All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Morvelo Battle Royale

It has been a little while since a post, well expect a little flurry in the next few weeks. Call it catch-up, lets start now.

Saturday 6th Dec saw the Morvelo gang put on (what we hope is the first of many) Battle Royales.  What is Battle Royale?  Take a indoor oval circuit like a Cycle Speedway add in roller derby, 4x and eliminator rules, well when I say rules, one or two rules. A suitable dollop of speed, skill, tactics and aggression.  Mix it with food, beers, coffee, cowbells and spectators and you have one of the craziest, most fun events I have every been apart of.  Oh, you could ride any type of bike you like.  I would leave the Pinarello or Venge at home if I was you.

The scene was the old Circus Street Markets in Brighton, Sam P and I arrived to meet Aidan "Hippy" and the venue was great.  A dull market building with bright graffiti and wide mixed of riders, bikes and spectators creating a great atmosphere already.

 Sam and Aidan ready.

A couple of fun laps and the racing would soon start, names drawn out a hat for 44 teams and several rounds to get through to reach the Quarters. The first few races saw a few spills, plenty of speed and that was the main tactic to start the first round.

Speed and low light, means some poor pics, Sorry!

We had agreed that anything better than going out in the first round would be great. After all we were a downhiller/dirtjumper, enduro/xc racer and a 24hr/xc racer.  All out speed not the really the key attribute for two of us.  Oh, I was on a BMX, something I haven't raced or ridden in anger for about 25 years.

I was taking a Belgium approach to things...

others went with something less subtle.

We progressed round after round, with sound tactics, speed and maybe a little aggression. There was more than enough sneaking into other rounds and crashes were many, but few retirements.  Soon we would be into the Quarters.

We would face the Gravity Grannies, great outfits and aggressive from the start.  The first corner saw the Grannies attack straight away, with just about everyone getting a knocker.  Let's just say that got us fired up, entering the 3rd corner I got a heavy knock, exiting I returned the gesture tenfold, sending the Granny into the barrier.  That was that, the Granny was OK, but his bike was not. The remaining two in his team, fought hard to try to cause similar to us, but we stayed up right and toyed with them until the finish.

The Quarters is where it really kick-off, big hits, tactics, and all out speed. It was brilliant to watch and the crowd loved it, this could be the future of crowd entertainment and as a racer. It was great, maybe a chance for us all to get the frustrations out from the stress of long seasons.  Amongst all this, everyone was good hearted and congratulated each other after each race.

Into the Semis and we had to face three races to go through, after the first one we would lose one team and race two ahead for the next then back to three for the last one (the finals would follow the same format).

We were up against the 90 NDA Nerds, and it was good fast and pretty clean racing, and they pipped us over two races. I missed leveling the heat in the second race by a couple of inches.

Onto the 3/4 final against the Misfits, the other team that had proven to be tactical, fast and aggressive.  The first race started and end with a massive pile up at the start, I zipped away with one of the Misfits, but Aidan was a bit too banged up to get back in the race. The next heat was two ahead again and was a great battle all the way to the line and an inch or two in it again.

We were done, but had managed 4th out of 44 and way beyond where we expected to be at the end of the day.  Not bad for a rag tag bunch that had come together only on Friday.  As we celebrated the final race of the day kicked off with Pivot Boompods giving the 90 NDA Nerds a lesson in all out speed, playing to their strengths, to take the overall win.

What a brilliant day, great event.  Well organised, great location and there should be more of it.  Word of warning, if they do more and you enter. Bring a tough bike, get your sprinting legs sorted and sharpen those elbows.

We rode for RideforMichael to raise awareness, share his story and keep the positive vibes flowing.