Mule Steve Day's report from SSUK 2014.
Just returned from the most amazing event... it will take a lot to top this year’s SSUK, but I think Yorkshire will be trying to equal it again next year! Who would have thought that a ‘right shonky pair of Brummies’ would be able to pull off such an amazing do?
Held at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, over 4 laps of a 4 mile course with all the usual singlespeed shenanigans – roller racing, bike hiding and copious amounts of beer! All accompanied by some very accommodating dry, sunny weather.
Friday night was roller racing night, and I was clearly outclassed, showing my inability to spin my legs ridiculously fast and getting my Mule backside kicked by most of my riding mates from Godiva Trailriders. However, Saturday was where I got to get my own back... A mass ride-out to the start, followed by some bike hiding by the organisers while the riders waited round the corner before the official start. I was lucky enough to pick my bike up straight away and get off to a flyer, picking up the lead in the first bit of sloppy, stinky singletrack (some parts of the Chase never seem to dry out!).
The rest of the course was flowing, with a great mix of fast/twisty/dusty/rooty/twisty/rooty trails with a couple of evil climbs thrown in to try to break us. However, after a couple of wrong turns due to following the trails rather than paying attention to the course tape, I was trading places with David Beskeen as any gap I had disappeared. However, towards the end of the lap a few of us were sent the wrong way and ended up repeating the last singletrack loop and dropping back in the pack, a couple of minutes back from the lead group. At which point I though that it was game over... but David kept pushing and we slowly started picking our way back through the pack. Each lap was completed with a quick ‘singlespeed refreshment’ at the finish line that we both made the most of before starting our next lap. The next two laps involve David passing me on the climbs and me catching him and passing on the descents while we tried to pick off other riders and make our way past those we were lapping. This was also accompanied by a number of the marshals/organisers asking us what we were playing at being so far back! It was a bit of a surprise to hear we were only 20 seconds down at the end of the third lap and so, when we could see the lead group that included Jules Rider & Shaggy Ross half way around the last lap we were spurred on to catch them, and we both managed to pick them off before we got to the last singletrack descent. As we came to the top of the last climb we were riding alongside each other. After a chat at the start of the run down to the finish, we both gunned it and David got his wheel over the line first.
The celebrations started straight away and carried on into the early hours of Sunday, leading to a few sore heads for the Sunday ride-outs around the chase.
Bring it on Yorkshire in 2015!!!
September 09, 2014