Hargroves Cycles RT: Battle on the Beach w/ Jody Crawforth
Down at Pembrey, South Wales one of the UK’s most unique cycle event was taking place. Battle On The Beach is open to all bikes (so if you felt the need to ride a tandem on the trails, it is totally possible), our very own Jody Crawforth took to the beach. Below is his story in his own words.
This was my first time riding the event after hearing great stories of 30mph rages along the sands of Pembrey, the same location as Guy Martin’s land speed record breaking attempt. After practising the course on Saturday I was glad I’d brought my mountain bike. The hard pack sand would have been ultra fast on a cyclocross bike but the other two thirds of the circuit are on forest tracks and single track, where the mountain bike would be faster.
12 pm on Sunday loomed and 850 plus riders lined up on the soft sand. I opted to run the first 10 metres to get some momentum and then jump on the pedals. Hitting the hard sand in about 3rd place, I got up to speed and tried my best to hang on to the groups going through and off in the cross wind, where Small echelons were forming as we went. I was breathing out of everything that would give me some air.
Coming off the beach in about 13 or 14th place I tried to catch up to the next group through the woods, all while still in massive oxygen debt from the first 10 minutes of the race. I made it to the 5 rider group in front and tried to recover a little. The rest of the race consisted of struggling to keep the pace up on the beach for the other 2 laps, and then keeping near the front of the group in the single track. Towards the finish I made sure to follow attacks and gave a good jump into the last few corners, beating the rest of the group I was with and finishing in I think 9th place.
Max speed – 28.9 mph (on the flat on a mountain bike!),
Average speed – 18 mph. Virtually all off road.
I’ll be going again next year, but I think I’ll fit some faster tyres!