Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Gordon Bathgate - Abriachan Interview

Race organiser extraordinaire!!

There's not much more to say other than THANK YOU Gordy, we appreciate all your hard work and effort - even if it may have hindered your race performance!

It was a fantastic event which we really enjoyed on a great course, with excellent organisation.

Once again, thank you for your race organising effort, and for taking the time to speak to us at the end of the day. 

Good luck for the rest of the season!

"As the organiser today, and also having raced, I am now extremely tired but overall quite pleased with how it all went.

The overwhelming opinion was that the course was really good and people really enjoyed it. There was little we could do about the weather, it’s April in the Highlands of Scotland, until last week there was snow on the course. Fortunately, by this week it had all thawed out, and we had made a course that stood up well to the challenge of the conditions.

We knew that the logistics would be an issue. Mountain biking, by the very nature of the sport calls for trails which can be located deep into the countryside on a hillside, accessible by a track and not always designed for hundreds of cars to park. With the parking and access to the finish area, it was maybe not ideal. We do, however, have some different ideas for the future, which with time constraints would have compromised the course for this year. I don’t think it stood in the way of the overall enjoyment of the day though.

We were really pleased with the logistics of creating the course, with thanks to Sam at the Abriachan Trust, the set-up, organisation and the way the race day went. The local volunteers from the Abriachan area were not linked to mountain biking and it was great to involve the local people. The first aid was also good.

The kid’s race went really well, with unprecedented numbers of kids turning up to race. It’s great to see so many young kids getting out on their bikes and getting into the spirit of racing.

We were even lucky enough to get some sunshine on race day, which always boosts the mood of racers and spectators!

As for my own racing, I’ve spent too much time in wellies and not enough time on the bike over the past few weeks! If the race had been two weeks ago I think I would have done better. Despite that, I still managed to get 7th in the Veterans category. The first few laps went well but by the third lap I felt like I was going backwards. It felt like a different course to the one I knew and had set out! I think there were things appearing out of the frozen ground, which had not been seen for several millennia.

I’m really looking forward to the SXC race at Cathkin next month. My one and only SXC victory came at Cathkin. I do hear, though, that it has changed beyond recognition and that my favourite chocolate chute has now become a man-made climb!"

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