The long wait was over, winter had been and gone and come again cancelling the initial set date for round 1, so at the end of April and only a week before round 2 was due we finally managed to see the start of the ever popular Pearce Cycles downhill series begin.
The whole series sold out in a matter on hours I think, so this promised to be as good as ever with each and every rider eager to get their season underway.
A few big names we on the cards; Gee Atherton, Marc Beaumont, Jess Stone, Adam Brayton, Taylor Vernon, were all among the top of their category and this only added to the already exciting atmosphere that had built up.
Rather than wintry conditions that seem to have hounded everybody in SPRING, the weather for the weekend could not have been more welcomed. a cool breeze seemed to be ever present up the hill but it was bone dry and sunny which meant for some excellent conditions even to the point where it was getting a little too loose! Considering the saturated ground we have all become all to familiar with, the dry conditions and dust were only too pleasing to put up with.
I won’t go into too much detail about the results, there is more than enough info at rootsandrain.com for you to digest, I will however share with you some of my shots from the day.
Slightly different from my normal style but I did feel the need and under the circumstances of difficult positions to use a wider lens and capture some other types of shot to enhance my portfolio.
Watch Dan Sheridan lighting up Bringewood with some headcam footage
Spring appeared to be here finally in the lead-up to the April Racers Guild with a few days of sun to dry the trails up nicely.
The chosen line would be Little Bringe, a nice flowy top down to some tight twisty rooty action at the bottom, which offered riders a nice mixup of conditions for timed practice.
A few of the quick local riders were out for this one including Sam Maddison, Mitch Ingley, Elliot Machin to name a few, so spectating and photographing for me was certainly entertaining.
A few of my better shots of the day are below, if you do not see yourself yet wish to see a photo, please fill out the form on my contact page and I will check the rest of my shots.
Round 4 of the British Downhill Series took us to Caersws in Wales, and venue I had never been to before and was one I was looking forward to.
We headed off on the Saturday morning and setup camp for the night so we could enjoy a few beers, entertainment and food on the evening then wake up leisurely for a days racing on the Sunday.
The bonfire was roaring down by the finish line and olympic football was on in the marquee before rain came down knocking off the internet satellite that had been organised by Si Paton.
It came back on shortly after and pinkbike was the choice for some bike vids and tunes whilst we re-gathered around the bonfire to dry out a little and warm back up.
Sunday morning greeted us with blue skies, mist on top of the race course and the feeling of a good day. The weather wouldn’t hold out as per the forecast, but we did enjoy a decent morning up until seeding runs.
Every hour the rain stopped and allowed some drier racing and then came the rain again, it was like this all day and finals proved even worse towards the senior categories. The action was great to watch though and the conditions made an already technical last wooded section even more tricky with slick mud, awesome for us spectators to watch.
Adam Brayton, Manon Carpenter, Traharn Chidley, Nikki Whiles, Charlie Hatton, Taylor Vernon, Will Maptsone, Reece Langhorn, Chris Whitfield, Nigel Page were all winners in their categories, but hats off to all riders for taking part in an eventful weekend.
Your new 2012 British Downhill Champions, Gee Atherton & Rachel Atherton
It’s that time of year again when I post up my images from the awesome National Champs event held to find out who’s top British downhiller for the year.
Moelfre Hall was home to this year’s race and it’s a venue that I’d never been to before so was something I was looking forward to.
A big name entry list promised to give the spectators a mini world cup feel with many big name British riders opting to battle for the jersery, only a week before an important trip to France for a UCI World Cup.
Gee Atherton, Rachel Atherton, Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Chain Reaction Cycles and many more to name a few put their names down, and they didn’t fail to deliver.
Dry, fast and loose were what greeted us on the Sunday morning face day, clear blue skies and mid 20′s all day long meant for some great racing following 2 months of rain – although from the ground conditions you’d never know!
Gee was looking super smooth all morning and in seeding came out top even with the gas off on the lower few last turns and was the one my money was on to take the Mens jersey.
Rachel Atherton was also looking smooth and fast, and with Jess Stone out of racing meant that Manon Carpenter was the only other female to stand in her way – this wasn’t the case come race day and Rach took the title to complete my double predicition, and a great way to see my first race with the 2 Athertons in.
