Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Scottish MTB XC reports


The Clarion was well represented in the first race of the Scottish MTB XC series, David Mason sends in this report and Jonathan Buckley follows up with a report on his own ride.

David continues: Top results for Budding Clarion Kids in Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Race Series!

Stage 1 of the 2010 series at Kirroughtree ended with Jamie and Cameron Mason placing first in their respective categories !

The main race is approximately 9km of fast flowing singletrack, technical descents and lung bursting climbs. Over 80% of this years route was on singletrack with a mix of demanding natural trail and smooth swoopy bermed track.

Jamie (12) had just moved up from the Primary Schools Races to Juvenile Category which meant a full lap of the very testing "adult" course. Despite that he achieved a first in the "beginners" Category and walked off with a trophy and bag of goodies too.

Cameron (9) also had a successful day in the woods on the specially adapted skills course which was 90% singletrack with "rock features". He successfully held onto an early lead on the very tight technical course and also gained top podium position!

I managed a reasonable position (19th after a stewards enquiry and trip to marriage counselor) in the open category race (2 laps) after a "mechanical" on the first lap when my saddle disappeared into the seat tube, blame the mechanic!

Our other Clarionista, Jonathan Buckley, had even more trouble in the Masters (4 laps). With a good start leading to a high placing in 1st couple of laps, his chain then snapped on lap 3 bringing to an end to his dreams of glory.

Bring on Contin in April where we'll hopefully be flying the Clarion colours!

Jonathan continues:

The Conditions were perfect, sunny intervals and around 10 degrees meant the shorts had their first outing this year!

The course was approximately 6 miles per lap and my category (Masters) was 4 laps. Terrain was a mixture or short steep rooty climbs through the forest, quite technical and the second half was fast singletrack where passing would be difficult.

The race started well, I managed to get to the front and hold my position but a wrong turn just before the start/finish line meant I was passed by 2 riders. After 2 laps I was running 3rd and going quite well but the furious pace was beginning to take its toll on me and the bike.

Every time I got out of the saddle my chain would slip and selecting a gear was becoming difficult, two thirds round the penultimate lap, I had to get out of the saddle for a steep section and my chain snapped.

It must have been fatigue but I just couldn't repair the chain - eventually having to ask for help and thus disqualifying myself from the event, I had lost around 11 minutes and dropped back to 11th on completion of the lap and then retiring.

A disappointing result but I thoroughly enjoyed my day out and it gives me a good indication of where I am fitness-wise for the next race in April at Contin, Inverness.

A big thanks to the organisers for a great course and well run event.

Full results can be found at

1 comment:

Dave Hamill said...

Well done. I wouldn't recommend getting out of the saddle on steep sections. You're just asking for trouble. It sounds like you were in the wrong gear (presuming you weren't in the lowest gear).

Instead of honking, pull your elbows in and get them low (below your grips horizontally) with your wrists pointing downward. Don't put extra weight on your handlebars or grip them too tightly when doing this. In other words use your core to support you and not your arms. This will mean your front wheel won't come to a halt at the first bump but will also stop the front wheel from lifting off the ground.

Slide toward the front of your saddle as the climb gets steeper and spin the easiest gear you have.

Beecraigs has some good bits to practice steep rooty climbs. They're especially challenging in the wet.