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  • Weeksy08 the ongoing racing trials and tribulations of a crazy teen
  • riklegge
    Full Member

    Great work! Good luck for his exams, my daughter is in the midst of them too.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    doris5000
    Full Member

    I’ll be honest and say it was slightly bitter sweet as pre-season he planned and set out “Finish top 15 at Pearce” which he had of course managed. However as we got closer to the race he’d targeted a Top10, so slightly unfortunate there

    If I’m reading the results right though, he would have placed top-10 in the 17-18 age group, so it’s not too bad…

    That Felix Griffiths would have placed 2nd in the Elites!

    weeksy
    Full Member

    https://www.instagram.com/reel/C6_2k6oMZjm/?igsh=dDZmOHYwdjJ4dnl5

    The boy just messing about on Weds evening with Katy, going through the details and picking up little snippets of information week in week out from her. Her (and his) dedication is fantastic, I sometimes wonder if she dreads my emails as i spend a lot of time picking her brains. But in reality she seems to love it 😀

    The Session has been golden for a while now, whatever issues we had have not been present and the bike is running sweetly. We’re heading into Fort William next weekend so it’s all be little details for me on the spanners, things like the idler bearing area cleaned, checked bearings, the lower chainguide bearing cleaned, checked etc… Little tiny things like that.

    We’re currently breaking in some new pads, yesterday he was out bedding them in. First set is a set of EBC and we’ve got a set of Galfer Pro to try this week if we get out. I was chatting with the boy/Katy about braking and whether we can make up time using the brakes in different ways. We’ve run Uberbike race matrix pads for ages, but the fact he’s getting 6 months+ out of a set of pads makes me wonder if we’re really making the most of the brakes in terms of pads/performance, hence wanting to try something else.

    I tried a set of Hayes Dominion on Katy’s bike this week and they feel AWESOME… but chatting to my mechanic, they’re a bit up/down in terms of rebuild, servicing, repairs etc and the SRAM Code RSCs really are incredibly simple on his bike. We’ve never had an issue with them and they just ‘work’. The mechanic was selling me on the idea of Tech4 Hopes, so he’s going to grab a set of spares and we’ll fit them to the Session for Antur Stiniog shortly as a ‘test’ and see if the boy gets on with them. I’d then need to find my big boys wallet to get them bought lol.

    He’s still mid-GCSE mode and working hard, so this weekend racing is taking a back-seat, which i’m fine with, we’ll soon have them done and be back in full flow.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    The Galfer green (ebike?) pads appear to be awesome – I’ve fitted them to my lad’s bike and they seem very good. No idea on longevity but they’re a hell of a lot bityer than any matrix pads I’ve ever used.  I’ve often had them glaze over and become wooden and useless.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    IMG-20240525-WA0004

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Well as always that was some weekend.

    Sat brought a load of new kit, jersey, helmet and gloves. So the boy was looking pretty flash.

    IMG-20240526-WA0003

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    Saturday brought great weather, not too many flying insects and lots of flying riders, some well and some badly! The attrition rate was pretty high, although not as high as it was for wheels.

    The wheels on the Session though survived well, but for some reason we don’t seem to suffer wheel issues. He was running 22F and 22R with an Argotal front and Krypto rear, both DH super soft.

    Practice went well and he went into seeding pretty happy.

    Seeding he placed 24/72 which wasn’t bad, but he felt he couldn’t quite let go like he should and does on other tracks. But a solid run down.

    Sunday started dry and went well again, more crashes and more people off for A&E. But ours went smoothly enough.

    As we got to 12ish and the rains came, hard and long, staying for a chunk of the day. This changed the track massively and my cleaning job for race

    IMG_20240526_142310

    But he’s happy in the wet so went up for race run. It went well enough, he was 4s slower than yesterday in the dry, so we were happy with that and more importantly, both him a d the bike in one piece.

    22/68 he placed. Not quite hitting 20th which was his goal for 2024. But the field as always in Youth is insanely hard, people fast as heck everywhere. So we came in happy overall.

