Aston Hill Eastern and Central Downhill Champs 2011

Last weekend saw us over at the Eastern and Central Downhill Champs 2011 as event co- sponsor along with Madison, Shimano and SRAM etc. We arrived early Saturday evening and set up our trade stand and demo kit and then retired for the night in the roof tent of the duffbus camper.

Being from the Kent Coast the wildlife we experience is generally of the small and quiet variety, Aston Hill obviously breeds bigger and noisier varieties as we were woken by snuffling Muntjac deer, wild boar squealing, owls hooting and what I am told is a characteristic scream of nesting Red Kites. Wild!

A bit bleary eyed we emerged to white cloud on Sunday morning and a forecast of “light rain”. Nothing like the biblical downpour that we experienced for the three hours after racing started. When we arrived the course was running very fast as it had been dry for the previous ten days, the rain turned it into a slidey root fest with the race radio crackling “rider down, medic needed” with scary regularity. At least the medic tent was kept busy.

Downhill Mountain bikers are a hardy bunch with waterproof skin and the fast and brave competitors threw themselves down the course with great enthusiasm, with many riders improving their time on their second run simply by staying upright!

The spectators, although soaked through seemed to enjoy the event although the cowbells and megaphones that we have seen at other events were less evident, perhaps they don’t work underwater?

With the racing done and dusted by around 3pm, the sun came out for the as ever good spirited and sportsman like atmosphere of the podium presentation. Aston Hill is run by a great bunch of guys that are very enthusiastic and welcoming, if ever you are over that way it is worth dropping in for some great riding – just watch out for the wildlife!


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