UK Loses Gravity Enduro Series for 2016

Sep 4, 2015 at 11:28
by Simon Paton  
Steve Parr Interview - Enduro

bigquotesAfter five years of the UKGE I have to announce there will be no sixth year in 2016. The series started off slowly and built up to something massive. It took over my life, morning, noon and night. At the start of 2015, I became homeless with our first born expected in April, this was what can only be described as troubling times for Liz and myself. This is in no way an excuse for my handling of the PR associated with UKGE, it is the hard facts, I am putting my hands up to making a complete mess of the situation. Maybe in the near future people will look back and think it was visionary, only time will tell.

All through my years of organising events, it has always been my goal to put rider's wishes first, if they ever said I had done a bad job, I would have stopped. At heart, I am a racer, always have been and always will be. It is what we live for - great racing! The UKGE team has brought you amazing races across the country and put enduro in the UK at the forefront of every Mountain Biker''s thoughts. So, thank you to all who have made the five years amazing, and so much fun as well.

I am going to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all the sponsors that have supported the series: the Forestry Commission, for letting us host the races, and to the happy faces we see at so many races. Charlie Williams, for his outstanding contribution to the series - he has bought all his years of racing in Europe into developing the stages. Last but not least, anyone who has helped prepare stages over the past five years, especially the "Trail pixies;" Dominic Pearce, Ed Wright and Richard Marsden. Next year sees me hitting the big Five 0, so it is time for me to go racing and spend some quality time with Liz and our beautiful baby girl, Imogen. The UKGE team will be doing possibly two events in 2016, one of these will be a week long bike festival, the other remains a close guarded secret! Get yourself along to round five at Dyfi and say goodbye to the original and still the best series for Gravity Enduro in the UK. - Steve Parr

Steve Parr and his second home.





62 Comments

  • + 42
 Best series by far, thanks british cycling you c#nts.
  • + 4
 Can you fill those of us in, what's the back story to this?
What were the PR issues, what's the BC done?
  • + 5
 www.pinkbike.com/news/british-cycling-to-stay-out-of-enduro-for-2015-2014.html entry numbers were down, so prob not worth running. Grizedale 2014 sold out 330 people sick event, same event 2015 only 260 entered. That could be the profit margin?
  • + 5
 BC pulled support at the end of 2014. Made everything much harder.
  • + 13
 Lack of BC support hasnt hurt the SES, PMBA, Welsh series etc Maybe it was their absolutely hilarious approach to PR, underwhelming courses, crazy rules that they couldn't even understand, arrogance etc that's led to their downfall rather than anything to do with BC...
  • + 2
 UKGE had all the issues around insurance too i believe? because it wasnt a BC event you had to have personal insurance, you had to have this before signing up for events that you didnt know you could get a pass to etc.

Real shame that it has come to a close. Could someone or a group of people take this over and keep it going?
  • + 1
 @boardinbob dont be silly, couldn't possibly be due to that lol
  • + 6
 Classic PB keyboard warrior comments already blaming British Cycling...maybe take a minute or two to actually read what Steve has said. I think it's pretty clear that he just wants to take a break and spend time with his family!
  • + 8
 dont think anyone is blaming BC, just highlighting that a lack of support from a recognised body must have had an impact, and could have just made everything that little bit too hard to manage especially with everything else going on
  • - 4
flag poah (Sep 8, 2015 at 6:06) (Below Threshold)
 nothing to do with BC, was down to the stupid way the series was run. excessive entry fee, pointless insurance, really poor communication regarding new rule changes. thankfully the other enduro events aren't run like the UKGE.
  • + 2
 Poah off of puntos?
  • + 0
 WTF
  • + 1
 are you not the POAH of Punto GT fame?
  • + 2
 stay classy POAH, im sure youre really pleased that the national enduro series wont be running next year, but for the rest of us it sucks
  • - 2
 "the national enduro series"... says the guy that organises it. I don't think anyone actually agreed this was the national series.
  • - 1
 couldn't care less if it was run or not @Kimbers - however it will be tough on you not have a PR job next year though Wink
  • + 2
 @glasgowdan so what was the national series, if not this?
  • + 4
 The SES! (Oh, didn't you guess, I'm Scottish!). Difference is the SES is doing things right, sells out at 500 entries and doesn't lumber people with complex rules. The events are (bar one this year) technical and interesting and cover the bulk of the country, priced around £50 and everything else is bang on. No need for personal insurance, no requirement for full facers, etc.
  • + 3
 SES is still regional not national, indie vote stayed in the union!
But very good series, as good as ukge, insurance was 20 quid for the year and ffs are no big deal, but not 3 days riding like ukge and obviously doesnt include Wales or england

