Deadwater 100 Route – DON’T ASK!
It’s a great day now that the Deadwater 100 is up and running for entries. We were due to open it much earlier but then a whopper storm called Arwen came through and literally blew the plans to pieces. If anyone asks “what’s the route?” then it’s going to be a complicated answer! Before I go into any more details let’s just start by saying that it won’t be the same as last time.
When Storm Arwen swept through the Scottish Borders and Northern England it let a trail of destruction that has rarely been seen in a persons life time. I’m mid forties and have non memories of seeing anything even remotely touching it in terms on scale or power. Homes were without power for over a week as hundreds and hundreds of pylons and power cables came crashing down – and they are not easy to fix. Many forests looked like, and still look like, they have had a high powered bomb set off in them. This storm had far worse consequences than the recent Eunice and yet strangely enough this hardly even managed a flicker of a headline at the time. North/south divide perhaps?
Kielder and it’s main mountain biking tracks are all situated in and around the bowl of the reservoir. This is split into a north side and a south side. The prevailing wind from Arwen came from the north and those trees with a northerly aspect got bowled over like skittles. Plantations that faced south managed to fair a lot better. In conclusion, the south side of the reservoir is closed for business in terms of mountain biking as the main linking routes of Lonesome Pine have hundreds of trees down and won’t be open this year.
This led us on to the conclusion that the rides are going to have to be concentrated on the north side of the water and focussing on the Deadwater and Osprey trails. We are yet to check if the much loved Jungle can still be accessed but it’s guaranteed to be in the route if available given it’s propensity to scratch arms and generally make people swear.
Adding further spicy ingredients to the mix is scheduled felling set for a big section of the afore mentioned Osprey blue trail. This effectively eliminates one of the two proper mountain bike trails we have available. As such the hunt will now be on to find natural fall lines, overgrown forest tracks, games trails and features – anything that can add a bit of spice to keep people on their toes. We did a bit of this at the Chiller 24 and it proved quite popular.
It looks likely that we’ll be facing a smaller lap done more times to make up the distance. The consideration here was that the super fast riders from the British Champs will be constantly overtaking the slower riders and the chance for conflict/disgruntlement is raised. To get round this we have moved the Champs races to the Sat and the 100 mile/sportive races to the Sunday. These will all be based at the campsite.
As you can see there are many challenges ahead but we are confident that we can put on an event befitting of it’s national status. We can’t wait to bring everyone back to the north east for more quality mountain biking.