Published: 14th January, 2014
Once again the Soggy Bottom race at Newnham lived up to it’s name, and then some. Course conditions held up relatively well through most of the morning race, with fine performances from the young riders, grand vet’s and fun competitors. There was even reasonable light for photography at one point.
The torrential rain in the afternoon changed all that. Course conditions turned from moderately muddy to making being upright and pointing in the right direction an increasingly rare occurrence.
So what of Jay’s newly opened, multiple lines? These three choices started at the bottom of the ‘Bomb Holes’ section, descending to re-joined familiar ground part way up the ‘Cliff Climb’. The ‘C’ line was most popular, being most direct and possibly least terrifying??? That said, it was off camber and went from slippery to treacherously slippery as the race progressed. The various styles of under tree, limbo moves displayed on this line also provided some unusual photographic opportunities.
The ‘B’ line provided the best going immediately after splitting from ‘C’. However, it then descended very steeply around a treacherous bend, with a rock perfectly positioned to catch out the unwary. You’re right, understatement of the day, the rock was actually exactly where (almost) everyone was going to slide right into it! Then of course there was the ‘A’ line. After failing to see anyone ride it in the first race I decided to stake it out at lunchtime, hoping someone might try it on their practice lap.
The first attempt seemed to be on an imaginary bike!
I’d almost given up hope when, with the bike handling skills of a South West track stand champion (and a little bit of fending off the rocky walls!), the long awaited photographic opportunity arrived.
This low speed, high precision manoeuvre proved beyond doubt the ‘A’ line would never be the race line of choice. Thank you very much to Matt Loake, of southfork racing, for the chance to get that all important ‘A’ line picture. Also, very well done to everyone who kept smiling through arguably the soggiest Soggy Bottom to date.
Despite a certain lack of co-operation by the weather, I’m sure you’ll agree a great series conclusion. Excellent job Maddie, Jay and the team!
Hopefully see you at the Stinger events on 16th February and 16th March,