Bigfoot at Bristol Bikefest
A Bigfoot favourite, the Bristol Bikefest was in full swing again down at Ashton Court last weekend. Bigfoot were being represented this year by a team made up of Mark S (resident Ashton Court local), Ed, Tim and myself, AKA ‘Bigfoot Utter Caaarnage’.
Unlike other events, the Bikefest always has a chilled out vibe to it and unbelievably has had a history of very good weather conditions. Well, with the wind and rain blowing my car off the M5 on the drive down on Friday I thought this was about to change… In fact the camping field was so waterlogged on Friday night there was a delay letting people in as the organisers put boards down over the worst bits. In the end, we all bailed the camping idea on Friday night and stayed at Mark’s nearby – thanks again Mark!
Up early Saturday and safely into the camping field after driving passed many VW transporters stuck in the mud, we registered and then started the hike down to the bottom of the field where the race starts with an uphill run to the bikes. Members who have previously raced at Ashton Court will know about the infamous cutting of the first corner on the run (I personally have never done that… ) and they addressed that cheeky issue by making people run up the other side of the golf course. There was still no lack of caaaaarnage though as 300 odd riders and tried to squeeze down a 6 ft wide bridleway at speed.
Thankfully we unleashed Mark for the first lap, and in true tradition he got to the front of the race and completely avoided the traffic. We started off with doing 2 laps each (around 31 mins a lap) to avoid the busy transition area, however after everyone took their turn, we agreed 1 lappers were far more civilised and probably a bit quicker.
Anyone who has done Octoberfest or ridden at Ashton Court recently will know the trails are hardpack and effectively resemble a giant BMX track, full of berms and rollers, its great fun and held up very well against all those riders. It was a very fast race with a lot more sponsored teams than in previous years, which kept us on our toes all day.
To top it all off, in true Bikefest fashion the sun shone on Bristol all day and was quite hot at times, perfect for a mid race BBQ and some very tasty burgers, in fact we all posted our fastest lap times after having those burgers, who needs energy gels eh?! (Yes, I know traffic would have been less on the course, but I like to think the burgers played a bigger part!)
As the day went on started to creep up the leaderboard, 26th place, 24th place, (testament to those long Sunday rides over the winter) and we ended up finishing 22nd out of 95 teams. The top 20 teams all seemed to be sponsored and a quick look at the results puts Bigfoot Utter Carnage in the top 5 ‘club’ teams. After 12 hours of racing, we were only 2 minutes down on 21st place and less than a minute up on 23rd place, so some very close racing. I think the team did very well!
A special note to John Helmore, a Bigfoot friend and an experienced enduro rider, after a few attempts now he entered 12hr solo category this year and won!! His lap times were almost the same as the team times. Big respect and well done to him!
Steve Hurley was there representing Next Day Tyres in a mixed team, they came 16th. Steve would probably agree that semi slick tyres were definitely the right choice on the course.
I can’t forget to thank Mike C, Jason, Karolina, and Maria for coming down on the day and supporting us, it made going out on the later laps a lot easier!
The next event at Ashton Court is Octoberfest, an 8 hour version of the race on the 15th October. Let’s try and get a few teams entered for that and we will have a great day!