I went up to Aston Saturday but didn’t get there until the afternoon because of the dreaded M25 traffic. I was still a bit ill so I didn’t want to do many runs though.
I walked the course when I got there. It was similar to the usual course but with a fair few changes. Watching the racers practise I could tell the course was flat out from top to bottom.
I did 4 runs down getting faster each time and tried a few different lines that seemed a little different to others. At the end of the day I did a run behind Dad to see how he was getting on too. It was good to see he’s still got the pace.
After practise we went back to Rich’s place and got ready to go out for a meal. We also met up with good friends Rachel and Jacob, wife and son of Nema distributor, Jez. I had the best curry I have ever had and I can’t even remember what it was called. After food it was back to Rich’s to terrorise little Jacob. I have never known a kid who wants to be tickled so much!
The event was full with 300 people racing. The car park was packed to the brim come Sunday morning. I spent the first part of the morning changing tires and checking over Dad’s bike. There was so many problems with it I had to fix what I could.
I did a few practise runs to pick up the pace and warm up again. The course was getting beaten up a bit which made it even better to ride.
I watched a few of my mates in their first runs in Junior go down and got ready for my run. I warmed up how I would usually with my trainer Ian watching me. I felt confidant on the start line and before I knew it I was sprinting the first straight. I made a few little mistakes like you do but all in all a good 1st run. I got fastest time of the first runs by 1.4 seconds in the expert/Elite.
Unfortunately in 2nd runs someone hit a tree falling off at the bottom and there was a scare that he had broken his neck or spine. There was talk of the rest of 2nd runs being cancelled whilst the guy was being attended to. News came through that the injured racer didn’t need an air ambulance but went in a normal one. Racing was back on and I got my gear back on to ride. Over the years there has been talk about if it’s possible to break the minute barrier down a track at Aston. I made it my challenge to do it.
I warmed up this time with Ian showing me what to do. I learnt a lot about warming up and it’s not about spinning your legs backwards. I made a few mistakes again in my run but the start felt much faster. It was going to be touch and go if I was to get the time I wanted. As I went through the finish line everyone shouted yes at the bottom. I didn’t really know what this meant but I soon found out I got a 59.6second run. I was really pleased to get under a min.
I heard after my run good news about the guy that had suspected spinal injuries. Despite being very concussed his spine and neck was fine.
When I was called for the podium I went up very surprised to see the amount of prises for me! Check this out, a pair of carbon Avid Elixir brakes, a Sram X0 rear mech, a Truvativ bar, stem and seat post, a free Boxxer fork service, £50, some bike cleaner and an oversize can of Monster.
Thanks to Rich and Rachel for another fantastic memorable weekend.
Thanks to Last, Rezurgence, Lifestyle Ford, 2026 distribution, Nema Clothing, DMR, Funn, 661, Maxxis, KMC, Lezyne, Mojo suspension, Kali and Shimano.