    We ended the day with a funny media moment, but not for him! More to follow on that

    I’ll write a bit more when back next week, but for n

    ow, that’s your lot.

    Tracey
    Full Member

    Top result. Well done 👍

    thorpedo
    Full Member

    Great result

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Just catching up with the last few pages, good to see you still going.

    I tried a set of Hayes Dominion on Katy’s bike this week and they feel AWESOME… but chatting to my mechanic, they’re a bit up/down in terms of rebuild, servicing, repairs etc

    we’ve got a set of Galfer Pro to try this week

    getting 6 months+ out of a set of pads makes me wonder if we’re really making the most of the brakes in terms of pads/performance, hence wanting to try something else

    I second the awesomeness of the A4s. With your maintenance regime perhaps you can afford to run the brake he likes the most. Not many pad options, but that includes Galfer so no problem really, and OEM are good too.

    the idea of Tech4 Hopes, so he’s going to grab a set of spares and we’ll fit them to the Session for Antur Stiniog shortly as a ‘test’ and see if the boy gets on with them

    The style of lever on these seems pretty different to anything else out there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes his mind up pretty quickly.

    As you’re definitely sweating the details with everything, have you considered telemetry DIY or a session with someone who knows what to do with the data?

    Where’s the tyre journey at by now, have you settled on those Contis you mentioned?

    I see he’s riding well from the Insta clips. I think what he’s wearing is normal for the circumstances, and speaking purely from wanting the best for you while not judgemental, I see him sending the non-DH bikes with an open face helmet, no gloves or elbow protection. Hope you can keep in 100% health throughout the season, without picking up some annoying niggles like even a scraped palm off the pump track.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    We ran ebc this weekend, but in truth he didn’t notice any difference between them and the Uberbike race matrix.

    We’re at Antur on Thursday to test the Galfer. We’re both happy with the RSC so they’ll be staying.

    Funny enough that you mentioned the elbows, he’s got a full Fox jacket but he’s had that nearly 2 years and is too tight and restrictive, so at weekend he used the hard vest type and elbow pads we borrowed off a mate, so we’ve now ordered a set of those as he liked them.

    Suspension is looked after by TFTuned and it’s off there for a service in a couple of weeks.

    Conti are indeed the choice we’re sticking with. We do have an option of a tyre sponsor but I don’t think we’ll take it up in truth.

    His riding is still going in the right direction, he was 30s quicker at Fort William than he managed last year, but of course everyone in the class improves too, so his position wasn’t that much higher in terms of placing.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    We ended up coming back last night instead of today, i think everyone had peaked and just wanted their own bed, so instead of stopping half way down for the night, we just stopped for food there and i made the final jaunt getting back at 10.30pm .. So everyone a bit tired.

    The weekend though was awesome again, the Highlands of Scotland are a lovely place (if you ignore the midge bites i have now) and the track/racing is incredible there

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2pTMFd2]SDA-Fort-William_DSF9603[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr

    He’ll have to get on the case of picture purchasing, but for now this one will do.

    It was great seeing the boy bonding with his mates again and riding all weekend with them, they’re all becoming a tight little group and having fun, it’ll be a shame when that invariably ends as people drift off either into teams or other sports, but for now we’re really enjoying the vibe in the pits they all have together. Sadly though one of the crew broke her collar bone in the morning on Sunday and ended up having to head early to A&E to get it seen to, but as we know, that’s the nature of the beast and sport. She’s OK though and everyone has been really helpful and positive to her.

    We had a few interesting fixes as always over the weekend, Katies (team-mate) Session needed a pivot main bearing set swapping, happily for her she had both me and the Trek mechanic from Cotswold Cycles on hand and it was swapped quickly and easily.
    On the morning of Sat after run 1, our mate Isaac had an issue that his rear axle was mullered, the threads were destroyed. We set about a plan and sent his mum to Nevis Cycles and we tried to think of weird and wonderful fixes we could go with. I then thought i’d go see Andy at Viris. They ran GT Furys the same as Isaac previously. In a very weird twist of fate, one of Andys riders had lost his bottom shock mount bolt/spacer and was running round the pits like a loony before having to end up going home early.
    So, I had one of these bolts/spacers and a deal was struck with Andy, he gets our spacers and we get the axle 😀 happy day. Isaac was back out racing 😀
    Over the rest of the weekend it was mostly wheels. Not for us, although we did have spokes loosening, but many many broken, battered and destroyed wheels throughout the paddock.

