race then it would have lacked any tech sections. Also the weather didn’t help if the heatwave had continued the downhill track would have been fine.

    The way I look at is gravity enduro should have a bit of everything.

    Premier Icon onewheeltoofew

    …I think people should be able to put their hand up and say ‘I am not good enough for this’ or ‘I am not comfortable with this level of tech/speed/terrain’ rather than say ‘its too hard’.

    RHS, you’re forgetting, this is STW, no one here would could ever admit to that πŸ˜‰

    BTW I think this format is brilliant and is really what mountain biking is all about.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    enjoyable and challenging for all riders

    except those who left or didn’t do those stages! As Craig pointed out on page 1 if he had wanted to do wet muddy/rooty DH there was a race in Bringewood on at the same time!

    There is a bit of a leap between Red and DH track especially in the wet, I would agree with a bit of everything but maybe some foul weather plans etc.

    The future will say how the event went down so far there has only been another 10 or so entries for Kielder.

    Will see how that one goes


    mikewsmith – I think you’re perhaps exagerating your point a bit here. Yes the “DH” track was used but it was a DH track with the worst of the obstacles avoided. The step down, the large jumps, the larger rock gardens were all bypassed. Yes there were a couple of steep sections and some roots and a lot of mud, the latter made an awful lot worse by the pretty shocking weather conditions. All the remaining drops/jumps had detours available around them and all bar the bottom section was rollable at slow speed for anyone not confident to ride it fast (the bottom section was slideable on your arse through the mud if necessary πŸ˜‰ )

    As others have said, it was made clear that these races would not be just a race round a trail centre route with no imagination – I’ve avoided the Avalanche Ae rounds in the past as I it just seemed a bit dull. The name itelf surely suggests the series is going to have a
    bit more, erm, gravity based action

    As you stated earlier, you finished 90th overall so clearly weren’t struggling too much with things.

    Obviously it’s horses for courses with this type of racing and, being new in the UK, time will tell as to what people make of it. I left the weekend happy that 95% of the people that raced, finished with a huge smile on their faces. Yes, some were covered in mud; yes some took a long time to get down. Hell, I trashed my bike, abandoned the race and was still laughing at the end…..just!
    The important thing is there was a great atmosphere and I for one, can’t wait for Kielder.


    Thinking about it – the comments about the course being unrideable in the wet and mud, with people abandoning the race, reminds me of Mountain Mayhem 2 years ago. The weather turned the DH sections into swampy quagmires with lots of people giving up. I don’t think that could ever be classed as too extreme – the weather plays an important and unavoidable part.

    Indeed the DH race at Bringewood was run on the same weekend. They had to change the course used half way through the weekend as the original choice was unrideable. And they’re DH’ers πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Stu661 – Member

    They also posted on facebook the stages that where going to be used

    Plenty of people had signed up before that point though, those only went up at the end of March, and even then only on Facebook not on their actual website. At the start it was like getting blood from a stone trying to get any indication of the route, I was literally saying “If it’s just on the red I’m not going, tell me it’s not” and getting no real response. You shouldn’t have to dig.

    Just playing devil’s advocate here btw, it’s my idea of a good event, but I do think their communication’s been less good than it needs to be.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith


    I was round the corner from you in the car park, well done for the finish on the borrowed bike.

    Not to hit it too hard but an event like this needs wide support, I did OK, would have done better without the DH!!

    I was mainly disappointed/annoyed by the way it was laid out on the web then after an update on facebook suddenly included the DH etc.

    I’ll go with the horses for courses argument, just know a few who wont be back if it chucks a few stages like 5 in again which is a shame as they really enjoyed 1-4. I fully accept that there needs to be more challenge for some – I’ll take mine that there was 30-40s to find on S1-S4, not too bothered about S5 as my aim was not to hurt myself.

    Most DH races would have run Chicken Runs round the hard obstacles anyway, gives you a time penalty but can still compete.

    Would have liked to see some marshals up there as I have raced DH tracks like that (Pearce Rd 1 was similar!) which would have been mandatory Full Face and 10 marshals on the course.

    All in all event was good for me but not for the people I came with who had hoped it was the middle ground that they would enjoy. Neither would have entered had they known what was coming, details were a bit late in coming out as to the track choice. Will see how Kielder goes.

    Don’t want to spend my days arguing my point but there are always 2 sides in these things those aspiring to move up and those who are looking to do well. Events when they start need to cover both and establish themselves before excluding people. This sort of event is still fairly new over here (2 Kona F Ups and 2/3 Avalanche Events?) maybe we need to let lots in and see where it goes rather than deciding where it needs to be from the start. I’d rather see 250 riders from all fields (XC all the way to DH) entered than 150.

