Big Dog 2017

This topic contains 21 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Heaton 6 months ago.

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  • #18946

    Simon Heaton
    Participant

    Excellent write up Simon, not much more to add other than echoing the positives you covered. Thoroughly well organised event with a fantastic atmosphere around the entire site.
    The recce lap served mostly to alarm me as to how technical and challenging the course was at times but by the third lap I was starting to build up some confidence and technique. As you rather generously put it below yes it was actually quite nice this year to have suffcient fitness levels to enjoy throwing caution to the wind in the 4th and 5th circuits, picking out some better lines and blasting around chalking up a couple of more respectable lap times. By the end of it all I resolved to not leave it a year before pushing myself on a MTB again. That said as the photo captures perfectly I was more than a little concerned at times about preserving my physical wellbeing, on which my current livelihood is pretty dependant, as I pushed myself pretty hard. To say I was relieved to get home in one piece is something of an understatement. Still having flashbacks and buzzing from the adrenaline rush a week on though! Cheers for sorting everything and to the club for the subsidised entry, definitely up for representing again next year.

    Mrs H likes the his and hers green and plum mugs in the cupboard too 😉

  • #18874

    Simon Clarke
    Participant

    The dust has settled after another big day at Big Dog. On the downside we had to do without Johnnie O – taken from us by a wee bout of illness and his good cheer was missed. On the upside everything else was brilliant. Really, really brilliant.
    The event is in its eighth year now and has settled on a very successful formula and all the elements were present and correct. There’s a lively race HQ with DJs playing great tunes all day, tea and cake, plenty of bikes stalls and food to be had and the infamous mugs. All the racers are super friendly and there are kid’s races too. And the race course is fantastic – climbing gradually, then steeply, then super steeply through the woods leading to sweet single track with the occasional drop and log hop to keep things lively. An added extra this year was a choice of final descents, an A and B line, one slightly steeper and quicker than the other, Both were good, fun trails.
    Team Avanti massed under our base camp gazebo early in the day and set off for a recce lap. The trails were slippery from overnight rain, providing some challenges over slick roots, but nothing too terrifying or too sticky. I fact the trails dried out over the course of the day and became ever grippier and faster.
    Steve R, Simon H, Jonny E, Tim B, Graham C, Tim-the-ringer and me split into pairs for the racing (I went solo – no mates!). Mr J Harris also turned up riding for his sponsors but keeping things chilled as per the event ethos. At noon we were off. Going as fast as traffic, skill and fitness would allow we all raced hard and returned to base after our laps to compare times, crashes, racing battles and incidents while gulping more tea and chilling until it was time to go again. The course is such a fun challenge and engages you all the way round – no day-dreaming here! The marshals are all super enthusiastic and spice things up with bunting and sound systems and handing up raffle tickets (!!??!!) while shouting encouragement all the way. And one hollering at you like a drill instructor “YOU WILL GET UP MY HILL!!!!” I was too scared not to!
    I put in six laps over my six hours while taking plenty of time for tea. May be tea should have been replaced with sports drink as on a warm day cramp came along later and it also visited Tim, Jonathan and plenty of other racers on the course. It just goes to show what a tough and different sport mountain biking is when we’re all cramping up and feeling the hurt in all sorts of places we didn’t think should hurt on a bike! There were some great laps being stuck in – best of all Simon H who got faster as the day went on. He seems to be his own best advert for his personal trainer skills. Awesome work Simon. Tim and Graham were actually competitive in the Grand Vet pairs which goes against the Avanti ethos completely!
    We all finished the day taking advantage of the free rehydration liquid available from the Dark Star brewery and cheering on the final finishers. Then home to nurse aching bodies for the next couple of days and to peruse the event photos. We’re not a very photogenic bunch but we do a great range of expressions while scaring ourselves witless on the trails – see attachment.
    Thanks to all our riders for making the day great. The event is staffed and raced by such enthusiastic and good natured folk that it will always be a fantastic day, but having an Avanti team makes it even better. Cheers!

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Simon Clarke.
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  • #18787

    Simon Clarke
    Participant

    Hellooooo!

    We have had news that Johnnie Owen has had to drop out of Big Dog – so there’s a spare space if anybody has a last minute wish to ride a few laps of the brilliant Stanmer Park course on Saturday afternoon. Post up here if you are up for one of the best mountain bike races in the world!!!

    Of course it’s really bad that we’ll have to do without Johnnie for the day. Rumour has it that he couldn’t face the course without his lucky Wiggins bike helmet.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Simon Clarke.
  • #18727

    Simon Clarke
    Participant

    Hello Big, erm, Doggers. Only ten days to go. So I’m going to start off the organising of stuff for a week on Saturday via email. That’s once I have got everybody’s email addresses that I need. I might be able to ask the club membership secretary to give the one email address I’m missing. And Steve will be my contact for Tim-the-ringer.

