Posted on

Race Report – Round 4 MIJ Summer Series, Forest of Dean – Elin Berry

Flow MTB rider Elin took part in the fourth round of the MIJ summer series at the Forest of Dean

Round 4 of the MIJ summer series was held at the Forest of Dean on Sunday 3rd September on the Endo track. Held on a wet and slippery Endo track riders only hope was to stay rubber side down! Thanks to all the girls who’ve welcomed and supported Elin through her first race series, if Endo can’t deter her nothing can! Here’s Elin’s race report…

Last race of the MIJ mini downhill series Round 4 Endo. I was buzzing to race but not too sure how I felt about it being Endo as this is a new track for me.

We arrived on Saturday for practice and the sun was shining but the forecast for race day was rain; this meant trying to pick you lines in the dry for racing a track which will be wet. The track was really dusty and loose which made practice fun but challenging. The track was taped quite wide so there were a lot of lines to choose from. I tried a few different lines and choose the higher line through the roots as this meant avoiding a few off camber roots which would be difficult in the wet. The top section was newly cut in with some nice loose loamy berms which led into the middle section which is steep with lots of off camber roots and tight corners. It was challenging.

I woke up to rain on race day. I was feeling a bit nervous as the track would now completely different to what I had practiced. I met up with team rider Kate to get up and practice the track to see how much it had changed. On my 3rd practice run I hit the middle section which had now been ridden quite a bit and the roots were now really slick. Half way down I slid out and decided I would just wait for my race runs as the track was changing every run down. My aim for the race was to just stay rubber side down.

My first race run was going well, the top section was now muddy and slippery but my run was going good it was harder to carry speed through the berms though. I dropped into the middle section and any hope of choosing my line had gone. I managed to stay up right round the tight corner; my wheels were sliding in all directions. I got caught out on a root and my bike slid out from under me and I face planted. I got to my feet to find my bars had gone past my seat I was struggling to get them back around but eventually after what seems like forever I got them back around and jumped back on the bike. I stayed on to complete my run but had lost too much time and was placed towards the bottom of the group; I was determined to make the time up on my next run.

My second run again was as smooth as it could be in the top section and approaching the middle section I knew I had to just stay on the bike. The track was now even wetter and churned up I was struggling to find grip anywhere. I breathed a sigh of relief when I made it through the corners and roots all I had to do was let off the brakes down the steep shoot to the jumps in the bottom section. I made it down the steep shoot but feathered my brake as I was going through a gap in the trees only to face plant once again! I jumped back on the bike but had no speed to hit the jumps and had to roll them. I finished in 9th place with a time of 2.07.

This race pushed me out of my comfort zone and I can not say I didn’t enjoy it as I did but I can say I do not like Endo in the wet. It is the end to my first MIJ series of many and I have enjoyed the whole experience. I would like to thank Flow and the team riders for all your support, MIJ for the races and the ladies for being so welcoming. Now on to the Onza winter series!

@flowmtbapparel / @shredderelin