A bright and early Saturday morning saw the ladies of Swindon MTB Enthusiasts (plus our heroic photographer Adrian) heading to the fresh pastures of the Fly up 417 bike park. The event run by the Ladies do DH group headed by the ever enthusiastic Amanda was due to be the biggest that they had organised to date (nearly 50 women) and the first hosted by the 417 and its wonderful coaches.
Well as you may have seen from some of the footage or can see from my tyres the weather was wet, mud was deep, conditions were testing and the course challenging.
The first 60 ladies from seeding were placed at the front on the grid with the next wave of keen racers behind. Being my first race I placed myself well behind the main pack hoping to get to the bottom without serious injury. The drone was launched, the count down started and the fox took her place on her start ramp, at this point I seriously felt ill, but then the klaxon went and the mass began to move.
As we progressed down the hill it was impossible to take the lines you had scouted in practice, as they either weren’t there, had a queue (no joke, we were that pollite) or someone was skidding down it on their arse. So I decided the best option was just to ride new lines and get around as many people as I could without being rude.
I am pleased to report that I rode the course and didn’t resort to sliding down the technical bits and although I could have gone a lot faster if I hadn’t had to stop for totally jammed wheels I am quite pleased for my first result.
So the numbers:
- 260 potential riders (200 tickets, 50 prize/media/company/pro, 10 team entry)
- 186 went up to race
- 138th is where I placed
Would I do it again? Hell yeah, it was challenging, but I met the most amazing group of like minded, supportive and funny riders and maybe I’ll have a go at a few more events next season ♀