Student Mountain Bike Champs 2000



I’ve just returned from the Isle of Wight after spending a weekend
supporting University of Bangor in the Y2K BUSA Student Mountain Bike Champs. How
was the event?

“It soon became clear that all was
not well…”

On arriving quite late Friday evening only to struggle to find the Site ( surely
a few little signs pointing wayward travellers in the right direction wouldn’t have
gone a miss), we found our pitch and started chatting to a few riders. It soon became
clear that all was not well… mutterings of an Uphill downhill more suited to the
XC whippet than Body armour, big hit taking mentalists. General feeling around camp
was that most riders could just not be bothered to ride the next day. Saturday morning
came ( all be it a little wet – but then can’t blame the weather on the organisers)
after a ‘Short’ stroll along the DH course unveiled what must have been one of the
worst courses that you could possibly imagine. Shan’t go into detail of describing
the course but the middle section included a 150m sprint up a field to the next section
– Not something the DH boys (and Girls) wanted to see. Quicker to get off and push
then it was to try and push that big ring.

How many DH courses do you know of that
you can complete safely with no brakes?

The Halifax Building society sponsor
BUSA, the organisers of the event, but even one of their estate agents would be
hard pressed to describe the course in glowing terms

The previous day a few riders had taken the liberty of adding a small double and
jump to the top section to add a little spice to an otherwise very dull and flat
course. Thank God they did, this became the focal point for the crash thirsty spectator.
Big shout goes to George Fisher of Bangor on his brave attempt at a 360 although
ended up a 180, only to be followed on his second run by Trick Tuned SC Chameleon
(removed the brakes) to perform a tidy bar spin.. (at the 2nd attempt ) and then
went on to complete the course in safety.

Lap times around 10mins?

I seem to have dwelled on the DH side of events for too long – Now for the XC! The
course had been changed over the Saturday.. come Sunday morning the course was contained
within two fields and looked more like a cyclocross race than XC – 10 laps were to
be completed for the Mens championship race!!! – not sure on the lap times but seemed
to be somewhere around the 10 minute mark, enough to make you dizzy,

Hooray! The toilets flush!

Okay so so far things have been a little negative which really is the point of this
letter. Surely there must be some positives just to make this balance. Well lets
start with ….ermmm…..ermmmmm… Oh the campsite was okay Flushing toilets and
showers, positive luxury compared to previous years events [ FACE=”Arial”>and most student houses – Ed]. Atmosphere
of the event was pretty good despite the obstacles the riders faced – but then what
do you expect with several hundred drunken students congregating in a field.

When compared to the brilliantly organised event at Plymouth Last year it just paled.
Where were the trade stands, the PA system, the commentator, the hills, the evenings
DJ & Trials event? Then the year previous to that at Checkendon at Reading was
at the SAMS course – okay the DH ain’t the steepest but at least speed is involved……
Come on guys an event at a venue such as this is not acceptable when there are so
many top quality courses in the UK just take a look at the Nambs, Sams , NPS or welsh
dragon series races. The riders want more – something to test them and there student
loan financed bike

An increased entry fee left many wondering where the cash had gone add this to an
already expensive weekend when you take the cost of travelling as well as the ferry
costs…… Considering that this is the largest BUSA event on the calendar surely
a little more effort could have gone into attempting to make this year a success.

All in all, it just leaves me in horror as to what next year may bring?


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