Kona Grassroots rider Thomas Mitchell reports from the PMBA Enduro Kirroughtree

With most of the big race series on an extended summer break and with me not participating in any EWS races this year, I haven’t been up to much lately. Nothing exciting at least. I have just been ploughing away with work, riding and not a whole lot else. Last Friday, whilst doing some photo shooting with Enduro MAG, a friend of mine mentioned he was heading down to Kirroughtree for round five of the PMBA enduro series. I had never done one of these races but I had heard good things about the events. They are relaxed, less serious races with good trails being at the heart of the event. They run races throughout the north of England and southern Scotland.

I thought it all sounded pretty fun and the one day race format meant I wouldn’t need to commit a whole weekend to it. I asked around, and even though the race was sold out, I still managed to nab an entry from another friend of mine who wasn’t feeling all that well.Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 7.35.26 AM

So I now had an entry, some friends to go with and a big blue transit van fuelled and ready to go. We had an early start with me and my buddy Ross arriving outside Stuart’s house for 6am which is not pleasant on a Sunday morning. After Stuart had rolled out of bed the three of us hightailed it to Kirroughtree with the time flying by despite the 100 mile drive. We made good time and arrived to a very modern and well facilitated visitor centre. After some extra coffee and breakfast we were ready for out practice lap.

The trails were pretty awesome if I’m honest. Kirroughtree isn’t the biggest place in terms of vertical but it certainly makes the most of the what its got. It had rained overnight so the trails were pretty slippery but we got on with things and had a blast and got our practice lap done pretty quickly. Five stages in all with a mix of natural cut single track mixed with trail centre flow. The tracks were pretty short so you had to be on it right from the word go. This made things even more interesting as times would be super tight.randr-photo-1584461-3400px_orig

I had an awesome time smashing round with Ross and Stuart and we all felt the race was really well run and organized. I had a pretty ok day in the saddle. Stage one was a bit of a disaster though. I was making good progress as I could see the guy who set off before me. In the last corner before the finish straight my bike hit a root the wrong way. This lined me up for a square impact with a tree. The bike stopped dead, I went flying and hurt both my legs quite badly. My bars were twisted and I ran back to my bike and limped to the finish, twisted bars and all. I was upset but didn’t want to give up so I still tried to enjoy myself. I straightened the bars and set off to take out my frustration on the rest of the track.

I had some good stages and ended up salvaging 5th in Elite which was ok given my crash on stage 1 and how tight times were.

Overall it was a super day out and a Sunday well spent. Thanks to Fall Line Cycles for prepping the bike and the event organisers for running an awesome show. I’ll be back to do another one for sure.

Till next time,