Autumnal colours desperately hanging on despite the return of winter.
Sunday saw the final race in the Start Cycles sponsored Northern Downhill enduro series. The venue was Kidland.
Kidland was first conceived way back in 2008 and still has a legendary reputation amongst the mountain bikers in this region. It’s a small valley in the depths of Northumberland and borders Britains largest military firing range. The trails used in this event are Carl’s doing, steep and technical and in a real isolated location.
Off camber and very slippery, the trails were very challenging on Sunday
Kidland is Forestry Commission land but it also lies within a private estate which basically means that the trails are rarely ridden and remain unspoilt. This is one of the best reasons that entering a race here is an essential thing to do for any race addicted mountain biker!
So many riders…so many offs!
The weather at the last two events that Kidland hosted had been fine on the day and leading up to the events, so the trails were beautifully dusty and really gritty. This most recent event was a complete contrast. Driving to the event you could have excused riders for turning back as the roads leading towards the event had snow settling on them, bearing in mind this is a very barren and exposed area of Northumberland. You could tell there had been extreme rainfall as even the cattle grids you drove over were full of water. Throughout the day the weather rarely gave up throwing rain, sleet and snow on the tops at the riders but this did not seem to dull the riders spirits.
Josh Noble pausing for a smile in the mud.
The Enduro used the Kidland side of the valley. Two stages were used and each rider had to ride the two stages twice, making a 4 stage enduro race. The morning was dedicated to practice and then the afternoon it was game on. Both stages are steep, with sharp steep corners, rocks and super slippery off camber mudfests! Each stage start involved a steep and exposed peddle up the fire road.
Steep corners provided some different challenges in these conditions.
93 riders took on the Kidland enduro this weekend with Joe Young taking the overall fastest time in a blistering 9:34.410. I asked Joe how he managed to achieve this, his response “God knows how I stayed on. Some loose moments!” for the full results head over to roots and rain here
A big shout out to the 3 women who turned out and gave it their all in the tough conditions, Debbie Palmer taking the win, Lucy Chilvers second and Emma Knowles coming in third.
Lucy (Left) and Debbie (right) heading back to base after a tough day in the saddle
Back at the event base, literally everywhere you looked were sodden riders and organisers, but overall everyone was having a high spirited day.
At least skin is waterproof, so they say
So that’s it for the Start supported enduros brought to you by Northern Downhill. The next race will be a funduro at the immense Kielder forest on 4th December. You can enter here, until then, stay rubber down and I’ll leave you with some more images from Sundays mudfest at Kidland.
Simon Daykin taking on the steep slippery slopes
Daniel Gibson heading sideways like many riders in the off camber sections
Never a dull moment when you’re behind the camera
There really were many offs yesterday
Joe Young taking the win, lights needed in the darker forest as the day was dark and dull
Only tractor tyres would have helped yesterday[/caption]
Nick Barber suffering a mechanical, often leads to game over.
Remember, full race results and more of these photos can be found on roots and rain here.