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Round 3 - The Scottish Event - Review

After a journey that was for most people by far the longest, we arrived at Dunkeld, a small town in the Scottish countryside

As we pulled into the campsite on Friday it became clear by the size of the camp that this would be a much smaller event than the two previous ATBA-UK events this season, but this could be expected when taking into account the distance and the fact that this event clashed with another.

We decided to venture up to the top of track which from the sound of things was quite a distance away and without a lift would take a while. It seemed that the “sensible?” option here would be to use a car to take us to the top but with a driver and 6 passengers we were going to have to be creative with the space we had, so 3 brave riders opted to strap onto a board and skitch their way up the hill. The conclusion of which was Skully, of Team North, flying up the road at 40mph.

The track consisted of a fire track winding through the trees and stretching up the hill to a small wooden roll-in. The fire track was a dusty road covered in loose rock that in some places could be quite large loose rocks. Soon after the roll-in was an alternative track option through the trees cutting out one large corner of the track. The woodland track consisted of a loose rutty surface through tight gaps within the trees over a series of features including some north shore mountain bike style tracks. After a couple of practice runs through the track we headed off back to the camp.

Friday night there was a sense of anticipation for the forthcoming competition as small campfires appeared dotted around the campsite.

On Saturday morning the riders meeting was called to be at the quarry half way up the hill where a half built freestyle ramp pathetically lay. After everyone was uprooted from the site and sent to the quarry we were told that the competition would work as follows. Three timed runs per rider, best run counts. Simple!

The comp started and it soon became apparent that those taking the route through the woods were going to be finishing top especially if it could be a clean run, but they also risked some horrible places to bail. The comp went smoothly with very few problems, the minor problem of the odd walker or cyclist breaking the beams of the timing system every now and again was to be expected, but as far as things went it was a successful event.

That evening a large fire was lit in the centre of the site where most people from the site gathered round giving a real sense of community within the sport as people got talking to others they may not have otherwise met. The evening was going well with a calm atmosphere until suddenly things kicked off. Stick fighting on the fire and walking over a set of burning stairs were just the start of things, all those who decided to go to bed were about to get a rude awakening as numerous explosions tore into the peaceful Scottish night as cans of beans, soup, spaghetti, haggis, deodorant and pressurised gas were thrown into the fire long into the night.
The next morning we awoke to a much quieter, bean splattered, sleepy atmosphere. The freestyle was to kick off at lunch if there was a ramp. Fortunately there was a ramp, a nice one. The roll-in consisted of a steep hill with a loose surface (that had to be repeatedly swept) leading to a roller coaster of old north shore track and plywood, at the bottom lay a wooden kicker with a small gap between itself and a landing ramp.

The comp kicked off and due to the sketchy ramp less people seemed to be going inverted in comparison to round 1 & 2 therefore pushing people to add style to their grabs to get noticed from the other riders. For me the highlight was seeing a set of matrix trucks get smashed clean off during the practice. Well done that guy!

The weekend was a complete success even against doubts about who would be there and the freestyle ramp. Well done those involved in organising this event. Hope to return to ride there next year.

Words by Muller
Pictures by Jack Mitchell

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