Outrage as Little Pro ambassadors Lewis and Lara allowed to HAVE FUN!
The Annual Summit MTB Club Family Fun Day Out
Last weekend saw the annual Summit MTB Club Family Fun Day. Summit is our local MTB club, and regularly run the very popular go-ride sessions, which both Lewis and Lara have attended in the past. However, for a combination of reasons, we haven't been to one of these sessions for quite some time, so when the fun day popped in the calendar, we were not going to miss it.
The day of the event has arrived
We arrived at Lotts Wood near Wendover at 9.30 in the morning, The event was well set up and we went down to the start area and registered. The format of the day's racing was an Omnium style set of individual events, all timed, with the fastest overall time winning in each age category.
Before we knew it, we were off and into the first event. This was a Biathlon - not a traditional cycling event, but it was a brilliantly thought out fun event for the kids. Based on the Olympic biathlon events (cross-country skiing and shooting), the kids had to negotiate a short cross-country circuit on their bikes.
This was followed by a trip to the shooting tent, where Nerf guns and targets awaited. Once they had hit the target, back on their bikes for another lap of the course. All done against the clock, and in sets of two riders for added excitement. Naturally, Lewis declared that this was going to be easy, as he has an arsenal of Nerf guns at home. Lara was quietly nervous - she has been on the receiving side of said arsenal many times, and Lewis is a loose cannon at times. Tent or no tent, she was staying out of the way.
Both Lewis and Lara took their turns, and both had much fun.
Next up was the cross country race - a more traditional event. A good sized circuit for the little ones, with 2 laps for Lara (under 6 age group) and 4 laps for Lewis (Under 8's). Again, they both went for it and performed well, although Lewis was looking a bit puffed by the end of lap 3! Lara took it in her stride - two laps isn't a huge challenge for her, and although she may not have been the fastest, she pushed pretty hard and almost broke into a sweat at one point. The smiles were still coming....
The skills test
Event 3 was a skills course designed to test pure bike control, as well as some memory items. It was a short course with sets of very tight 180 degree turns around trees and tough terrain. In addition, placed around the course were 5 bike parts (presumably from less successful competitors), which the kids had to identify and remember. At the end of their lap they had to tell the race marshalls which items they had seen, with all 5 for a clear run.
Lewis and Lara struggled a bit with this course. It was not something we have really practiced, as we are usually in the hunt for a bigger drop or a jump, or a longer trail to zoom down. It was a good reminder that the low speed, technical riding should not be ignored. They both got through it, but were pretty slow, and wound up off their bikes as much as on them. Outrageously though, they were still smiling.
Last up was the hill climb event. Starting at the main event start, they had to descend snake hill to the bottom, and then follow the trail around to a straight climb back to the start. This was going to be tough for many of the competitors, as the climb is steep and muddy.
That said, both Lewis and Lara managed it with no trouble. This was not really a surprise, as unlike the skills course, they ride a similar (but much longer) hill to school every day. So they have had plenty of practise, and this was probably one of their strongest events.
Time for a refuel with a cake from the on-site tuck shop, and we were into prize giving. Both Lewis and Lara came second overall in their respective categories, which was an awesome performance! Cue many many more smiles, accompanied by more cake, and shiny medals.
Overall, everyone had an amazing day out. A huge thanks once again to the organisers at Summit for laying on the event. So much effort goes into these things and the end result is so professional that it's easy to forget sometimes that it's run by volunteers, giving up their time for free.