Tired, a bit bruised, but an excellent weekend

This weekend was the 3rd of the AIM series this season so on Friday afternoon the boyf and I headed up in order to get a bit of sneaky practice in and a good nights sleep for the following day. 4.5 hours later we’d finally driven the 180 miles, dumped our gear in the hotel and made it to the slope……yes 4.5 hours, why you may ask? Well I really can’t put my finger on why it took so long but I think it was a combination of lorries overtaking each other on dual-carriage ways, general congestion and rubber neckers! Ah well at least we made it eventually.

I like Castleford slope, it lacks the atmosphere of Tamworth due to it’s clinical appearance but at least they make a bit more effort at creating one than the sister slope at Milton Keynes. Both are white painted, giant fridges but at Cas they dim the lights slightly and play music that wouldn’t normally be played in lifts and supermarkets. The added bonus of the evening meant that the boyf and I only paid £20 for 3 hours riding instead of £35 because we’d been drinking Coors beer and got some discount vouchers off the packaging (see there’s a good reason to drink beer if ever I heard one!)

I have to say there weren’t a huge number of toys out, a fact that momentarily panickeded me seeing as how the comp was due to start in around 13 hours time, but I got to session their 10m rail (which is so smooth and jibbable) and some picnic benches, I also got to see the work Damian Doyle & co were putting into a nice looking A-frame….things were starting to look good for the following day.

Saturday dawned and we headed to the slope we needed to be there early as the boyf was on official photo duty and needed to cover the skier event as well as the boarders (gallery 1, 2 & 3). The set-up was amazing, Damo and his helper monkeys along with the Soul Sports crew had worked through the night to give a rail selection to keep everyone happy. One problem with Cas is it’s lack of viewing area, this caused a few problems for spectators but from the riders point of view it was a great set-up and great comp.

As for my riding, well warm-up was good I tried the toys I planned on hitting, 1st run was cr*p, I did a smooth nose-press on the 10m, slammed impressively on the A-frame, pressed the box and then had a minor issue with the spine at the bottom…..I’d hit my head coming off the A-frame so being slightly dazed I hit the spine with too much speed…..went up in the air and landed on the other side ass-first! OUCH! Well you know me, not to be beaten I brushed myself off and got ready for my second run (luckily this was about 30 mins later so my head had cleared). Determined not to make a fool of myself I got my pants slung sufficiently low (believe me this makes a difference to how I ride) and dropped in…nose press 10m, 50:50 to press on the a-frame, then moved over to the AIM kink, settled myself, popped on and nailed a smooth grind on that as well then a brief rock and roll on the spine to finish (this time I managed not to over shoot)…..a smooth run and I was stoked! I get such a buzz when I ride well and I was happy with this run…..I was even happier when I discovered I’d placed 2nd in the Master’s and 9th overall out of 18 girls!

You’d think that a days riding would have been enough for me but the boyf was itching to ride having been shooting pics all day so off to Tamworth we trooped (well it is on the way home sort of), admittedly I was too tired to ride but he had a good session, and we finally got back around 5:30am on Sunday.

Well done to all involved in the competition, riders, organisers, course builders & spectators, you made it a great day!

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