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How 'Ard?

Big_JackBig_Jack Posts: 82
edited October 2016 in XC and Enduro
Hi all, looking for some advice on 'Ard Rock 2017.

My buddies are going to do it (relatively experienced amateur racers) but I have only competed in one enduro race in the Forest of Dean a few weeks ago and, given the conditions, found that pretty rough going. I'm not a particularly banzai rider so I'm a bit hesitant to sign up as I'm not entirely sure I'll get down it..

Any advice as to how tough it really is? Will there be a tonne of jumps / big drops? If it's fast flowy stuff I'm not so bad compared to techy bits (which I tend to let get in my head).

Cheers,

Jack

Posts

  • doomanicdoomanic Posts: 246
    Big_Jack wrote:
    I have only competed in one enduro race in the Forest of Dean a few weeks ago and, given the conditions, found that pretty rough going. I'm not a particularly banzai rider so I'm a bit hesitant to sign up as I'm not entirely sure I'll get down it..
    Was it the course that was the issue or something else? I fancy having a bash next year but I'm not sure what I'd be letting myself in for.
  • The issue with FOD was that it had rained apocalyptically and it was so slippery I could barely stay upright on the off-camber bits, the mud stopped my wheels turning in the mudguards too!

    More importantly, it was bigger features (steeper drop ins etc) than i've ever ridden. Despite that, great crack, even though I was nearer the bottom of the table than the top :) Very friendly. I recommend the mini enduro series as a starter!
  • I did the Ard Rock (Sport event, same course but on the Sunday) this year, on a hardtail (it was my first enduro race). Technically it is not mega difficult. There are no obligatory jumps, and basically everything is rollable.

    On Stage 1 I did take the single "chicken line" around the steepest section, more because the marshall shouted "easy line this way if you want it" and I was still getting to grips with the course, but I wish I hadn't - it only cut out one straight but steep chute, which by all accounts was nothing tricky, and added a load of pedalling!

    The only other section of the stages that I didn't ride was one little descent on Stage 3 (I think - it's the one that goes through a gully), as a rider in front of me stopped right at the top and I didn't have any speed to carry over the lip, so I figured it was quicker to run down it.

    So no, there are no big drops, no gap jumps, you could ride every stage with your wheels on the ground if you wanted. Having said that, there are a few quite steep and tricky sections, and some of Stage 2 in particular feels quite exposed, with hairpin bends along the top of a cliff! If you have been to Bike Park Wales I would say it is on a par with the red routes there, but with a few steeper sections.

    It is also pretty rocky (clue's in the name) and lots of people had punctures. I was lucky and got round with no problems.

    The course is long and some of the uphills in the transitions are not rideable - you will be pushing at times. But the scenery is great and the transitions have some fun stretches too.


    I will certainly be applying for tickets in the morning, it was a great event.
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