Start of August is a pivotal point of the summer. Not only is the start of the end of Summer but it is also time for 2 awesome cycling events, first being Ard Rock (lets not talk about that one) and Brighton Big Dog.
The Big Dog is a local 6 hour XC race based in Brighton's Stanmer Park, just on the outskirts of the city. Being based just outside Brighton and with a large amount of our staff living in the thriving city, it is always a big talking point in the office with a large amount of our team taking part or coming to watch.
The office trash talk has been strong for weeks with 8 entries, from mixed pairs to Al doing us proud in the solo category. Also our very own dispatch machine Matt Carr was MC'ing all day and getting the racers and the crowds pumped up.
Racing started early with the kids races in the morning, before the main event kicked off at 12. Unlike previous years the weather was a little on the moody side. We are blaming our adopted rider for the weekend, Rich from Cotic, for bringing the weather down with him. Luckily the event ran as planned as even 50 mile an hour gusts couldn't stop the Big Dog!
The start of the race is absolute carnage like every year. For the serious riders getting to the start grid early is key as trying to battle through hundreds of people on singletrack is no easy task. For any who hasn't done the Big Dog before we would suggest doing it in a pair or team. This gives you 30-60 minutes off the bike to have a look round the village and grab yourself a famous Big Dog mug with unlimited coffee and tea all day and enough cake to drown an elephant.
Mad man Al in the zone racing in the solo category and having a blast. 6 hours riding round the woods may sound great but will definitely leave you needing a stiff drink after.
Any bike is welcome as long as it has some form of nobbles on the tyres (Yes, that includes cross bikes). Jack's choice of weapon was a full rigid singlespeed 29er. Did not hold him and his pairs partner back though, managing to get 9th out of 60.
Closest team to a podium was Claire and her partner in the mixed pairs missing the box by one place!
If you don't want to race the whole event then you can always go out on a Cliff Bar Wonder lap. One lap as fast or as slow as you want. Simon took full advantage of this and spent the rest of the time helping out in the pits.
Both Mike and Tom definitely won the prize for best pain faces with 2 fantastic expressions upon their faces mixing pain, fear and focus perfectly.
Adopted rider for the weekend, Rich from Cotic, pulling up on the biggest jump on the course. Rich wanted to make it fair on the rest of us so decided to race on his enduro bike with Enduro Wides fitted. And I can confirm he did win the flat pedal/160mm of travel in baggies category that he was targeting.
We have to say a very special thank you to all the organinsing team for putting on such an incredible event and keeping an institution of Southern cross country racing alive for another a year.
We will be at the next one. We hope you will be there too.
Check Out The Wheels We Raced On
Photos: Dave Haywardhttps://www.davehaywardphotos.com/