Wil BES be the same price as BDS at 90 quid a pop ?
  • - 5
flag poah (Sep 8, 2015 at 12:39) (Below Threshold)
 one race in the far south of scotland oooooo so national. insurance was a pointless rip off as was the entry fee, no wonder numbers were down and a race cancelled.
  • + 1
 Im with POAH on this one, i never entered any of the Gravity races as there prices were so high. Nearly double that of all the others Ive entered. And the insurance faff as well.
  • + 6
 Insurance was 20 quid for the year, and prices were fine for 3 days of riding, SES is only 15 quid less, how many days do you get ? The number of nomads etc you see at enduros, just seems silly that people gripe over a few quid.
Fortunately there will be 2 events from the UKGE team next year and still the awesome Dyfi round to come in a couple of weeks
But plenty of people like to keep slagging off a series they've never even raced!
  • + 3
 @Kimbers, the SDA is recognised as a national series by BC, SES deserves the same accord. We managed to get a national champs going up here too without any fuss Wink

People arguing about BC... They didn't cause this, exactly, but if they'd done their jobs and got behind our sport, it'd have taken a massive amount of pressure of Steve and co. Without that unneccesary pressure he could have focused on the important stuff and got things right, we'd probably not have had the insurance fiasco or other PR bombs. He'd not have been put through the wringer and had to deal with all the personal impact, and who knows where the series might have gone.

OTOH, enduro's maybe avoided some pitfalls that BC might have brought, after all the same negligence, incompetence and incomprehension that led us here, would have defined any attempts to support the series too Wink
  • + 1
 value for money is still important. the one round in Scotland would
mean £95, which is more than the EWS cost. that's with he basic insurance which didn't really
cover you for anything minor.
  • + 4
 Good luck enjoying time with the family Steve. It was a good effort, I particularly enjoyed the race in the lakes. Hard damn work that was but some great riding none the less. BC you shitpots ! The rules imposed on us and lack of support are not welcomed. Best format in this genre of racing right now is the PMBA in my opinion, race against the clock but ride round with your mates and get group start times, brilliant.
  • + 23
 hmm, well, first and foremost Steve's done the right thing by his family. That always comes first no matter what!!!!!. to end up homeless and carry on with his vision is a strength of character that very few of us could ever hope to attain. well done steve respect.!!!

for sure there was a hell of a lot of consternation surrounding the format /insurances/ cost/ venues etc of the UKGE but having never organised a race i'm not gonna comment on that as i have no right to.

The BCF and UCI on that matter need to get their heads out their arses though!! (from a scottish perspective) with DH race attendees falling and almost getting cancelled due to lack of numbers, and xc races only having a handful of competitors compared to sold out scottish enduro races of up to 500 riders the BCF need to acknowledge this is the future of biking for the next decade or so. they need to support and guide it. Britain as whole provides so many top class athletes in DH and Enduro its bordering on the ridiculous. Coupled with the industry hellbent on making its money from "allmountain" and "enduro" its utterly inconceivable that the BCF won't support that format of racing. hopefully they will see the light before next year and something may arise.

I urge people to come forward and support events as much as possible. what people fail to realise, is that BCF supported or not, the organisers of events like the UKGE, SXC, SES, SDA etc are run by folk volunteering and sacrificing their time. correct me if i'm wrong please but the BCF sanctioned events are not run by a bunch of BCF salaried employees, just a few dedicated rider's parents who want something more than grass roots races for their kids. they get next to zero thanks for it. but all hell breaks loose when it doesn't go to plan. if they make profit from it great but if not then it all goes down the pan.

and for those not interested in racing thats totally fine, you make up the vast majority of the riding population, but please bear in mind that the 28lb 150mm travel carbon superbike you own would not be possible without racing pushing the boundaries.