    The boys race run was fairly solid and looking at the results his actual position in relation to various riders is about right in truth, that’s where he is in the grand scheme of things roughly. So we’re as always happy to get down in 1 piece with a bike that works and a rider that’s not broken. He is again closer to the guys who are occupying the higher places and of course that’s his job to work out how, why and what he can do to get closer and up to them. We will of course plan and work on that in the coming months (Starting with Antur Stiniog on Thurs) But the reality is, these riders are just bloody impressive as riders, any single one of them could ‘make it’ in terms of results in the coming years, it’s no shame in being 22nd in a National DH in this Youth cat that’s for sure.

    So today it’ll be into the garage later to sort, check, clean, etc both kit and bike, organise gazebos, chairs and everything else, it’s half a days job at the end of each weekend and honestly really it drains you but, well, it’s what we do 😀

    We are considering a bit of a plan change later in the year now, the plan is/was to race all the Nationals with Glencoe being the 3/4 Aug. However we’re also racing Champery for the European Championships on the 10/11 so we’d be getting back from Glencoe on the Tuesday and driving to Morzine on the Wed and i simply don’t think that’s going to work. Add into the fact the midges and desolation of Glencoe, the £300+ expense of racing there and of course the potential for a mechanical/accident that would wipe us out of the Euro Champs, it’s just not the best idea i think. So we’re pretty much decided on canning Glencoe. Riding or skipping 1 National isn’t going to make or break his season and define where he ends up in the sport and there’s only so much we can realistically do sometimes.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2pTV6Jf]_DSF9596[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr

    Cool pic by Hannah the Editor 🙂    (and now friend)

    Tracey
    Full Member

    Great write up.

    I think it might be the right decision regarding the events, Its not only hard on the driver if no one is sharing but still takes it out on the passengers. If it was me I would spend the extra time and go out to Champery a few days early.

    We once did a back to back races with Abigale and the EWS events in Ainsa and Finale. 2700 mile round trip. Finale was the last round of the season and Abigale came back to the van at 6.00am Monday morning after the afterparty. She had to be in Uni next day. We got back in time but wouldn’t want to do it again

    weeksy
    Full Member

    IMG-20240528-WA0057

    IMG-20240528-WA0023

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    bigdaddy
    Full Member

    Great pictures there! Well done to you all, it’s still so interesting watching all this develop and evolve! Keep at it!

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Thanks lots, we don’t have any intention of stopping this game yet. It’s a heck of a ride. I don’t think at times I can quite convey how much of a rollercoaster this is a lot of the time, from joy to frustration, to despair and back to joy.

    Where he ends up with it all doesn’t matter, he’ll be who he’ll be, but we’re riding the train until the proverbial wheels fall off.

    We’ve gone slightly rogue and booked a FoD race in a couple of weekends time. His race mate is struggling with belief at the moment and it’ll give him a bit of a boost, so we said we’d enter too. I’m tempted to book myself, but not sure yet. I’ll see if I can still ride a bike this week at Antur and then I’ve got my own coaching session on Sunday, maybe after that I’ll book it.

    pimpingimp
    Free Member

    I’m loving the more recent updates, such a huge change in confidence and comfort on the bike.

    He always looked so awkward back a few years with his bars too wide (say what you want, but he was a young teen, he didn’t need it), elbows out because he’d been coached the fundamentals of weighting but was still learning his way into fitting that stance and I was never particularly impressed with his riding style – not something I’d have commented in the past because it’s just plain rude to someone trying so hard – but he’s through that now and on the other side so sod it, it’s great watching him ride in his vids now he’s got bigger, older, stronger. And he looks bloody brilliant in those photos. Trusting and following the process has clearly worked.

