When I found out that the Edge Off Road Club had booked a weekend of endure madness at Drumclog, I was over the moon. I have been practicing at Drumclog for decades, and have raced on the MX track several times – but never in my lifetime has there been an enduro event!
I am biased, Drumclog is my “home court” but I think its great place to ride an off road motorcycle. An adult MX track, kids MX track, and 1200 acres of natural terrain for enduro, trials, quads, 4 x 4s, buggys etc. It really is a unique playground. The off road section has a bit of everything – hills, river crossings, rolling grass, sand, rocks, small wooded section and a few bogs!
I have seen a great variety of bikes practice at Drumclog, from kids on 50cc, adult mx and enduro, trials – and even the odd adventure bike (hello KTM 950 adventure!) so to say I was keen on entering the enduro was an understatement.
Saturday consisted of a “sprint enduro”. For those unfamiliar with the format, it’s a “short” form of racing, over natural enduro terrain, timed to the second. Each rider sets their fastest time possible over several “sections”. The times for each section are added overall for each rider, and the rider with the fastest overall time wins. This is a great format for riders who like to ride “natural” enduro terrain quickly – but importantly don’t wish to ride continuously all day.
Sundays format was a youth enduro in the morning, followed by an adult 6 hour event starting at 11.00am. This formed round 4 of |”the long edge” – a series of longer enduro events, sponsored by motul.
Categories were available for Expert, clubman, vets, sportsman and novice – something for everyone. In each category, riders had the option of riding solo, or in a team of two. I opted to ride the 6 hour, as a clubman solo.
My day started with my standard enduro ritual of porridge, tea, and banana roll’s! I tried to steady my nerve, busying myself filling my camel back, changing the roll-off films in my goggles, and ensuring I had fresh gloves and goggles in my spares box for each time I stopped in the pits!
After getting my spares, supplied and bike to the pits, there was just enough time for a last minute faf with a split pin (borrowed from another rider, thanks) and the riders briefing started at 11.00.
The route setter talked up briefly through the lap, over his megaphone. He mentioned “going through the house” – I thought he was being flippant.
Turns out he was not being flippant at all – he has set the route right in the front door! Down the hallway, 90 degree turn down another hallway, out the back door and through two barns, before out exiting the back garden and continuing on the lap! I have ridden a few enduro’s in my time, but I can certainly say riding in someone front door was a new novelty for me!
The 6 hour planned race, was cut to 4 hours, due to consistent rain all day. The rain made the river crossing and ruts deeper, the hills and mud more slippy and not to mention the support crews and race officials colder!
But that’s what riders enter enduro for – the challenge!
The 14 km lap was covered in 23 minutes by the fastest expert rider, Charlie Frost. He managed 10 laps, which was a cracking performance under challenging conditions.
In the Clubman Enduro class I rode in, 6 riders started, but only three finished – so I got a trophy for third! I was pleasantly surprised when I got the phone call to collect my trophy and it proves how important it is to cross the finish line and get on the results sheet!
All in all, I think the Edge team did a fantastic job, at their first Scottish event at Drumclog. I sincerely hope they decide to run an event in Scotland again next year, as they have proven they can put on a show!
By Leonard Gingell
Photos by Jim Forsyth Photography