The organisers of the Kona Bristol Bikefest have clearly done some sort of Faustian deal to ensure great weather at the now-firmly-established 12/6 hour race weekend. With the spiffy Ashton Court trails being lovingly prepped by the Bristol Trails Group, all the ingredients were in place for a fantastic weekend, and so it proved to be.
Saturday was 12-hour day, with over 1,100 riders taking part either in teams of four, as pairs or solo. With lots and lots (and lots) of singletrack, traffic was occasionally a problem, but if you’re that keen to get past there’ll be a short, open climb along in a minute. We’ll take the odd crowded bit in exchange for the fab twisty trails, that’s for sure.
As ever, it doesn’t matter how fast you think you’re going, plenty of people are going a lot faster. Unless you were the Felt team, who racked up an impressive 27 laps. Hardly less impressive was the 24 laps pulled in by pairs winners Back on Track, while Team Lady Teacake did 20 laps to take the women’s win. The always-competitive solo men category was won by Ryan Bevis (Ram Bikes).
Bikefest is known as much for its “aprés-race” as for the actual competition, and once again the gathered multitudes were treated to live music and a DJ until what can only be described as “Sunday”.
As well as a fair few sore heads, Sunday brought with it Bikefest’s six-hour racing. Inevitably this was a smaller thing than the 12-hour main event, but despite the campsite looking quite sparse on Sunday morning there were still getting on for 500 riders taking part. With the weather getting even hotter, six hours was probably enough for anyone.
William Bjergfelt from Team Felt clearly had something left in the tank after his contribution to Saturday’s team event win, dominating the solo six-hour from the start. Fi Spotswood won the women’s solo, Numplumz took the team men competition, The Last Minuters the men’s pairs and the curiously-named “One And A Half German” the women’s pairs.
The next project for the Bikefest team is the Kona Cheddar Bikefest (27/28 September 2008) at Broadway House, Cheddar. This will be the second of the “reincarnated” Cheddar autumn event, with 800 riders showing up for 2007. This year will see a reworked course – with a switchback replacing a section of super-steep climb – and bigger event village. The format will also be tweaked, with Saturday’s event going up to 10 hours from eight, thus introducing a bit of night riding at the end. Sunday will be a five-hour race, with a three-hour option available. And there’ll be another night time trial but it’ll be on Friday evening as a warm-up for the weekend.
Everybody who took part in the Kona Bristol Bikefest and comes back for more at the Kona Cheddar Bikefest is entitled to the Bikefest loyalty gift (worth more than £25). All the details on the Kona Cheddar Bikefest including downloadable entry forms can be found on the updated Bikefest website www.bike-fest.com.