    I’m so pleased you started this thread, what a journey for you to go on with him, it’s awesome to see the bonding!

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Thank you fella.

    Just because I don’t necessarily agree with someones feedback or comments, don’t think for a second I don’t appreciate the thought. I’ll be the first to admit that I may not always come over that way.

    We drove up to meet mates at Antur last night, to be honest I could still do with resting instead of driving up here. It wasn’t helped when we rocked up at our campsite, we’ll, in a very loose term. I’m not sure if the midges or the sheep were worse, possibly the sheep standing outside the tent screaming all night.

    IMG-20240529-WA0011

    But we then had an excellent day here at Antur and met a few other racers who are all now going nuts on the hill pushing eachother.

    Last night’s pizza for lunch and of course some cake.

    It’ll then be a long drive back and work tomorrow

    I got about 8-9 laps in myself today which was ace, if a little lonely lol.

    IMG_20240530_151131

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Race run POV from today

    stwhannah
    Full Member

    @weeksy is that Tan Aeldroch farm/Camp Snowdonia? Incredible midges in the wrong weather! And very rustic, but I love it. Some great swimming spots in the river and a terrifying ladder walk.

    There’s another campsite up on the A5, Dolgam, that’s a bit less rustic but similarly priced.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Yeah i think so…. The midges just kinda spoiled the evening as we couldn’t really sit out and enjoy the evening, we ended up just sitting in the van.

    By the time i got up at 6am we’d noticed several couples/families had gone already. It’s not the campsites fault of course, but had we known in advance we’d have arguably come up with a different plan for the night as it just spoiled some of the dynamics for us. But wasn’t the end of the world of course.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    National isn’t going to make or break his season and define where he ends up in the sport and there’s only so much we can realistically do sometimes.

    I know very little about mtb racing, but from reading alot of your existing posts, currently most of the racing is mixing with the same lads at every race.

    From my experience as a ski racer, and my son playing football, if you have ambition to make it top level, you need to see how you compare on a more global level, and at some point that means you can actually go backwards for a little bit. By the time you are 17 you kind of know if you are going to get there or not (yes there are always exceptions)

    However it can help define where you on in the sport. For myself and I think my son, it affirmed that the end go isnt out of reach as actually the competitors in the rest of the world are not actually any better (ie not attainable as a stepping stone) It can act as a massive motivator.

    If your lad is consistently top 20 and now entering European level races psychology will start to play as much in to it as talent.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Yeah 100% he’s racing the same lads race in race out. Pyschology is something we/he have been working on and he’s got a sports psychologist (yeah really) he’s been working with and trying to unlock certain aspects of the game.

    I agree that we’re getting to the stage where we ‘know’ how far (or not) he’s likely to go in this game and that’s why plan B’s are in place (if you’ve listened to Hanahas podcast you’ll hear a bit more about those).

    I have no massive misconceptions that he’s the next Jackson or Bruni, that’s not our realistic goal within racing. He’s not even the next George Madley, so we’re planning things with him one day getting something out of MTBing that’ll give him an income, but with the potential for all the little things to add up to being and staying a racer should the cards fall right for him.

    There’s still a lot we can do both in terms of riding and behind the scenes that will give him the chance to push to the next level within himself, but it’s not quite a simple case of BOOM quicker…. it’s a long slow drawn out process at times.

    For example, his video above is riding the same track as 2023 race where he finished 48/63. Last year his time was a 3.17 with yesterdays time being a 2.58 so he’s getting quicker and quicker. (But as we know, so is the competition).

    For now we just keep on plugging away, trying to get with the faster lads and trying to push things a bit more each time he rides and races.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Short and sweet

    pimpingimp
    Free Member

    That was rapid on ski run!

