EWS Tweed Valley 2021

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EWS Tweed Valley 2021

To start the weekend off I drove a whopping eight and a half hours from sunny Dorset up to the Tweed Valley in Scotland. Fuelled up with Nando's I was ready to go racing!

I entered into the EWS 100 race which means we do the same stages as the pros except they repeat the first stage on race day meaning they do 6 stages and I did 5.

Enduro World Series tweed valley 2021 stage map wheelie bike shop

All I can say is this race blew any expectations that I had out of the water. The simple transition from the race village through to the first practice stage had me moaning and groaning and wishing it would end. Though I pushed through and made it to the top of mountain which is often referred to as 'Golfie' as there is a golf course at the bottom. 

As I was riding down the first stage I instantly felt better about the horrendous climb I had just endured. The trail just kept twisting, turning and flowing down the mountain. Although wet there seemed to be plenty of grip and I felt really comfortable with the way I was riding.

The rest of the day was all very similar with much of the transitions being repeated for each stage. However Stage 5 was a different beast all together. After cycling for what seemed to be an eternity along the fireroad I finally reached some marshals and a taped course thinking I was as the start of Stage 5. Oh how very wrong I was. I spent the next hour hauling myself and my mud laden bike up what seemed to be a never ending near vertical hill. I finally reached the top, only to be greeted with gale force winds and rain. Oh glorious rain! I must say actually riding Stage 5 was absolutely fabulous. Fast and tight through the trees with a nice loamy base and to finish off the day I got to enjoy a much deserved cheese toasty at the cafe.

Michael Maiden owner of Wheelie bike shop uk enduro World Series racing Mtb

Race Day (Saturday)

I'd managed to get a good nights sleep despite the awning nearly flying away and requiring some fixing in the middle of the night. I luckily had some fresh dry kit and got myself all prepped for the day ahead despite the never ending rain tempting me to stay in bed!

I set off on Stage 1 with great pace but I quickly realised that my body was not capable of holding onto the handlebars if I maintained this pace. The stages are just so much longer than what I'm used to riding and I had done zero training and this really started to show. I therefore settled for 80% pace and hoped this would mean I could ride consistently and not make costly mistakes or more importantly not injure myself. Nevertheless I had bit of an off near the bottom of Stage 1 but got back up and carried on. 

The rest of the stages had changed significantly since practice the day before, as they had become extremely muddy in particular on Stage 2 some of the bogs were upto my axles. Stage 3 'New York New York' as its known was by far the hardest. I had actually skipped it out on practice day as I wasn't going to make the timing slot, but in many ways I'm glad I did skip it, as I would have ridden even more reserved had I known how long and tiring it would be on my body. 

After finishing Stage 4 I knew I had the almighty pushup to Stage 5 but at least I knew what to expect and I plowed through. I wasn't the only one sitting down to take the odd rest!

Once I had finished I was so mentally and physically drained I could barely talk and was just proud that I had finished. However on reflection I realised how awesome the experience was and that I definitely had more to give, especially if I actually did some training!!

I'm already planning on entering some more Enduro World Series races and potentially going overseas!

 

I would also like to give a shoutout to team rider Adam Garside who managed to get himself a podium position in the EWS Kids race.

Adam Garside wheelie bike shop team rider and manager Michael maiden

Michael maiden at Enduro World Series Pole factory racing tent wheelie bike shopPole Stamina 180 custom built by wheelie bike shop uk Michael maiden


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