What a weekend and what a great ending to the Mountain Bike Season 2011. After a hugely popular Ritchey Bikefest in June this year expectations were high for the 2nd outing of the Ritchey Oktoberfest, which for the first time would use the newly finished course in Ashton Court in Bristol. And to cut a long story short – it did not disappoint.
Once again the typical Bikefest atmosphere paired with perfect riding conditions, some sunshine, a perfect course and lots of single track loving riders made for a great ending to the season.
The almost 10km of perfectly made course held up beautifully and fears that overtaking might be impossible were quickly put aside after the riders completed a couple of laps.
This year didn’t just have a huge increase in riders but also saw a few rather unexpected faces getting involved in endurance racing.
Martyn Ashton, Steve Peat and Sam Pilgrim from Bike Riders United made an appearance in the 2nd 4 hour race of the event and showed the riders that they are not just great in their individual discipline but also great all-round riders.
We’ll be back next year
With two great events in 2011 and a superb course on our side we will certainly be back with some more Bikefest fun in 2012. In fact we are working on one or two extra events for all the keen beans out there. So far we only have provisional dates but as it looks we will return with the Bikefest on the 9-10th June 2012 and with the Oktoberfest on the 13th October 2012.
But that wasn’t all
For 2011 we turned the Oktoberfest weekend into a double header. New to the line-up was the Run Rider – a off road duathlon which would use the Oktoberfest riding course but also incorporate some of the more demanding running trails Ashton Court has to offer.
The day greeted the athletes with near perfect racing conditions (sunny but not too warm) and at 10am almost 200 athletes took on one of the two course lengths on offer. The race started off at in impressive pace and it would not take long before the 1st runners come back into the transition to change to the bike or to start their 2nd running lap.
It was interesting to watch from the sideline how much the order changed during the race when the duathletes changed from running to riding and back again. After around 1 and ¾ hour the winner of the standard Run Rider (short course) came over the line with the last athlete on the classic (long course) completing after almost 4 hours on the trail.
We had a great time at the Run Rider and going by the feedback we have had so far most of the ‘Run Riders’ too. We will be back with the 2nd outing of the event in 2012 which will most likely be the 14th October. Please keep your eyes on Run Rider website for updates.
Finally we would like to send out a big thank you to everybody who came to our events in 2011 and to our sponsors – in particular Ritchey, Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport, VDO, OMM and MOTI. Without their help we wouldn’t have been able to put the Bikefest show on the road.