Stump Wood Hill Climb - 31st Oct 2009
Photos by Lauren Waring. Full size shots available. Contact Lauren via Admin
Final Results are now up
Arran can honestly say he's beaten both Biddle and Breakwell. We all knew it would come at some stage, what with having youth on his side, but will this put the pressure on him to do the same with the stamina events like HH? We'll have to watch the results.
With Steve only 9 seconds behind and Rob one more behind it wasn't a dead cert. And for those of us watching, we couldn't help notice Danny Bendall putting in some superb rides (we've got some video clips to show this down below.)
In the King-of-the-Hill competition Steve Biddle claimed hills 1 and 4, Arran claimed hill 3 and Danny nailed his name to Hill 2, but scan down the results and see Henry Bendall on a bloomin slow twitchy Trials bike only .7 of a second behind him!
Speaking of Bendalls, how many times can you say Dad beats Henry on Observation and Dad was faster on Hill 1 too! Again, the video clips will show the lengths they both went to to beat one another.
Oh and before I forget. Everything looks rosy for Arran until he realises I've got video of him getting it wrong and riding straight through a bramble bush! Hope he's still got a sense of humour or I'm dead! We've cut out loads of runs but we have included everyone we managed to film. The full version is more like 20 mins long.
This was written as Colin was banging numbers into his computer so I have no idea who won.
The week before the hill climb a little gang of us went for a mooch around the sloping ice rink that is Roys field. Thanks, Colin, Mike, Arran and Nathan. Most of them enjoyed it although at one point Colin went a rather worrying colour. Arran thought the old man was on his way out!
Jackie and Colin assured me that they would be there early on the day but I had to wait for them to open the gate despite being 30 minutes late myself. Even so it wasnít much after 9:30 and we finished laying things out about 12:45. Good job Mike W came to ride the route and correct our errors and also that Rob B was lurking around his old manís land trying to send us up even sillier hills.
Observers were in short supply so thanks to Vess and Colin for giving up their rides, Jackie for abandoning her photos as well as our other observers. I decided to fill the only other gap and disappeared down the filed to section 1. Having "suggested" to the riders that they might like to get the sections out of the way first, I hoped that I would soon be free to wander round the event in my usual interfering way. I paid for that. It was manic. And my pen died in the first 10 seconds. Steve Biddle had sussed that the section might get slippery and was waiting for me. He quickly knocked off all 5 attempts, using the normal enduro riderís principle of ignoring ditherers and getting on with things. 5 cleans. I donít think anyone lese did that. Maybe Alf?????)
Not every one was doing well. Jason Bendall who should have known better turned up with a rear tyre that looked like it was Mr Dunlopís first one. Not a hope. 5 after 5 did eventually get a touch better not at least we all had a good laugh. Dan Bendall was doing much better with a decent tyre on his 300 GasGas. In fact I reckon he had the of the better rides all day. Other good rides here were had by Owain Jones, at least 3 cleans (I always had him down as a no brain downhiller) and Arran who had a sloppy 1 followed by 3 cleans on a 150cc mx bike. He was going to call it day having had 4 good score (best 4 of 5 to count) but decided if he could get a clean sheet. Ooops . 5!
Henry and Alf were going well and were about the only bikes on trials tyres to get anywhere. Donít know what was on the back of Ian Wixonís XR4 but it wasnít helping much. Chris Gardiner came to grief up side down and down the hill. As he was out of the section another rider (canít remember who) tried and did the same. On top of Chris.
Rob Breakwell wasnít doing as well as Steve B and when I later mistakenly told him that every mark lost on the section was the same as a minute of time he was not happy. (Sorry Rob I meant a second).
Once the multitude had passed I left the scoring kit and cleared off to see what was happening. I found Andy Jones, who had been dragged out of yet another competition retirement by Colin, scoring hill 2 with his (Colinís) bike abandoned. He had bust a brake lever. For some reason he wasnít keen to borrow the one off my bike and carry on. Mutterings about being unfit were heard. Anyway thanks Andy for helping out and freeing Colin to do something else. (What did he do? Wandering aimlessly and getting in the way is my job). I saw Steve going well here. He looked fast and controlled. Arran just looked fast. Well the trees did need pruning. Nathan was going well and the lap I saw had him faster than Steve by about 1.5 seconds. 17 dead against 18.6 or something. Pity it didnít last.
Over on hill1 Jackie had been replaced by Malcolm Herbert whose SWM had died. Again thanks a lot for the help. We did need it. He seemed happy enough. This is the normal first hill near the start with a few variations and riders were not hanging around.
Across the hill past the woods was the new hill 3, the old one being just too slippery. A grass chicane then a virtually straight blast up the hill to a step up jump. Steve was straightening the corner a bit and a big bramble bush was getting smaller. I believe Nathan tried the same trick and ended up on his ear with a sore shoulder. The top step allowed the posers to get some good air and attracted a few spectators. Chairman Vessey was time keeping here and seemed to be happily amused. It doesnít take much.
Hill 4 finished a few yards away. Ian Beard was in charge here. This had a nice berm just after the start, a couple of hair pins bends and another blast to a finishing jump. Getting this right was harder if you were in a hurry. Pete wasnít happy. For some reason this hill didnít work for him. Maybe the tyre that had done 2 days of the Welsh, the Chicken Run, the Mountain Top enduro And the Hafren rally had something to do with it.
Back at hill 2 things were getting personal. Anth went up with the Sherco. Jackieís comments were along the lines of "itís not a trail ride"! As Mike "Iím out of practice" Allen beat him by 1.9 seconds and went the long way round here, I think she had a point. (Question. When is Mike ever not out of practice?) Of course being a good mate I hurried down to the start of his next run to mention all these facts. Rod was there acting as a spare starter. All sorts of useful ???? advice was coming from him. He even made useful suggestion as to how Steve Cooper could start his bike. Went down well that. There was an amusing moment when another rider, (sorry, no name handy) on Kawasaki appeared up the steep alternative approach only to find that the parking area was full and he couldnít get over the top. His face was a picture as he disappeared backwards into one of Roys many thorn trees. Of course our laughter was purely in sympathy. Kevin Toombs was also in action here. Hadnít seen him all day but he was trying hard by the look of things.
Anyway on the whole people seemed to enjoy themselves.
We finished off the day with an invitation to try Robís little mx track around a stubble field. Most amusing. Lots of bike swapping. Anth was in sales mode lending the Sherco to several riders. I think he had second thoughts when Arron passed him on it, well and truly on the rev limiter! Despite having "designed" the track and ridden it to death it was Rob who spent the most time on his ear. Trying too hard I reckon.
Thanks to Roy for the use of his land and all the others who came along and played. Hopefully next yearís event will be back to its usual summer self. A new, earlier date is planned to take into account the fact that our summers now seem to be in June or October.