It was with great sorrow that we arrived at the CSE car park at 8.00 in the morning, and it was with even greater sorrow that we were forced to acknowledge the ferocious weather; winds and biting rain.
Having arrived at Innerleithen (where there was still ferocious winds and biting rain) we decided that we would head up the hill to ride the enduro tracks whilst sampling some of the XC and downhill routes at the same time. Unlike the other riders there we had no uplift so instead we pedalled our way up the hill; resting briefly to watch Duane, Craig, Fraser and Cameron gap the road.
Before throwing ourselves headlong into the enduro trails we decided that it would be worth a warm up descent so it was with relief that we threw ourselves into Make or Brake, with flowing corners and some jumps to hit it was a sweet relief to the uphill hauling we’d just put ourselves through.
Following a further section of uphill grunt work we were greeted with the first enduro trail; a great, highly technical descent stuffed full of drops, roots and rocks; allowing no time for rest and leaving forearms and hands burning upon reaching the bottom.
Fortunately, the next trail mouth led straight on, meaning no more climbing. A steep downhill wallowing in mud funneled us straight into a tight, undulating tree lined trail which (unless you got lost) spat you out nicely on to the XC loop.
After playing around on a section of the red whilst punctures were fixed, it was time to be off, firing up a fire road to the most brutal climb of the day, and not in terms of gradient; the ferocious wind and biting rain was back again. This time strong enough to push you of the single track climb and leaving faces red raw. Pleased to make the tree cover, the group decided to split for the final descent.
After a brief fire road climb we were back at the original Make of Brake, followed by more downhill trails back to the car park. Despite the weather, Innerleithen still remained in great form.