Steve Peat did awesome coming in 3rd with Josh Bryceland taking 2nd spot.
The day for me was a great advert for British Downhill racing and was a great spectacle for many many of the fans that turned up.
Having been away from the DH scene for a few weeks I found time to pop along to the monthly timed practice up at Stile Cop on Cannock Chase.
The chosen line was a favourite of mine as a rider and consisted of Ridge Run veering off into a link up to Little Bringe and then veering off to a different ending through the tight trees making for a great mixture of features for the day.
Weather wise well…the forecast showed for some showers and then mainly dry and sunny spells, that certainly wasn’t what we got. Heavy prolonged showers from 10am onwards with the odd spell where it stopped to allow for some windows of good visibility – all made for a good days riding and photographing however.
The results are not yet up so for now I will just share some highlights of the day from the photos – all images of the day can be found here: http://djaphoto.pinkbike.com/album/Racers-Guild-June-2012/
The 4th and final round of the Extreme Medics EKHint Extreme Winter Series made it’s way to Cannock Chase to wrap up the 4 rounds at Stile Cop. This is a local downhill park for myself, and was great news to hear.
I headed straight down having seen the forecast, lineup and course, and it was a good experience for the locals and team that have pretty much built the trails that were used.
Sadly my day was cut short following a huge crash by one of the riders, only known to myself as Adam. News filtered through the following evening from his brother that he’d managed to break his hand in 2 places, break his neck and also crack his shoulder blade. Luckily a good full face helmet was worn and proved a life saver.
The pictures from the racing that I did see can be seen below.
All photos from the day for sale here: Rootsandrain.com
What a welcome reutrn it is for the race season and straight back into it we were off to Bringewood near Ludlow for round 1 of the Pearce Cycles Downhill Series.
Having never been to Bringewood before I opted to camp the night and suss out the course during saturday’s practice so I had an idea of some good locations come race day.
One coner in particular was looking interesting, and was littered with riders stopping and sessioning the run-up for it. There was a big old tree stump exposing it’s big roots, so obviously this was a challenge for where to ride race da. I parked myself there for a while and grabbed some shots.
Race day was pretty much the same, following the rain that greeted us in the morning the afternoon was a complete change. Glorious sunshine shone down pretty much all day, so at least we had decent light for shooting let alone racing.
I opted for the same corner as I knew I could bag some keepers, as a pose to venturing into the thick wood.
Please take a look through some of my favourites shots from the day.
All photos from the weekend are available to buy here: Rootsandrain.com
Another clip from the Monkey Trail on Cannock Chase.
Lower Cliff is the last descent of the Monkey Trail and is a superb ending, one that is sure to lure you back again.
I’d been doing some downhill prior to this and chose to slip the descent into my day before heading back to the car, so climbing in dh gear was fun…not!
Enjoy the vid, come and try it for yourself.
Watch in HD.
It felt like a spring afternoon, work was done for the week so I got the bike in the car and headed off down the road to my local trails on Cannock Chase.
I wanted to do some of my favourite sections of the Monkey Trail and some of Cannock’s natural stuff, so strapped the Drift HD170 Stealth to my full face helmet and geared up.
Climbing was trickier since fitting the Fox Van RC but the downhill parts were superb.
I’ve uploaded the final edit to youtube so please enjoy!
Best viewed in 720p via the settings cog on the youtube player.
Well we had a wonderful day for the February Racers Guild fund raiser for fallen Rave Racing rider Jason Brennan – beginning with a fresh covering of snow to start things off then pretty much pure sun for the rest of the day.
Alot of action was taking place on the chosen line of Little Bringe – a Stile Cop classic which has a quick swoopy top to technical lower through the tight and twisty trees, perfect for this particular event with some of the riders that turned up.
Plenty of faces turned up to support Jason, and Rave Racing came in force – it was a pleasure to be a part of.
Results etc will be up on the Racers Guild website but I have the duty of supplying a photo blog of some of the days events.
All of the days images can be seen on my pinkbike account here: http://djaphoto.pinkbike.com/album/Racers-Guild-February-2012/
Sorry to anyone that doesn’t have a photo, I do try but it’s not always possible to snap everyone and i did do some riding myself. Also big thanks to the Rave Racing crew that came along and made the day extra special, I do hope I managed to get some photos of your guys that opted to ride.