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Thanks man. He does know the track pretty well in truth and some of the faster lines, although I know the lines, I just can’t implement them 😕

    I’m not sure where he started and finished the timing beacons but he got 3s quicker from a 48s to 45s on the timed segment, working on suspension tweaks/settings. But yeah at times he’s bloody fast. (But amazingly some of the Youths blow him away)

    Will be interesting to see how this weekend goes at MIJ race in FoD on elephant man.

    We’ve entered to help a mate out who we race and pit with quite often who’s struggling a bit in results and mindset, so we’re trying to keep everything as fun and chilled as possible, but with a race thrown in too.

    He’s out for coaching before that though on Wed to drag a bit more speed out of him. But again that’s more about time away from exams and enjoying a bit of fun really.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    FoD race today with MIJ and familiar territory for the boy. We wouldn’t arguably race these at the moment, but it was a free weekend and we had no other plans, but also our mate wanted us there for moral support. So we jumped on and entered him.
    We didn’t go for practice yesterday as most did, but arguably he knows the track and the forest as well as the next person.

    Setup and practice went smoothly and he was feeling fine.
    Run 1 he ended up in 1st place with a 1.07.60 and about 1.8s clear of the next placing. Onto run 2 after a lunchtime game of battering eachother with a mini-basketball with his mates and he set off. Watching the rest of the class/Cat come down some looked RAPID… As he passed me about 3/4 of the way down he’d forgotten to put his goggles on (muppet) but he looked OK.
    Got to the bottom and he’d improved to a 1.06.30 and won by 2+ seconds. So an excellent result and the 4th fastest time of the day for him so again, pretty happy.
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2pWmfp5]IMG-20240609-WA0011[/url] by Steve Weeks, on Flickr

    Onto Antur Stiniog for National DH in 2 weekends time (Foo Fighters gig next weekend)

    Great to meet @dirkpitt from the forum and his daughter 🙂    (Top job young lady)  sorry we couldn’t chat more but i missed you first time, apologies.

    bikerevivesheffield
    Full Member

    He needs to work on his pleased face 🤣

    Good work, seen the insta vids, style and rapid

    Tracey
    Full Member

    Great result 👏

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    Great to catch up with you @weeksy and thanks for the chat.

    She was chuffed with her day – she was apprehensive after first practice as it’s a big step up from the 417 races.

    Aim of the day was not to crash and just improve.

    Her second race run was a lot quicker but a mistake before the first road crossing meant having to push back as she out braked herself.

    So overall time didn’t reflect the improvement.

    Also a really great atmosphere and everyone we spoke to were friendly and helpful.

    Your lad looked rapid all day, congrats on the win.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    She was chuffed with her day – she was apprehensive after first practice as it’s a big step up from the 417 races.

    Oh yeah it’s night and day compared to a 417 mate, so she did brilliantly and you should both be properly proud of that performance. Cracking job.

    squealer
    Free Member

    My son was there racing at the weekend as well (unfortunately i was off on a stag weekend so didn’t make it) , he saw James and said he was looking fast.

    It sounds like it was a tight race from 2nd to 10th place but James was the clear winner so congratulations, my lad finished a couple of seconds down on him – he said he couldn’t get enough speed on the flattish top section so lost the time there.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Congrats to him squealer, i was watching at the bottom section for both runs and plenty of the last 10 riders seemed really quick, a couple getting caught out with a slight slide, a slightly wrong line here and there, but in reality, they all look bloody great to me. This sort of track and race are always exceptionally tight and 1s can move a rider up or down 5-10 places with ease… it’s bonkers just how close it all is.

    desperatebicycle
    Full Member

    Nice win 🙂  Good luck drinking champagne out of those podium shoes 😂

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Hahahahaha it was commented on by Mrs Weeksy at the time of going up to the podium.. I don’t even question why he does some of the things he does, it’s just all part of him being him. He seemed happy with his choice of footwear for the podium so we just let him go with it.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    race clips for the non-Insta people.

    See you with updates in a few weeks 🙂

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    As you’re sweating the details, have you considered a silent hub? Everything feels slower, but is actually faster in my non scientific experience. You can hear the grip. Some marginal amount less drag too. Plus it might psyche the competition!

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