A good sized group of the green and black took on Single Track 7 this year, roving reporter Jim Sutherland gave us this great race report.

Singletrack 7 was held at the near-by Catton Park on 14 May and, as the name implies, its a seven hour endurance mountain bike cross country race for riders or pairs. It is a reincarnation of the Wiggle 6 last held in 2007 when Ruth and I raced as a pair. The organiser set a low entry target of 250 riders and entries sold out, but next year’s event will have a higher entry number and a bigger budget and electronic timing.

Five solo riders took part from B&DCC with the Browns and me electing to take advantage of the free camping the night before. This enabled a recce lap to be done on Saturday without using up race day energy and had the added advantage to me of sampling Keiren Brown's cooking, an area where his prowess matches his riding capabilities. Watch your back Daniel Farrand!

Race day saw Craig Preece and Dillon join our encampment at the finish line, Ian Mullins joining Dave Steed and family at “Steed Corner” and Andy Hampshire setting up base at the side of the course.

The weather was fine and the course dry with two main climbs and fast flowing single track descents as well as a couple of high speed double track corners. The course is not overly technical, easier than the Midlands XC courses, and well suited for this type of endurance event and I hope many more riders from B&DCC will enter next year as it is an ideal event for pairs looking to start out on endurance racing.

The course was enlivened in the start/finish area by a series of three hurdles accessing a small short cut. Keiren bunny hopped them all but after watching Dave Brown go  A over T I elected a cyclocross style carry.  There was also a beer short cut which I used alternate laps saving about 50 meters by drinking a small plastic cup of excellent local beer which was very refreshing but left my bike very sticky with the spillages. A foam dispenser was used on one lap meaning everything below arm level disappeared from sight on one corner. Not a pleasant experience but no doubt entertaining for spectators and I think unlikely to be used again next year.

So, the results. Well everyone rode amazingly well and hard and we were all equally exhausted and happy at the end of this relatively light hearted event.

  • Keiren Brown stole the show by leading the men’s solo category for 19 laps only to run out of energy on the 20th lap to slip into an excellent second place in 7 hours 19 minutes.
  • Craig Preece rode strongly to 11th place with 18 laps in 7 hours 25 minutes and seeing the possibility of him lapping me spurred me on with 3 laps to go
  • I completed 17 laps in 7 hours 18 minutes to take 18th place
  • Andy Hampshire rode strongly to 31st place with 15 laps just ahead of
    Dave Steed in 32nd
  • Ian Mullins achieved 14 laps and 44th place with a special mention for his enduring smile and good humour.

As always good support is essential and in this area I would like to offer huge “Thank Yous” to Dave Brown who was by the track side for 7 hours providing liquid and food sustanance to Keiren, Craig and me, and also to the extended Steed family for providing 3 generations of vocal support.

So, next year let’s see lots of riders, solos and pairs, from B&DCC in the excellent local event.

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