Well over 200 riders took part in Rocky Trail's Gravity Enduro series at Ourimbah on Monday of the Australia Day long weekend. The highly popular format brings together riders from the different MTB dissiplines for what is essentially a gravity based race against the clock, or your mates, with some slight hills or flat sections to keep the DH rigs to a minimum.
Two trails were selected and it was the total time across both gave you your finishing time. With shuttle runs to the top of the first track it was all downhill shredding, rollers, berms and rocks. The fastest riders would smoothly link the sections, clear the obstacles and generally be in owe of most watching. The trails were dry and the dust hardly had time to settle before another rider stirred it up, riders were usually separated by a minute at the start gates.
From the bottom of the first run it was a un-timed push or ride to the top of the second run. This run was a little more tame than the previous DH run with more XC style trails selected but still challenging in its own right.
When we arrived at Ourimbah it was already packed with cars, people and bikes. Rego was like... a line to the toilets at a music festival. But the trails were open and with a preview trail and a place to practice the use of the timing chips, riders were already making their way down to base camp, where both race runs finished. Time to get in some practice laps of the race trails and use the sweet shuttles to the top of the DH trail.
Race runs were fun, sketchy but fun still. On the DH trail I held it till my chain jumped and twisted around the rear derailier at the lower end of the trail, not a good thing when there is a pedaly section to finish. And on the All-mountain run, everything is hard when your attempting to sprint and maintain control at the same time, the body screaming "you have hit VO2! There is no where else to go!"
The Gravity Enduro style of event looks to be an even bigger hit again this year with its friendly atmosphere and mixture of trails to just about suit everyone. Grab your bike and we might see you at one!