I regard the peak district as one of my favourite areas for skateboarding. Not only is the area only a short drive from my hometown but the long, winding roads backed by spectacular scenery are relatively quiet. I am therefore really looking forward to the Bolsterstone Outlaw.
As an event, it has been going many years, but this time the format is a time trial, rather than traditional racing. There are over 22 competitors taking part in either the luge or stand-up competitions.
I am 4th in the BDSL listings for luge in 2018 and the others are so far ahead, it is unlikely this weekend is going to make any material difference. However, I did come first last year at Bolstertone last year (my only win of the season) and I am hoping to defend my title. Not that I feel as if I have much chance. Ell Macey is also racing and I haven't beat him yet. In fact, he hammered me at Bleek, despite some of my runs being in excess of 60 miles per hour. It is a good job that my main priority is getting out there and having some fun!
I am riding a similar luge to the one I used at Bleek but I have a curved deck to give me more clearance when cornering. It is slightly lighter as well. There is no doubt I will need this as the course is very twisty. It is about three quarters of a mile long, starting with a long straight and moving into a left hand hairpin. It then drops steeply away allowing you to build up speed before a sweeping right hand turn (nicknamed Manure Corner for reasons set out below). A short straight into a left and chicane, a medium straight with a slight left kink and then a drop away into a right hand kink before moving on to the finish line. Thank goodness, there is an uplift van on hand to save our legs.
When we arrive on the Saturday morning, there is a lot of surface water due to the rain. We are all used to this and it doesn't put us off, but the practice runs give rise to a lot of crashes and slide outs for a lot of competitors. The pile of manure on the second corner adds a bit of an edge to the runs. Despite sweeping the course, a patch remains and for some reason no one wants to fall off there!
I have my share of spectacular falls. During early practice runs, I get the wrong line coming out of the
chicane. I am going too fast and the conditions are too wet to hold it. I end up in a puddle and my jacket is all ripped. Fortunately, Andy (a good mate who is driving the uplift van today) has some duck tape and mends my jacket (functional but not a good look really). But that isn't all. On another practice run, Manure Corner gets me. This time I damage my board.
It does start drying up for the race. However, the surface water is patchy and it isn't clear what wheels to use.
The scoring is the fastest time out of three runs. My first run is 1.10.92. I do not finish my second run and my third run is slower than my first by a couple of seconds.
It turns out that I am fastest on Luge and manage to retain my title!!
On downhill stand-up, Oscar Taylor records an amazingly fast time of 1 minute 8 seconds to win the competition. It is the first time I have seen the stand up runs as fast as luge. I am 100 per cent sure this is due to twisty nature of track.
Ell comes second in both stand up (1.9.00) and luge (1.12.87). James Raeside comes 3rd in stand up and luge ( the latter on his newly acquired SP8BOARDS Half Pint.)
As well as BDSL points, winners get trophies made by me.
Although there was no official campsite, many were staying over and so there was a second day of skating - just for fun. Various pack runs and follow cam runs are done, all in glorious sunshine.
All in all a great weekend, made all the more special by the knowledge that winter is nearly on us and days like these will soon be in short supply.
For a more detailed look at the run, check out my video.