Hope you enjoy
Quick blast down the Red Run towards the end of the day following my efforts taking photos.
Link to HD version: http://vimeo.com/37131218
Racers Guild at Stile Cop Cannock Chase this month will be held on Sunday 19th February in aid of Jason Brennan who is part of the Rave Racing Dowhill team.
Unfortunately Jason broke his back in October of last year and is still in the same hospital where he weas taken in.
The Rave Racers guys are a great bunch and have agreed to come over and take part in our monthly timed practice at Stile Cop in aid of Jason, and funds/donations will be taken towards helping the fallen rider. A raffle will take place after some very kind donations from well known bike shops, so it all looks to be the recipe for a great day of riding and all for a very worthy cause.
Get yourself up to Stile Cop and see what we are all about!
Photos and report will follow the event.
Testing a new plugin from JW Player which offers a bigger player for hd videos and also runs files directly from my server and not a limited bandwidth one like Kaltura.
Files is 65mb so may take a moment to buffer. Try it see what you think!
Will be working on better compression for this new player to try and keep file sizes down.
Struggling with some video hosting websites and their encoding, I decided to try and find a good player at a decent size to play my hd helmet cam videos.
JW Player came up and here is the test using a 10mb snippet from one of my helmet cam clips.
Finally managed to get round to trying the new mount out on the Drift HD170, MUCH better!
A little slideshow I put together to try out my new video embedding plugin for the blog.
Well about time! We were greeted with a very hard frost in the morning which would prove to be interesting indeed.
Red Run was the chosen line for the January Racers Guild timed practice, and this line is common for January as it’s just after Christmas and those who indulged in extra mince pies will soon feel their punishment.
A massive number of riders were in attendance, results pages show a whopping 111 which for a 3 hour window of timing meant some only managed 1 run, but it’s great for the guild as it’s becoming very popular indeed but means an extra large workload for the trailbuilders. What would be nice is for more to turn up at the build days to help maintain the trails, so if you fancy giving something back to the guild, then come along to a friendly build day – they even supply food and drink!
Alot of slipping and sliding took place which made for some entertaining riding, probably not as entertaining for those falling off mind, the ground was rock hard!
Full results can be found here: Racers Guild Results
Plenty of photos were taken before I headed off for a little ride myself, which can all be seen here http://www.djaphoto.co.uk/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=6038
A few of my favourite shows can be seen below.
See you on the hill!
Just a couple of clips showing the gap and drop/jumps at the bottom section of New Line at Stile Cop.
Adam Halling on a flier.
This caught a few riders out during the day, with one resulting in a winded rider and severely bent rear wheel.
It was that time of the month again…Racers Guild of Cannock Chase. Easily my favourite time of the month to get the camera kit out and head out into the forest 5 minutes from my house – I am lucky if I do say so myself.
The weather for the time of year was yet again being overly kind to us, so we were greeted with dry and dusty trails under the canopy of trees, and nice damp but compact and grippy soil out in the open.
Big names were out in force – Adam Halling, Elliot Machin, Andy Hughes, Will Weston to name a few, so it promised ot be a great day.
Sadly Elliot managed one run then suffered a big off on another line in between runs, so his afternoon was over. Andy had a nasty off on the lower gap & jump I am led to beleive, but i did not see exactly what happened – all I do know is he never featured for any timed runs.
Adam was as he always is and that’s pinning it! 6 runs in total for the day and a solid 1st place in seniors with some excellent riding on display.
Chris Derry finished a very good second for seniors, followed by the ever flying Sam Maddison. For full results see chase Trails uploaded results file here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=13zcVcH8afFj6x15K-ukOau5lk01A-UspQVM_xCF21O7SLSh3CbMRV4y3Bvk9&hl=en
Plenty of pics and videos are now showing on the forums, but my contirbution can be seen here: http://djaphoto.pinkbike.com/
A few of my fav’s
I took my very first outing to a Pearce Cycles Downhill event to see some of the breeding grounds upon which our future downhillers are learning on. Pearce DH sits one level below the British DH series and is a great way to enter competitive downhill racing.
The day was awesome, simply! Weather was hit and miss with heavy showers followed by serious warm blue skies, it was a nightmare but so much fun at the same time.
