Pics: Gary Bray/UNiCOM
The weather leading up to the 2009 Kona Bikefest was perfect, drying out the trails nicely, but then on Friday night it decided to brake the six year stint of sunny and dusty conditions to add a further challenging aspect to the event.
The 12-hour event on Saturday started in wet conditions but due to the amount of riders going over the various sections of trail and due to the weather being stable all through the day the course got dryer and faster with every lap and towards the end the bikes and riders came as clean over the finish line as they had left for their lap 30 odd minutes ago.
As in the years before the main crowd puller with more than 1,500 riders enjoying the event in teams of four, pairs or in the hugely popular solo categories. After a few years of trying, the Bad Ass Bike team came through with a clear win in the open team category.
The ladies competitive event was won by the Torq Kona ladies team – one of the many Torq Kona teams that would do very well in the various categories on offer. The Female Old Git category was won by Team Purple Bike shed and the Male old Git category by the For Goodness Shakes team.
The open male pair category was won by Team My Life Personal, the open female pairs by Team Red Planet Bikes. The Male Old Git pair category was won by Team Crunch, and the two SingleSpeed team categories went to LVIS Singlespeed Superstars and to The Bike Mechanics.co.uk.
The solo categories where once again strongly fought over and some really astonishing lap counts were achieved. Torq Kona rider James Lister managed to complete 20 laps which would have placed him safely in the top 10 of the open male team category. The female open solo category was won by Rickie Cotter from Genesis Bikes/Cytek.
The racing action was followed in typical Bristol Bikefest style with a massive party, live music and DJ tunes early into the morning – ideal preparation for Sundays’ 6-hour event.
The Sunday event saw an increase in numbers of riders from 2008 with more than 500 riders getting involved. The categories on offer where the same as on Saturday – the only difference being the riding time which was just 6-hours or 3-hours if you entered the new novice category.
The heavy rain on Saturday night turned the almost by then perfectly ridden in course into a rather wet affair but the sunny conditions and the breeze helped to dry it out with every lap once more.
Torq Kona secured a rather dominating win in the competitive male team category with the female open category being won by the Beyond 925 Ladies team. The male pair was won by Team Mountain Trax Yeti Torq and the female pairs by team Torq Kona. The solo categories were won by Danny Goode and Fi Spotwood who both put in a very strong performance.
The event village was filled with the latest the industry had to offer giving lots of interested riders the chance to test ride a new machine while still racing the event.
We also had some BBC photographers on site and Gary from the BBC left with the following words: ” I travel all over the world for the BBC taking photos including formula one and world cup football, and the Kona Bristol Bikefest is the best event by far for atmosphere and the level of enjoyment the competitors are having.”
Preparations for 2010 are already in the pipeline hopefully improving the camping setup as well as rethinking the coursed crossing/bridge layout and location. More on that in the next few months on www.bike-fest.com.
Kona Cheddar Bikefest
The 2009 event will return with the reworked course and with an even bigger and better event village setup. The course and format will stay the same for 2009 with the 10-hour event being run on Saturday and the 5- and 3-hour event being run on Sunday.
All the details on the Kona Cheddar Bikefest including downloadable entry forms and online entry can be found on the updated Bikefest website www.bike-fest.com.