peace out and again RESPECT steve, wish you all the best for your family and future
  • + 22
 A hero and a pioneer. Family comes first.
  • + 6
 I have only done one of these races in Hamsterley, but I wish I've done more! So well -organized with the amazing technical support, food stations and general friendliness. UKGE, you will be missed so much! I was making plans to race more of these events next year... Oh well, I guess it is time for British Cycling to offer some more support to event organizers and treat Enduro Racing equally to Cross Country and Downhill!
  • + 6
 So what we are saying is that due to one fine chap taking a well earned break the whole race series stops!!! Hhmmm I'd like to understand BC's take on this!!! Hey thanks for all the fish
  • + 7
 See what you did British Cycling. You ruined it. Hope the Scottish one keeps going!
  • + 1
 events are sold out thankfully , so it should keep going !
  • + 3
 best races, organisation and the people involved top it all off. I am surely someone will step in carry on the legacy of what is one of best races series in the country....Thanks Steve, and other organisers for making this happen, and all the best for the future...see you on the start line.
  • + 2
 Firstly, congrats to Steve for being brave enough to tough it out for this long... Goes to show that most events and series run due to the efforts and passion of just one person. Sadly we live in a country where getting insurance for a village church fete or a school sports day is difficult, let alone a dangerous sport. I suspect this was just one small part of why steve decided to knock it on the head. I'm sure someone will step up over the coming months to secure a new series.
  • + 2
 now lets wait for a conspiracy theorists coming out with an idea the bc is waiting when all series will be bankrupt and then finally conveniently announcing UK BC national enduro series . That would be so funny... not
  • + 4
 steve parr. is one of the nicest blokes in mtb. the sport could never have enough steves... wish you well for the future pal...
  • + 1
 Is that you craig ? You back in blighty
  • + 1
 Looking forward to a new national series with a better format and a better attitude to the non-elites. It all went south for UKGE when it felt like they shafted the regular riders so those riders went and raced the excellent quality regional Enduro series instead. Enduro is doing well in the UK Two Welsh series, PMBA, Mini Enduro, SES, then multiple one off events like hard rock, QECP etc... Looks like there will be a British Series soon, hopefully it will be practise Saturday race Sunday.
  • + 4
 Sad times, lets make sure we all support the other races on in the UK to help prevent others going down the pan!
  • + 2
 That's another massive blow for the British enduro scene, it started looming in the horizon when British Cycling walked away from all enduro events and now I fear for the smaller series too, sad day indeed...
  • + 3
 NOOOooo.... i was intending to race this Frown oh well, fair do's to steve and the others for creating the enduro scene in the UK.
  • + 2
 It's a big blow to lose a national series, were lucky tho there's still 3 good enduro race series in the homeland to keep us busy!
  • + 1
 true. i've signed myself up for the last welsh enduro this year in November.
  • + 1
 theres still places at the Dyfi round in a couple of weeks, it will be epic, course is amazing

www.moredirt.com/event/949

you will need insurance too, cheapest is cycleplan www.cycleplan.co.uk ,20 quid
  • + 2
 It would be interesting to see all those people mourning the loss of UKGE put their money where their mouth is a do the Dyfi race.
  • + 4
 even just things like not having rd 5 on their website listed as TBC would help make things a bit clearer.

Would be nice to see it sell out, but £90 entry + £20 insurance + mandatory full face makes for an expensive date vs PMBA etc
  • + 0
 I agree coms isnt always great PMBA is good, but 3 days riding for UKGE on tougher trails and a bigger loop makes it well worth the extra expense IMO!
  • + 1
 Blimey! Always a hard job to please all the people... I wish you and yours the best for the furture Steve. Massive thanks to all that have contributed in making UKGE such fun.
  • + 4
 Thank you for great racing and the memories Smile
  • + 3
 Gutted, best series in the UK
  • + 1
 Instead of being so annoyed why not try and get a larger company lets say giant or trek etc to take over the series ??
  • + 3
 Sad sad day Frown
  • + 2
 Great series run by a great team.
  • + 1
 Sorry to hear about the bad times Steve. Would be good to grab a beer some time chief.
  • + 3
 This is very sad Frown
  • + 1
 think the insurance issues pretty much killed it, sad day, Steve has put everything into it, wish him well.
  • + 1
 Sad day. Wanted to try this in 2016. Looked amazing, hope someone takes up the enduro mantel!
  • + 1
 There are plenty of other races to enter.
  • + 2
 Only races on parr with ukge have been tweedlove, others are good but not great.
  • + 1
 It would be great to have a National Series,,,
  • - 2
 enduro THE END
  • + 3
 Enduro didn't start with UKGE, it certainly won't end with it, don't be silly.
  • - 2
 Hhheeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnndddduuuuurrrroooooo

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.035496
Mobile Version of Website