    I think I’ll try to do another Saturday morning ride on the mountain bike this week. The only other off road stuff I have time for is a couple of summer cyclocross races on Thursday evenings. So that’s my training sorted. Heato has gone to Mallorca on a training camp (of sorts) to get properly tuned up. I can only assume that the rest of you have been putting in similarly committed efforts on the sly. You have? Great!

    See you on the email…

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  • #18658

    Simon Clarke
    Participant

    Hi All,
    A quick update.
    I now have a list of eight people for Big Dog. I have bought four pairs entires. One of which is a 50+ pair. The list of folk so far is:
    Me (obviously)
    Simon Heaton
    Steve Rodgers
    Johnnie Edwards
    Jonny Owen
    Graham Channon
    Tim Barker
    Tim who is Steve’s mate – known as Tim the ringer.

    If you know of others who want to race the ‘Dog let me know or get them to post up here.

    I have put a couple of rides on the events page that i’m doing this week if people feel like joining me. Please make sure you let me know through the events page if you want to come out and ride on either Wed (19th July) evening or Saturday (22nd July) morning. Wednesday is a local ride, Saturday I’ll travel down to Bedgebury. If anybody fancies exploring other areas please post up here too.

    Gosh, Big Dog is coming up quickly. Soon it will be time to start organising lifts and pairings and tactics. And speculating on the colour of the mugs. Aah, the mugs.

  • #18575

    Steve Rodgers
    Keymaster

    I might have a mate – another Tim – not the Tim that came to Flanders – that is interested in joining us too.
    That’s 7 Avantis + 1 ringer

    • #18592

      Simon Clarke
      Participant

      Cool. I have now bought 3 male pairs entries and 1 male 50+ pairs entries. So that is eight riders in total.As Steve says – 7 Avanti and one ringer.
      Tim (Barker) unless we get another 50+ rider in you’ll be a straight up male rider. You shouldn’t have a problem with that as you flee past this bloke in his forties tonight!

  • #18570

    Graham Channon
    Participant

    Johnnie O and I are up for this : ) . . . 50+ of course : ) . . . Let me know best way to enter – as an Avanti team or independently?

    • #18591

      Simon Clarke
      Participant

      Graham, Johnnie – definitely got you a 50+ pairs place.

  • #18407

    Simon Clarke
    Participant

    Hi All. I have just got us a couple of pairs entries and am checking if Johnnie and Graham really want a 50’s one! So that’s entries for:
    Me
    Steve R
    Simon H
    Johnny E

    We all know what a great event it is and the more the merrier, and even a little more competitive. Competitive in a very friendly way. We always have a great day. I’ve just been looking at the comments from a couple of years ago ( https://www.gsavanti.co.uk/forums/topic/brighton-big-dog-2015-mountain-bike-race/ ) and it is clear that we all had a great time. If you fancy it let us know here.

    • #18567

      Timothy Barker
      Participant

      Hi All. I am interested in taking part in the Big Dog this year (50+ category) or whichever, could somebody make up a pair?

    • #18409

      Steve Rodgers
      Keymaster

      I’m still working on Graham to enter the Fat Bike category – there were only 3 entrants last year!

      • #18411

        Steve Rodgers
        Keymaster

        Bummer – there is no fat bike category this year 🙁

  • #18380

    Simon Heaton
    Participant

    I’m up for the Big Dog again this year, with some specific off-road prep this time!

  • #18364

    Chris Dines
    Keymaster

    Hi,
    I’m certain the club will give some support for a team, once again. Simon – can you script something to go in a newsletter? Will space be very limited?

    • #18366

      Simon Clarke
      Participant

      Hopefully space not too limited. I haven’t made time to get any entries done this week. I’ll try to do that before the weekend. And i’ll knock up something for the newsletter and mail it to you.

  • #18357

    Nick Patow
    Participant

    I’d love to do this again, but unfortunately I’ll be away this year.
    I’d be up for all or any training trips to the likes of Bedgebury though.

  • #18355

    Jonathan Harris
    Participant

    I’m doing solo vet again.

    Mustn’t start so fast this year…

  • #18354

    Simon Clarke
    Participant

    Oooh, I’ve been a bit late with this. Happy to organise entries and travel and be a general hub of organisation if you like. I’d suggest that we get a couple of seniors pairs entires and an over 50 pair (if that’s what J&G want) soon as poss. I can get on to that tonight (Tues).

    ****** For anybody who doesn’t know – Brighton Big Dog is a great MTB day of relay racing that has become a little Avanti institution. It’s one day when a bunch of us dust off our mountain bikes and make ourselves look daft on some great little trails in the hills above Brighton. The event has a relaxed vibe with a DJ and stalls and cake and tea. And commemorative mugs that change colour each year. What colour this year????

  • #18348

    Johnny Edwards
    Keymaster

    I need a new mug. Im in.

  • #18347

    Johnnie Owen
    Participant

    I’m in – Channon & I are hoping for a podium in over 50’s event….although Graham doesn’t know that yet.

  • #18346

    Steve Rodgers
    Keymaster

    Entry is now open 🙂
    http://www.xcracer.com/raceentry/viewevent.php?event_id=1193
    Who’s riding this year?

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