In the first of our series of blogs giving an insight into the thrills and spills of getting signed up to and taking part in racing, Sandy and Nics tell us about SDA round one at Innerleithen in the Tweed Valley.
SDA Round 1
Last season, Nics and I decided that we would try our hand at downhill mountain bike racing. We entered the whole Scottish Downhill Association (SDA) series in 2013 and learned a lot about what kind or riders we were, and weren’t.
We finished pretty well in the series with me finishing 4th overall and Nics finishing 6th in the series and enjoyed pushing our limits that little bit more than usual.
We were both spurred on and started working respectively on our weaknesses for the 2014 season. Nics has been putting in great work improving her overall fitness and I’ve tried building up some strength in my betty-spaghetti arms.
Our track walk on Friday night was nothing short of torrential. It poured and poured as we slipped and trudged our way up the track.
Luckily, the spring weather was extremely kind for practice and race day as when we arrived, the sun was shining and it even contained a nice bit of warmth!
The track was a nice reminder of what downhill racing was like. There was nothing terrifying but there were definitely drops and jumps to push our abilities. The top section was rooty and muddy, the middle section was super pedally and jumpy (the make or brake section for those familiar with the Inners DH tracks) and the bottom was rutted, steep switchback turns.
Our race runs were clean, and as pacey as we could make them. The sun kept shining so the track dried out and proved to be physically quite hard with so much pedalling at the top and corners which you really had to work for at the bottom.
The Pros were out in force with multiple world cup level racers gracing the scene and storming the podiums in both the men’s and women’s fields.
The girls podium was as follows:
- Jess Stone – Trek
- Rachael Walker – Hope Factory Racing
- Debs Primrose – her first race – how awesome is that?!
The full results are in the link below, but if you’re curious, I placed 4th and Nics placed 6th. The real winner was women’s racing as there was a good sized field for this race so the competition was improved.
Next round is Dunkeld in April so I’ll be working on my push ups every day until then!