The back lit sun made for some glorious pictures and the heavy showers allowed to exploit the moody side of racing in the autumn months – as a photographer this was great to work in.
Below are a select few of my favourites from the day, but all shots can be seen on my Roots & Rain page: http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/daniel-armishaw/
With the very dry and warm weather we’ve been having lately, Stile Cop home to Racers Guild practice sessions was as dry and Ghandi’s flipflop for our August run.
The chosen line was a nice cheeky mixup of Ridge Line into Little Bringe finishing with some steep and rooty turns through Wonderland.
Results are on the way but some images from the day and link to gallery are below. http://www.djaphoto.co.uk/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=5529
Just a small video I put together using photos from my Nikon D200 + Sigma 70-300mm. Pleased with the results for a budget lens which still keeps producing for me.
Best viewd in HD
Well what a super super weekend that was!
Glorious sunshine, some top name riders out shredding the Welsh valley of Llangollen, and some proper good action.
Plenty of pictures to see in the gallery, and a small video to come soon.
CUNNINGHAM Ruaridh Maxxis/Rocky Mountain 2:07.682
BOND Alex Team Skene 2:11.377
BRAYTON Adam Banshee 2:12.357
SIMMONDS Matt Chainreactioncycles.com 2:12.692
PEAT Steve Santa Cruz Syndicate 2:13.704
MOSELEY Tracy Trek 2:37.660
CURD Katy Rose Bikes 2:45.617
STONE Jess Trek Gravity Girls 2:48.463
CARPENTER Manon Madison Saracen 31.96 3:00.930
HORRIDGE Emily Transition Bikes 3:08.370
Grand Vets 50+
JONES Dai Eryri DH 3:14.236
HICKS Tony Rockgardener/Revolution 3:29.538
YOUNG Neil 4:01.507
BUCHANAN Lewis Chainreactioncycles.com 2:17.276
MCGLONE Fraser MTBCut.tv 2:22.794
STUTTARD Mathew Ride On/Slik Graphics 2:23.505
SCOTT Mark 34.95 2:24.010
MATTHEWS Billy Steve Peat Syndicate 2:27.530
MCCUBBING Frazer Ae7 Bikes 2:40.566
GREENLAND Laurie 2:45.047 4.481
CARPENTER Rowan Escape Bikeshop 3:05.482
OXLEY Nial Nukeproof/Great Rock 3:07.072
DORRIT Andrew Fox/Descent Hamsterley 1:58.287
Master Men 30-34
HUGHES James 2:25.461
WHITFIELD Jethro All Terrain Cycles 2:27.568
GOUGH William Will Hire 2:34.943
TAYLOR Craig Devinci/Haven 2:37.219
FROST Seb Rootsandrain.co.uk/Michelin@RnR 2:38.468
Master Men 35-39
PAGE Nigel Chainreactioncycles.com 2:29.228
TUNSTALL Tristan Steve Peat Syndicate 2:37.426
GASKIN Anthony Shinny Racing Enterprise 2:41.125
WEIGHTMAN Mark 2:41.544
TITLEY Andrew 2:44.650
Veteran Men 40-44
HOWARTH Darren 2:33.832
SIMPSON Rich Foes/Balfa UK/Iso 2:40.290
BRADLEY Adrian Eryri DH 2:43.913
CARPENTER Jason Dragon Downhill 2:44.797
SIMPSON Ally Steve Peat Syndicate 3:17.610
Veteran Men 45-49
TWIGG Jerry Cycle World 2:52.016
FELSTEAD Steve Ticket2ridebc.com/Descent-Gear 3:10.239
ATWILL Phillip Madison Saracen 2:22.964
JONES Michael Team Bicycle Doctor 2:24.984
GANNICOTT George 2:26.234
GULLAND Morgan 2:27.696
HERD Sam Scott/Perth City Cycles 2:31.902
See all images here: http://www.djaphoto.co.uk/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=5175
Series finale of the British Downhill is this weekend 23rd-24th July in Llangollen, Wales. A brilliant opportunity to see some big name riders such as Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Brendan Fairclough and Gee Atherton to name a few.
Weather forecast looks good, beer tent open all day and camping is free, can’t be bad. http://www.halobritishdownhillseries.com
Watch this space for photos