Brighton Big Dog this weekend - Bike Magic

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Brighton Big Dog this weekend


It’s back. The Brighton Big Dog enters its third year when it goes ahead this Saturday (20 August 2011).

The Brighton Big Dog is a 6-hour race around the parkland trails of Stanmer Park just outside of Brighton and features one of our favourite courses, with stiff climbs and oodles of singletrack.

“Year one we had sun, fast trails and Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt. Year two we had “character building” conditions, podium girls and champagne. Year three? Who knows,” the organisers tell us.

Some things are for certain though, as last year it’s still a non-profit event and a large chunk of the takings (The remainder will go to our designated cycling charity.) will go behind the bar for one of the biggest parties in mountain biking. Not before you’ve had a finish line beer courtesy of the award-winning Dark Star Brewing Co that is.

While the format will remain pretty much the same, there’s now five categories for to choose from: Solo, Pairs, Team of Three and Open Retro (pre-1995 bikes only). Retrobike will once again support the Open Retro category and can be entered as a pair of team of three.

There will also be a youth race earlier on in the day in conjunction with VC Jubilee so now all the youngsters won’t be left out from riding one of the best courses in the country. Prizes will be awarded for the top 3 of each category as well as the “Hot Dog” award from Ricardo for the fastest lap.

If you fancy a one lap scoot around to see what everyone is talking about then why not enter the Oneder Dog fun category on the day, which has been hugely popular over the last 2 years. Maybe because it comes with tea and cake too!

So what are you waiting for?

The course makes the event

Stanmer Park’s not a huge area, but it certainly packs in the singletrack (and some of it is very, very single indeed). We had the opportunity to preview the course recently and came away, well, giggling. Over to Dave for a moment:

“I’d never visited Stanmer Park before The Long Good Saturday back in 2008. It still rates as one of my favourite events of the past few years. It wasn’t so much the organisation and the atmosphere, both of which were flawless, but the course. It was easily one of the best UK courses I’d ever ridden.

“Never have I ridden a course that packed so much singletrack into such a small space. It goes up, down, traverses across the hillside, ducks between trees that have you tucking your elbows in and wiggling your entire body through, throws in some giggle-inducing descents, and chucks you out at the end, after some seven miles, into a green park. Lovely.

“The BM Navigation-O-Matic bar-mounted mile-counting thing made the Big Dog course just under eight miles long with 1,100ft of climbing per lap. Or, looked at another way, 1,100ft of descending. There’s enough gradient on the course to avoid the constant pedalling that flatter courses demand to keep the speed up, which is definitely an upside to having to climb a bit.”

Watch it here

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