The Kona Cheddar Bikefest went down well with all the riders (pic: Jon Brooke)
Typical September weather, a physically and technically challenging course with most of the old favourites, a laid back atmosphere and a good mountain biker party were the ingredients to the first ever Kona Cheddar Bikefest and the comeback of the Cheddar event that took place on the 29-30th September on the Broadway House Campground.
The Kona Cheddar Bikefest aftermath
Around 750 riders in teams of two, four and solo took part in the 8hr and 4hr event on Saturday and had a great day racing on the short but tough Cheddar course. The much loved sections like Vipers Vale, Devils Drop and Witches Wood put big grins on the riders faces. The normally challenging Cheddar course was made even more demanding by last minute course changes, adding one of the steepest and most difficult climbs in any UK event to the course.
Every lap remained a physical and technical challenge until the very end but it didn’t stop the riders putting in some astonishing laps and lap times. The 8hr solo event was won by Mud Docks Scott Cornish with 23 laps in 7hrs 43mins. The woman’s solo event was won by Kate Betts from Whyte bikes with 18 laps. The pairs competition went to the WR Racing team with the Mixed pairs going the Minx/Extreme Endurance Team. The team competitions were won by the Marin UK teams in the Men’s teams and by the Las Vegas Institute of Sport in the Ladies.
The event village was the biggest a Bikefest had ever seen and reminded a little bit of the hey days of the Cheddar Challenge, with displays from Kona, Ritchey, High5, Bionicon , Cannondale, Torq, Shred, Giant, Dodgy Gear, Cube, Nite Rider, 2 Pure, Embers Merino, Ergon, Maxxis and 661 just to name a few.
After the 8hr event on Saturday the Nite Rider (www.2pure.co.uk) TT took place with more than £1,000 of bike lights up for grabs. The winning time was won in the astonishing time of 14min 13sec – which probably was the fastest time of the whole weekend. The night TT will probably be moved to the Friday night in 2008 and will be started from outside the bar.
Sunday morning saw another early start with the 4hr event at 10am. The course was, by then, truly ridden in and it offered a variety and new challenges even for the riders who had already took part in Saturday’s 8hr event. Will Bjergfelt from Kona UK/Paligap won the solo men’s competition with Leda Cox winning the ladies. In the men’s pairs we had the team of Southfork/Torq coming out on top and the Team Chance Cycle Studio winning the mixed pairs.
The general atmosphere of the weekend was yet again super friendly and yet competitive with all the racers being extremely polite when overtaking. It shows that an event can be laid back without loosing its racy focus.
We would like to send a big thank you to our title sponsor Kona Bikes (www.konaworld.uk.com) who did a great job sorting the event and making it happen. The guys will continue with their support for 2008 (provisional date: 7-8th June 2008 for the Bristol Bikefest and 27-28th September 2008 for the Cheddar Bikefest). Big thanks also goes out to Dave More from the Broadway House campground, to Bob from www.high5-online.com the guys from the toasty kitchen and to Graham from Cafe2U for keeping the troops going.
Another and even bigger thanks goes to everybody taking part in Kona Cheddar Bikefest 2007 and making it a great event. We would like to apologise for the last minute course alterations we were forced to do and which resulted in adding the rather harsh second climb. We are already looking at building diversions for next year’s event and hope that it was still an enjoyable yet challenging weekend for everybody. If you have any further feedback please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.
The times have been up for a couple of days on www.timelaps.co.uk.
Our event photographer Jon Brooke was out taking pics on the course. Pics of (nearly) every rider – searchable by rider number are available from http://sleepmonsters.co.uk/photoshop.php?event_id=5155http://sleepmonsters.co.uk/photoshop.php. Jon took lots and lots of images so have a look and see if you can find yourself on there.
We enjoyed the event immensely and we think that it was a worthy comeback after last year’s forced break and (if nothing else) has put down the foundation for years to come. Hope to see you all in 2008 at the Bristol and/or Cheddar Bikefest. To keep updated on what is happening on the events and what other events we are working on please subscribe to our newsletter via our website www.bike-fest.com.