Small is fast and good. PORC plays host to the first regional event

Roger S reports from Penshurst Off Road Cycling Centre with the first of some very special new ATBA UK events, with great photos by Ian Hufton…

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Time for something a little different, I think. A different way of doing a comp. Smaller regional comps that don’t rely on lots of infrastructure and can be held in lots of different places around the country.kentdescentlogoSmaller = low-key, fun, & easy to organise. Competitions like the Kent Descent. Held at PORC, the well-known mountain bike haven, we did one-man timed descents down the 4X track, out the back of the berm and down through the woods. The course is really good.

With the track running pretty fast, Jonny Wheeler, new boy on the comp scene and fresh from his second place in the Juniors BX at Round 2, surprised everyone by dropping in first and putting in a stonking good time. Watch this lad over the next few years. Then Nobby had the sketchiest run ever, manualling the down face of a table and flailing all over the place, but still managed to put in a damn good time of 36.38, and that was after he heroically smashed his face on a previous run. The other hero of the day was Michael. This kid went into the ground more times than a Chilean miner and rolled over more than Beethoven but always got up and kept riding. Impressive.

Then we had Sam, powered by suspicious-looking Argentinian tea, nailing the challenging track again & again, and Andy making the most of being goofy by getting low and taking the slidy grass corner on the inside. Ian was riding really well and put in a time that got him in the Pro’ and Simon kept going back up for run after run, determined to get a sub-thirty time, but finished the day on 30.01 secs.

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Sunday dawned clear and bright, with the promise of a scorching hot day looking very likely.
More PUATBers arrived in the shape of Mark & Jenna; they padded up at a sedate Sunday pace and headed up to the top of the track. Jenna dropped in, hit the track fast and hard first time around and got to within a few feet of the finish line before going down hard and breaking her arm 🙁  Mark, Simon & Lisa kept pushing each other to get it faster and faster and keep up with Andy Hickmott (the fastest man on two wheels) who did it on a bike without pedalling or braking in a jaw-dropping 25.95 seconds. With all of them smashing the 30 second barrier and Simon getting an amazing 28.85 seconds to take first place (on four wheels, anyway)…

Small regional comps are definitely the way forward. Everyone had a great time (except maybe Jenna 😉 And all it takes is a great track and permission to ride it. Once we’ve got that we can do a comp anywhere. Anyone have any suggestions? Contact the ATBAUK

The Kent Descent 2011 Results

Pro
1st – Simon Neck – 28.85
2nd – Mark Sewell – 29.02
3rd – Ian Hufton – 35.03
Seniors
1st – Nobby Clarke – 36.38
2nd – Sam Causer – 37.04
3rd – Andy Moon – 42.44
Juniors
1st – Jonny Wheeler – 32.02
2nd – Michael Evans – 39.20
Ladies
1st – Lisa McLernon – 29.88
2nd – Jenna Collins – DNF
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Don’t just take Roger’s word for it, check out Kent ATB’s write-up with loads more photos as well, and PUATB have put a vid together so you can see for yourself more of what happened in deepest loveliest Kent in late July 🙂

Find out more about PORC here

Head to the ATBA UK’s Facebook page to get in touch and read the gossip & dates for other new events
Cheers all!