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Pearce Cycles DH Rd1 - Bringewood

Pearce Cycles DH Rd1 - Bringewood

Nick Emerson welcomes in the New Year at Bringewood and is feeling the love for the Pearce racing series. Pyjama manuals, exploding mechs and jetlag all added up to a memorable weekend on oard the big yellow fun bus!
Photos - Scott - www.eggraphy.com
Words - Nick Emerson

Happy new year to one and all!

It seems that race time jumped out on us a bit this year... One second we were pounding the gym, hitting some night rides twice a week… the next thing you know, Malco texts and asks what time I'm picking him up!

I was gonna get some sneaky pre-season practice at the BUSA (BUCS??) but after wangling an entry I realised it was a Friday/Saturday race not Saturday/Sunday. Ah well – next year beckons as I return to a life of David Dickinson and Cash in the Attic. Missing it meant that I hadn't picked up my DH bike since Pearce DH '08 (excuse one) which can't be a good start...

But I digress and it's off to Bringewood for Pearce DH Rd1.

Packed up the funbus at 6am for the cruise down, and the forecasted rain seemed to be holding off nicely. Apparently it had rained overnight and after unloading we hopped in the (as ever impeccable) Dave Pearce uplift of joy and 'took it steady' for our first run. I'd say about 80% of us binned on this run, as the clay like solid/smooth surface had a layer or rain mixed with KY smeared all over it, providing the kind of surface you can't actually stand up on...

Anyway a sell-out event meant that 300 or so riders squished away the wet surface, the sun came out to salute our efforts and everything dried out nicely by about 10.30am. I lost count of how many runs I got in. I'm thinking somewhere in the region of 11 or 12. Pearce uplift is, without a doubt, the greatest I have ever used. No broken bikes, no problem. It's not even worth sessioning when the uplift truck is sat waiting for you every time you get to the bottom!

The Track

I think this is only my 3rd visit to Bringewood so you local/ageing racers might know the track better than I do (semi excuse 2), but the basic premise was this:

Off the uplift truck, push up the bank to your left and the start is the most lefterly (might be a word) a few quick berms through the trees before the little road gap (is that a road? – maybe the ‘path’ gap) and back into berms in trees. Step down, bombhole step up into a new double before banking right then left onto the fireroad.

Cross this and drop into the new open section (heavy tree felling round here) this was my favourite section with some sneaky stump doubles and an awesome left hander carving over roots before hitting some wee tables and launching the old ski jump into the trees. Double and triple up the bumps (still love jumping through that bendy tree) before cranking into the final wood section and switchbacking your way to the big old bottom jump. Hit it and pedal into the field.

The Racing

My gosh there were some posh new bikes out. I'm not buying this credit crunch nonsense; it looks like everyone in the world of DH spanked 5k over winter on something shiny.

My report might fall down here as I didn't pay much attention to who got what time etc. but let's just say everyone is fast. Everyone. Seniors has grown from 60 to 90 riders so breaking the top 30 (my depressingly low goal) somehow got harder!

Seniors went well and ran smoothly as always, I rode like a girl and dressed like I was ready for bed, rocking full TLD pyjamas courtesy of my Irish sponsor. They didn't help though, and hitting a tree made a slow run even worse.

The Pearson boys got a late entry thanks to Chris thinking he could catch Tim napping (literally) as he raced with full on jet lag. Run one saw Chris leading Tim out. You have never seen a happier looking man!

Everyone's favourite master Col W. battled good and hard and ended up with a time that worried soon-to-be-master Malco (among others). A win for him saw him all smiles up on the hill, cheering on the Seniors for their second run.

I set off early, having been re-seeded to match my shocking time, binned half my kit and body armour as I had felt overly tense on run 1 and wanted to relax (definite excuse 3) which I certainly did, ripping the top section to pieces before launching with gusto into the open section. Where it all went wrong... doubled up the stumps, cut tight and went straight on past the right hander. Straight through the tapes, and straight into the arms of a waiting spectator. Balls! 2 seconds quicker but I ended up with the kind of place you don't write down on a race report…

Enough about me – Malco (riding for gravity-slaves) looked to be on a stormer in run 2 as he came past team MTB-Direct and myself, MALCCCCOOOOO PEEEDA... only to erupt his mech (a section of which hit a fella in the chest!) and have all of us shout NO DON'T PEDDDDAAAALLL as he hit the big jump without realising death was lingering on the fireroad, swinging his scythe. Landed smooth enough, but a quick pedal stroke with no mech saw him case his knee into his bars and limp his way over the line. How he didn't go down in a big ball of flames is for lady luck to explain I guess!

Tim P pulled his finger out and put in a proper run. Down in 5th after having his bike in storage for 6 months or so (that's one of my excuses ruined), leaving Chris a very respectable 3 places behind...

Col Williams on the top step of Masters Podium

Summing up.

Great times. Another Pearce classic race. Even though team funbus were way off their targets, they went home happy, knowing there's still a few more rounds to play with. Roll on Rd 2.

Big thanks to the Irish, Malco for providing entertainment. Boo for not eating me. Ivor for trying to explain exactly why he beat me 2 seconds after I crossed the line(!). Col for showing us how it's done, and of course Dave and Lindsey for doing everything right.



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More articles from the 'racing | report' section:
[ UCI 4X Round 2, Houffalize, Belgium ] - posted on 1st June 2009 by Jim Norton.

[ NPS 4x Round 1, UK Bike Park, Dorset ] - posted on 22nd May 2009 by Phil.

[ Pearce Cycles DH Rd1 - Bringewood ] - posted on 16th May 2009 by Nick Emerson.

[ British University College Sports Mountain Bike Championships ] - posted on 14th April 2009 by Jim Norton.

[ Pearce Summer Series - Hopton ] - posted on 7th October 2008 by Nick Emerson.

[ Pra Loup Masters Worlds report ] - posted on 4th September 2008 by Phil.

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