I’m not sure what’s going on but it seems like we’re all doing a bit more pedalling here at Wideopenmag …
Clearly we love the big bikes, the big tracks and the big descents but it seems like we’re getting caught into the dark, seedy web of the all day ride and the mysterious alure of the ‘enduro’ competition. Earlier in the year we did the Bristol Bike Fest and this weekend we took on the winterised version of the same event ‘Oktoberfest‘.
To be honest – it would be ridiculous not too. It’s hosted at my local trails, it’s £33 for a full day’s racing, it’s beer themed and pretty much everyone that rides in Bristol gets stuck in. We entered the 8 hour, 4 man event where teams set out one by one and try to smash out as many laps as they can before the 5PM cut off time. We teamed up with Stanton Bikes, took the mega-phone, filled the Vito with beer, parked the easy-up on the final straight and got stuck right in to the party spirit.
How did we do…? Not too bad. Two of our team mates (Ant and Paddy) are aficionados of the pedally arts and generally carried me and our other teamster Jay through the laps. We managed 15 laps in total with Ant earning the fastest lap crown with a decent sub-30 minuter.We’re not rocking the sport by any means but managed a mid-ish pack result which I was happy enough with!
We were narrowly beaten by the Stanton bikes team who had decided to see how their Slackline bike could cope with XC racing … but they basically cheated by having Jon on their team who is a pedal monster and having 2 fit young whippers. Dan Stanton didn’t quite find a love for the race format but seemed to enjoy the spirit of the event. He reckons he’ll be sticking to dirt and 4x stuff in future! It was a lot of fun to race with ’em and show them some Bristol hospitality in the evening! We’ve teamed up with those guys to produce a video from the event so stay tuned for that.
So what were the highlights of the day? To be honest, it really was all good. It was Wideopen cameraman Paul Roberts’ first time at an XC event and he went home buzzing to come back and claiming the atmosphere was much livelier, much more up beat and much more ‘fun’ than the gravity events. I’ve got to agree – the race village and all day format gave the whole event a super good vibe and there was heaps of banter, mega-phone ‘encouragement’ and time to hang out with your mates and have some fun. The bar to bar ‘everyone on track at the same time’ style is also a lot of fun with plenty of dog fighting and mid-lap banter as you go too! I particularly remember feeling smug at one point on track as I overtook a girl on the long climb. I was on my third lap and asked her how she was doing as she sounded absolutely knackered. “Fine thanks, I’ve done 9 laps!”. Smugness erased!
It was also a big boost to the event to have the BikeRidersUtd team on track with Steve Peat, Martin Ashton, Sam Pilgrim and Blake Samson all taking part in the 4 hour event. Those guys had fun, smashed out some amazing times and won their cat. It was great to see Peaty racing bikes in a different format to the usual and also a relief to see that he was knackered as well when he crossed the line!
Thanks to Ant, Jay and Paddy for representing Wideopenmag, thanks to Stanton Bikes for joining us for the day and thanks to everyone that made Oktoberfest possible – in particular the headline sponsors Ritchey and Vito Sport. Sorry to everyone that suffered the unstoppable onslaught of our mega phone as you hit the finish line!
Stay tuned for Paul’s Wideopenmag/Stanton Bikes edit early next week – it’s looking good!