‘ARD ROCK 2016 - Hetty Key
The alarm went off at 5.45am - somehow it had fallen to me to be the one that entered our team into the 2016 ‘Ard Rock Enduro. After a strong coffee and some furious typing (beware you don’t get long!) we were all in Saturday’s main event - a 45km loop with 5 downhill timed stages.
Prior to this I hadn’t given the race much thought, a friend had suggested it and as always I was up for a challenge. But now looking through the previous year’s photos and videos alongside the ever increasing number of comments on Facebook I was worried I had bitten off more than I could chew. I’m not normally someone who is bothered by the ratio of men to women in an event, but this seemed very much male dominated. In the back of my mind I just really didn’t want to be the girl that couldn’t ride any of the descents. I also was worried about holding other riders up.
Fast forward a few months of fairly intense practice, I was in the car heading to Reeth totally unsure of what to expect. First impressions were good – it was really busy but well organised and everyone I met was totally up for the weekend. It was buzzing! Whilst the race line up for the weekend only contained 87 women out of 2000 riders (that’s 4%!), the whole event was by no means aimed at men with Flare Clothing and Juliana Bicycles repping all things awesome for female mountain bikers and very excited queue of all ages gathering for a photo with Tracey Mosley.