A Trail of Two Forests

Yes, you read that correctly, the two forests being Sherwood in Nottinghamshire and Dalby in North Yorkshire and the trail the respective MTB trails some of our members raced along over the last two weekends.

Father and son Peter and Ryan Middlemiss have been sampling the delights of both venues and Peter’s recovered enough to send in a report for both events.

‘The 2017 MTB season got underway in the county of Nottinghamshire, Sherwood Forest to be exact, so early Sunday 19th March the two intrepid and apprehensive mountain bikers set off on the 79 mile trip to ride the 2017 Midlands MTB Series – Round 1 at Sherwood Pines, presented by Sherwood Pines CC. As we got nearer to the venue we spotted more and more cars and vans carrying mountain bikes.  “Looks like it’s going to be a busy day”.

Signing on was as usual chaotic but gridding was absolute pandemonium, taking 30 minutes to grid all the riders. With grinding done we were ready for the off, 120 grand vets (Peter’s event) plus nearly 100 vets in race 1 then 5 minutes later race 2 for women and fun riders. “Anytime in the next 30 seconds” warned the starter and then suddenly we were off, through the start finish loop and straight up a nasty climb that took us to the highest point of the course overlooking the finish area.  What’s this?  Sir Tom Jones, an Olly Murs and members of the group Elbow all standing at the top of the hill, waiting for us. On closer inspection they turned out to plywood cut outs, put there to promote the forest concerts in the summer.  Weaving in and out of the celebrities we then disappeared into the forest, covering single track, fire traildrop offs and fallen trees to ride over then onto the best bit, a big pool of mud to ride through – no short cuts, just straight through, nearly two foot deep, wet feet for the rest of the race. Great! A 20 minute plus lap and we appeared back at the finish, 3 more laps and it was all over – thank goodness – for 33rd place”.

‘The last race of the day combined the Elite and Expert big-hitters with Ryan’s category, the Juniors. This was a much faster and harder race, five laps at full pelt.  With this being the first event of the season the field was again quite large , everyone wanting to see how fit they are early season. Ryan was lucky enough to get gridded on the front row but a rubbish start (his words, not mine) meant he had some work to do. Digging deep he caught a group of expert riders and they worked together to catch and pass other riders. Ryan managed 7th place, scoring 28 points for his efforts. “That will do for my first race of the season. I’ve had worse, and I’ve had better” but he was still smiling’.

Full results on the BC website.

Peter Middlemiss

Ryan Middlemiss

The next round was on Sunday 26th March. Peter and Ryan were joined by Andrew Moxon, all riding Round 1 of the Nutcracker MTB Racing series.

‘Held on the 2016 World Cup MTB course, the conditions were slippy under tyre but the sun shone brightly.

Race 1 was the Elite, Expert and Juniors event, five laps of pure hell so I’m told, although it didn’t look like that from were I was stood. Ryan, representing East Bradford CC this time, raced well and was very pleased with his 5 place.

Race 2 was for Vets Grand Vets & Ladies. Now I can tell you this World Cup course is very very hard and it was 4 laps of hell! Andrew Moxon got a good start but with his bike making a funny noise he had to stop to take a look at what was wrong.  Problem fixed – what was it then? – he was off again and two laps laps in he caught and passed me as I was having my own problems with my tyres. As we both battled the course it was looking like the course would win. The climbs and descents were just so slippery, just an evil course. However, we both made it to the finish, Andrew one place ahead of me who arrived at the finish with a front puncture, fed up and very tired. People say they love that MTB course but I don’t think Andrew or me do one bit!’

Results now published on the BC website.