    Entries for Kielder 110 so far so need a few more to come would be a shame to turn people away because they are not good enough(there were more masters than that at Ae!!)


    I’ve never ridden a DH course or a trail centre Black route. Without the rain I do not believe that Stage 5 would have been any harder than the previous 4 stages.

    It’s a shame it rained so much but its a personal choice as to whether you let that ruin the race for you. If you didn’t like the Stage 5 in those conditions then walking all or some of it was still an option. I know I would rather walk it and complete the race than skip it and not. Actually, thats pretty close to what I did.


    Mike – I think you’ve got me confused with someone else – I didn’t borrow a bike.

    Most DH races would have run Chicken Runs round the hard obstacles anyway, gives you a time penalty but can still compete.

    There were multiple line choices on the DH section and any drops were easily bypassed (the biggest of these was still a lot smaller than those on stage 1 (shredder). The only difficult sections in my eyes, involved roots which, had the weather not been so bad, wouldn’t have been any issue at all.

    All in all event was good for me but not for the people I came with who had hoped it was the middle ground that they would enjoy

    Funnily enough, the 3 guys I was riding with all said that stages 1 and 5 where the definite highlights of the day and the majority of smiles I saw were at the bottom of these.

    None of us are of a level that will challenge podiums but we all ride a lot in varying terrain and have fun doing it. This series is just an extension of that idea and that’s the appeal. IMHO it would be a shame if a series like this turned into a “race” round trail centre routes that can be ridden with a stop watch any time. The mix of different styles makes it what it is and challenges every skill.

    I guess this argument could go on for ever, as will similar arguments re every genre of MTB racing/events – too long/short, to easy/not challenging enough, too pedally/not pedally enough. Time will tell if these guys have got it right. I think Ae was a good event with a few teething problems that round 2 should hopefully rectify.


    can someone please explain how it will be raced at Afan? im guessing they are riding the Wall

    Premier Icon Vortexracing

    Whatever the final format, I think i am going to have to have a go at this, it sounds very enjoyable

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    it is.




    Others did say it was practically the same as the SDA run recently

    IMO The track taped out for this years SDA was the easiest DH track I’ve ridden in years and favoured the fitter riders. there was only one tricky rooted corner but as long as you hit the right line shouldn’t have given you any problems.


    Mike, you didn’t expect a sensible discussion on here did you?


    For those who haven’t seen it, there’s a pretty good round up Here that give a good idea of the track & conditions.

    Rob HS: “I did the race last year and I race across Europe in Enduro (All mountain Series, Enduro Series and SuperEnduro). I am all behind this series but it needs to be longer. Its not a Mini DH, its an enduro.”

    “I have to say i would be very annoyed if i travelled a great dinstance for under 20 mins racing. The UK need to look at Europe. Check the latest elass enduro tour. 26 mins for top rider and no faff with seeding. This is on same size hills too.”

    So, 10 minutes more makes it all better? IIRC the winning time for the Flims Maxi Avalanche Cup enduro race was 18m and that’s in the Alps πŸ˜‰

    Besides travelling a great distance in the UK is still much shorter than travelling to Europe to find that extra 10 mins riding time.

    Next thing you’re going to say is that there’s no point running the British Downhill Series on tracks like Moelfre because it’s only short and if you’re travelling to Wales you might as well go to Morzine… πŸ™‚

    As it stands – and unlike in Europe, where the races are held on footpaths, so not possible here – we don’t have any specific Gravity Enduro trails so a mix of trail centre descent, relatively easy DH track and a bit of purpose built stuff is what’s going to make up the mix for the time being.

    It’s easy to rubbish what’s being done here but bear in mind that although it’s well established in Europe, it’s still an emerging sport in the UK – once people are more used to the concept and style then maybe more purpose built trails can be made/found to run the events on.

    As it stands it’s still good riding and most importantly, good fun.


    DirtTV:Ae Forest 661 Gravity Enduro overall winner Rob Cooksley

    Anybody know exactly what happened with the timing for Box’s run?
    seems pretty weird that it was 1.01 out, 20, 40 or 60s I could understand more easily. if it’s just a case of taking your own moto-timer along and complaining at the end I’d be a pretty disappointed Crawfy.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    LOL at the idea of longer stages

    Where should we have started at Ae from a helicopter!!


    SingletrackJon. Yes. Twice (and thats Nino and Absalon so UK riders would be 20 mins e.g. Alex Stock)
    I guess thats when you still liked to puff? πŸ˜‰

    If you read what I said and used the examples of other events (of a similar nature) and if you check how much more riding they packed into a day you’ll understand what I was trying to say. And that is ‘More Riding Please’.

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