Just ahead of the Enduro World Series event in Peebles this weekend the Cube Action Team headed over to Durham where they have a flag ship store at Infinity Cycles. Dave was our most excellent host and a bunch of his customers had come along to meet the team and indulge in a rather tasty BBQ, good work Dave! Infinty Cycles are one of the largest bike stores in the North East of the UK and have been working closely with Cube for a few years now. The opportunity to have the Action Team in the store for a bit of a questions and answers session was too good to miss, and thankfully we were asked along to cover the event too.
Meeting at the store we enjoyed a healthy does of coffee and a bit of a meet and greet with some of Dave’s most treasured customers, as usual the world turned out to be a small place and I knew a few of them through a mutual friend who is heavy into his riding in the North East. The plan was to grill the guys on a few things and then to head out to Hamsterly Forest for a ride after lunch. Hamsterly is about 20 minutes from Infinty Cycles and one of the bigger trail centres in the area.
The informal Q&A session afforded the local guys the chance to quiz the pros and we got some useful insights into their training, bike choice and diet. Some handy tips were given out too, don’t crash, don’t get a mechanical and be consistent… We also talked about how Enduro racing had changed as the equipment had improved. Nico commented how in the old days you had to ride with all the tools and tyres to repair what would inevitably break. These days however he feels confident riding without a pack and with a minimal amount of kit, the gear has improved enough to allow him to ride with more confidence that they won’t get a mechanical. Tubeless tyres, improved drivetrains and stronger, lighter equipment have made the game completely different to what it was a few years ago.
Talking about diet Scott touched on the fact that while they try and eat healthily for races and train as athletes it sometimes becomes difficult when you end up in far away lands and the diet goes out of the window. He also discussed how being on the road meant they had less time in the gym, so while they were riding a lot the cross training and strength training suffered. Scott is really excited however about riding in Scotland for the next event, the home race should suit his skills as the terrain is different from the usual Alpine trails.
Nico commented he had never seen Scott ride so fast when he followed him around the trails at Innerleithen where parts of the race will take place, the home advantage is definitely going to be with the local guys. The all weather surfaces, short, technical and wooded sections are all something we are used to, but for the Apline guys it is going to be quite tough. Nico is running 760mm bars for the race, shorter than he would normally, just so he can thread the bike through the trees!
In terms of bikes, all the Action Team are really happy with the 27.5 wheel size and the carbon frames, when they race they obviously ride the Stereo, but when they are training Scott prefers to ride a hardtail off road than jump on a road bike. For Ludwig and Nico in the winter the roads are the only way they can train, unless they travel so road riding features for both those guys.
Heading off to Hamsterly we were really lucky with the weather, the forecast was pretty poor and it was meant to be pouring with rain, but with the odd burst of blue sky and sunshine through the grey the gods were certainly with us. Hamsterly has an array of trails and they are all really well maintained with an all weather surface, considering the recent showers they were running superbly!
For Nico, Scott and Ludwig it was a fun way to see the area and meet some of the local riders, for me taking photos it was a little tricky as they never really left enough time for me to get my gear out and get a good shot. However we managed to get a few of the guys that weren’t just a blur as they hammered past at top speed. Hamsterly certainly has it’s fair share of uphills, and the last climb at the end was truly a hill that never stopped giving! The good news is that what goes up must come down, and there was plenty of gravity assisted single track to blast around on.
As with all good things, they come to an end and after a couple of hours we were back at the “Skills Section” near the car park, with just a last blast to contend with before we headed back to the car park everyone opened the taps and hit it flat out. We stopped for a few images along the way and then kindly handed our bikes back to Bart from Cube so he could wash them, what a stellar service…
The Cube Action Team headed north up to the race site ready for the first days practice and we all headed back to our normal lives after a great day out with the guys. Well, a couple of us might have got stuck at the pub in Hamsterly, but thats another story… A huge thanks to Infinity Cycles for having us, Cube for inviting us along and a massive good luck to the Action Team for this weekend, see you in Scotland!