Birthday Renegade Slalom 9th July 2014 - Pedal Progression


11 July 2014

Birthday Renegade Slalom 9th July 2014

What better way to celebrate our first birthday than by getting loose on bikes with great people and eating burgers while the sun goes down over Bristol…!

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This was the 5th Renegade Slalom event we’ve run as Pedal Progression. The concept is simple… Names are put into a hat and are drawn in pairs at random. The two riders picked race head to head down a grass hill hosting two lanes of slalom poles. A mixture of snappy turns have racers on the edge and as the track gets worn in it just gets looser and looser, even when its dry! Each pair has two runs and an average time is taken – the fastest rider goes through, the slowest rider goes out…

The thing we love about these events is the simplicity and childlike fun that comes from a grass hill and a few poles… Who knew such a simple idea could be so fun, not just for rider but spectators too! It’s perhaps the bike equivalent of ‘jumpers for goal posts’.

As this event was a birthday special we decided that we should encourage people to come in fancy dress too… Pedal Progression Racing team rider Mike Hayward stole the show with his home made ‘Pedal Progression P’ as shown in the main image, which was possibly more impractical than my Whoopie Cushion. I’d have perhaps been more aero wearing a parachute.

Other costume highlights had to be Pappa Smurf, the ‘Retro Rider’ look which included a Kona vest that would fit my 3 year old nephew and a dude that was so ‘enduro’ he had a can of GT85 taped to his down tube (as well as every other tool going)!

Although perhaps not as cool as ‘A-Line’ or even ‘Whites Level’ the slalom set up is great for developing technique and to do well you’ll need some skills in your locker, especially when it gets loose! Those of you we’ve coached will probably know that the slalom is a favourite for learning to rail corners, improve body position and develop eagle eyed vision. The guys that get through to the last rounds of the slalom really nail these skills making their runs great to watch.

“Although perhaps not as cool as ‘A-Line’ or even ‘Whites Level’ the slalom set up is great for developing technique and to do well you’ll need some skills in your locker”

Even the best riders get it wrong and there are always comedy crashes to keep the crowd entertained… Topping the charts this time was a lad who high sided one of the last turns being bucked from his bike. He quickly got up and jumped back on but as he powered down to finish his run he found the chain had come off and he threw himself over the handlebars! This is free entertainment remember!

The 5th Renegade Slalom brought out some young rippers too. The one youngster who caught our attention was 17 year old Oli Hooper who was shredding his freshly built Nukeproof Mega on which he bagged 3rd place. His friend and Pedal Progression Racing rider Ed Bartley couldn’t race due to injury but was another skilful youngster in attendance.

2nd place was taken by our old friend Tom Proffit, a local downhill hero and all round nice guy. Tom is nearly as tall as a building and I wasn’t too sure about his choice to ride his new dirt jump bike (which he dwarfs) but the decision paid off in a series of well controlled and seriously quick runs.

The winner was Andy Wright, the only man in the UK to break a Yeti SB-75 so Silverfish claim… He’s broken two actually! Always a weapon on the trail, Andy’s competitive nature and immense skills on a bike make him a hard nut to crack in the slalom. This isn’t the first event he’s won and probably won’t be the last!

If you’ve not yet been to a Renegade Slalom event, keep an eye out for the next one on our facebook page and be sure to get involved! It’s great fun no matter what your ability and there’s plenty of free time with the poles before and after even if you don’t last long in the competition. It’s a super friendly atmosphere with plenty of laughs and banter.

If you want to learn how to smash the slalom and give Andy a run for his money, call us and book a skills session… We can teach you everything you need to know and do!

PS. Big thanks to Ross Cursiter at North Face for sending us a few bits to give as prizes! We didn’t even have to ask him – what a guy!



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