Monday, 6 November 2017

Roadtrip; Northumberland; Sandblasted.cc Beach race


Saturday and van packed for a couple of days and i rolled down the A1 into Northumberland and Druridge County Park for the inaugural Sandblasted beach race,
And what a beach! nearly 6 km long with big dunes and woodland trails that would make up a 6 km route for an hour and half racing...



Saturday evening;
Lewis, Jason, Gil, Si and Nick all arrived late afternoon and we had a fun evening going first for a cycle to Amble for a pint,




Cycling back to camp a huge orange full moon rose out at sea, it was amazing to watch as we peddled away to keep warm as the temperature dropped...

Then we piled into the fastest Series 2 Landrover i have been in (2.5 TDI fitted) and went for Fish and Chips, then along to Cresswell village Fireworks Display...






And what an amazing Fireworks display!, went on around 20 minutes!, quite surreal with the full moon lighting up the sea behind...


5 minutes of fireworks of a 20 odd minute display!

Cresswell Fireworks from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


Back at base and accommodation sorted for the night,

Lewis had a fire pit, Gil some sparklers and fireworks, and we enjoyed some good banter around the fire and chatted with the guys from Alpkit, after a few whisky`s we interrogated them on new stuff coming out!...


Cheese and oatcakes...

:)


Sunday -Race day;
I slept well in the van and woke up warm and with no condensation inside despite a ground frost, the insulation doing it`s job well...


Nick talked through his love of Trangia stoves as we all got brews on heating water and food to fuel up for the day ahead...


And what a day! cold wind but clear blue sky, it was going to be a good un!...


Signed on and race numbers on we gathered at the start for the pre race briefing  then a rolling start, and we were off! an hour and a half of racing , pain and pleasure in the cold winter sun...


The pace at the start was fast and furious as the race snakes disappeared down the beach,
By lap 3 and the remaining laps we rode mostly on our own which was funny as only a 6km lap and approx 50 riders...


2 laps in and Jason and i rode together as 3 real fast riders on fat bikes disappeared in the front pack and it would be very unlikely of a podium in the Fatbike class - there being no technical descents where we could maybe reel them in a bit, so we rode for fun and chatted and laughed through the 5 laps we would notch up,  still pushing hard and holding our position, we were only passed by one other rider, a woman on a CX bike who we leap frogged with for a couple of laps before she disappeared into that head wind on the return up the beach, turned out she won the Female class...



The long straight down the beach was fast with a tail wind and the light was fantastic on the wet sand...





Each lap got harder as you knew at the end of the straight a hairpin meant a killer headwind for a half mile or so before leaving the beach for the trails, it was hard work into that wind...


On our last lap as the bell was rung at the end of lap 4. Were still smiling!,
We started to lap other riders and the winners were behind on the straight as we rode into that headwind for the last time and  soon it was over, i said to Jason to go ahead of me - i had my moment of glory at SSUK finishing 1st Fatbike home,

Update; Results are online and i finished 17th and 4th Fatbike, meaning Jason in 16th got on the Fatbike podium if there had been one (Good idea for next year?)
So we did well competing against some serious racers on Cyclocross bikes that prob suited the conditions best, and we grinned and laughed all the time while pushing hard - it`s the Fatbike way...  :)


Thanks to Paul and his friends who organised a superb event -sponsored by Alpkit and Sonder Bikes and also Vittoria Tyres.  The Marshalls a big thanks for their encouragement and what would have been a cold job standing in that biting cold wind.
This is one event to get in your calendar for next year when the date is announced and this will become a big event as was perfect in places for all types of bikes,


Sadly my Go Pro was pointing too low so not got the best footage - unless you like watching a front wheel going round!, but managed to edit enough watchable for a wee film,
Song is `Queen of the Breakers` by The Barr Brothers

Sandblasted beach race 2017 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

We all finished the race, and to use a quote by Horse Endurance riders;  `To Finish Is To Win`


More soon...

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