Amazing what you see on your travels as a biker isn't it? Saturday night Damo from No Limits asked what I thought of the largest tree in England? "What tree"? I said. Apparently the one I had passed upmteen times that day, right by the 4x start line. Sunday morning 07:00 and Hensley and I stood in amazement. Not just at the largest tree but also the longest 4x course in the land.Full results and pics inside
,I last visited Penshurst back in 2003 and a lot has and hasn't changed since then. The start ramp is still there, even if the steps need replacing, urgently.
Penhurst Off Road Club (PORC) as it is better known as a play ground similar to that of Chicksands. With a 4x track, loads of dirt jumps, several short and technical sub 1 minute downhill tracks and a splattering of big huck jumps makes this the South Easts best kept secret.
That said the forums were alight with rumors and speculations of the amount of dis-repair the tracks were in, especially the 4x, some even said dangerous. True to say that the 4x start ramp needs back and side rails and definitely new steps. The rest of the joint also needs a bit of TLC but aren't we on DH bikes? Yes that is true but a good lick of elbow grease on the shovels would definitely not go a miss.
The start straight itself quickly throws you into small manualable whoops followed instantly by a step-up before the best part of the track for overtaking, the first corner. Go wide around the berm and you could jump the next doubles. Only one problem, by the time you came out of the long turn the next moto would have cut underneath you. Therefore only one option, dive inside over a small whoop and turn on the flat corner in three inches of loose sand and almost come to a stop at the end of the berm. Banging elbows and bikes this was the decider as those that came out first were nine times out of ten the first across the line.
This was carnage in some races as if you went wide and got bumped over the berm you had an eight foot drop to flat. If you flew a bit further then a nine foot drop into the pond, now imagine if you were still clipped into your bike? Surely this needs concrete posts and a wooden wall constructed, I think so...Will Evans nearly came a cropper here in one moto with Dave Richardson also going down grabbed Will's leg and saved him from a timely bump.
The best four by four by far
The free uplift ran all weekend thanks to these guys. Much appreciated.Gigglepin 4x4 winches
The second straight is awesome, a mellow doubles that were almost impossible to jump as you were rallying it out of the corner. The "Rockstar" bridge table top then 9th gear and 30mph+ whooshhh. A long table, spinning out that 9th gear, a long 30ft triple followed straight after by an even bigger triple sorted the men from the boys.
Fast, you better believe it!
Then one huge right handed berm into a set of whoops, step-down and another swooping berm before a small set of whoops and a step down meant those with the trail's skills dominated here.
One last right hander, avoiding Dave Francoisy and hit the hip jump, before another table and then the road gap. Was it my 24" back wheel or did everyone feel like this long high drop to flat was an ankle breaker? Home? Not quite. A few mellow whoops and flat grass corner before a drop down and sprint towards the finish.
Did you also know it was once the home for Viceroy of India? Pretty sure he didn't have to sit on hay bales of the landscaped gardens.
Plenty of pratice at the 4x even with a relaxed 10:00 start. 11:00 half the age groups get 30 minutes of gate practie followed by the rest getting their 30 minutes worth.
Four motos in different gates if you're lucky and hopefully a couple of inside ones. Let me explain, gate 1 should always be the inside lane for the first corner. Then depending on the numbers we go semi finals or straight into "A" or "B" finals with the latter running first.
Rive la gauche!
What has to be mentioned is the atmosphere Saturday night, PORC had a large grassed area that soon looked like Glastonbury with the amount of tents that popped up. We were fed and watered by these crazy French dudes as well as a huge mobile fish and chip shop, result!
If all that wasn't good enough, then the trail jumps are all open and well worth a spin. In fact after Sunday's racing, Andrew Cooper drove his car down there and banged out the tunes until sunset as we rode into the night.
If you fancy hitting PORC then it's a couple of quid and definitely worth a day out, in fact you could spend a good weekend down there whether it was on a downhill bike, mid travel machine or even your jump bike.To get to PORC from the M25:
Turn off at J5 (A21 Sevenoaks/Hastings)
Take the A26 (Southborough/Tunbridge Wells) Follow this uphill.
Take the B2176 (Penshurst) On the Right.
Follow into Penshurst. Pub on your left
Leave Penshurst on the B2188.
Past a small garage on the left, over a narrow bridge.
Take the next right (GROVE ROAD)
PORC is up the hill on the left.
Your Elite winners
Cooper done good on the mic though top marks go to "Mop Head", the new comer who took to shouting like a fish to water. Looks like we might need to get him over to the NPS DH.
Big Fun 18+
The young guns done well this weekend, a big track for these guys to handle.
Mundys been taking fashion tips from Gok me thinks, if not Michael Jackson. Jones in 3rd and 4th, it would be harder to split an atom than these two.
Malloy is the local, never heard him complaining about going to Scotland for a downhill. Warner rumbled in second place, no relation to Richard or Robert. Lenthall fresh back from a long spell in Whistler was the man today.
I'm liking the girls style, one moto they had a pump race, Curd still won that one. Busbridge gave her mouth a rest from marshaling the mini DH on the Saturday and let her legs do the talking come the final.
Bad Ass Egan chased down the pack leader Russell, still bank rolled by Mom, when will he start purchasing his own kit?
The Gun is on fire or is it the rest of the pack are just smoldering? Either way Brennan lead from start to finish on his Cannondale Prophet.
Hatcher got the snap and dived inside, leaving Pinkbike's very own henchman Paton to use his elbows in corner one and follow his lead. The Butcher deserves a mention, even if only for his mega long manual halfway down the second straight.
The Identiti rider battled this epic out, rather than it being a one horse race with Beaumont away. This one really went down to the wire. Evans has Flows Dave Richardson to thank for grabbing him mid scrum corner one when he was going over the bank. Dave grabbed his leg and saved him for sure.
The next and final round will be round seven at Chicksands on Sunday the 13th of September 2009. Want to find out more? Go here - NPS4x.com
Just note you do not need a BC license, unless you want to race in your age category.Descent-Gear.com SPY Goggles Instock and these fancy mirrored lenses