The Return To Stainburn
Our second trip to Stainburn downhill track was one we’d been looking forward to for a while. Our previous trip was fun but had left Lew with a bent break rotor which had cut our trip short. We’d both also had minor falls and had found that our 110/120 mm travel XC bikes were falling a little short of some of the rock gardens and drops; not only that, our own abilities were a little short of the mark. This time though, we were back with a vengeance. This time, we were ready.
Stainburn DH track is located just southwest of Harrogate and North of Leeds.
With our upgraded bikes and our much improved skills we raced off straight for the skills park (something we weren’t able to try in our previous trip due to Lew’s broken bike). In our haste we headed straight down the black run (the wrong way). The black at stain burn is an interesting one, there are rocks everywhere and you soon know it; but this was not a problem like it was last year! We weren’t as fast as we could have been but we were much faster than the last trip, the rock gardens were much less of a problem for our 150/160mm travel sussers and we got to the bottom with only one minor fall from Lew who jumped off thinking i was coming past (only to look behind and see me waiting for him to get up!) Realising we’d gone the wrong way we followed a separate trail up and found the skills park. Sadly we found it to be in a state of disrepair and roped off; both Lew and are firm believers of not riding anything that is roped off and decided better of it and began heading back to the car park. On the way we found a decent fadeaway drop which we decided to session for a little while, doing the usual little tweaks, whips and crossers (still no bar spins yet!).
Back at the car park we decided to hit the red route, the red is a lot more flowey than the black for most of it; there are a couple of smaller drops and jumps but nothing too big; a couple of rock gardens slow you down a bit but you can quickly put the pedals down and get your speed up again; multiple routes are a nice bonus and there is one massive roller to hit. Last year we didn’t hit this roller for fear of our lives… this year we had completely forgotten about it and we both slammed our brakes on at the last second as we came up to it. We wanted to hit it there and then but there was a big group coming down behind us and we had no choice but to just press on, telling ourself we’ll come back down for it. This sadly didn’t happen but there will be another chance though.
The reason for not returning to the roller was that we’d got chatting to a couple of other bikers there and they told us about a different line which leads back to the carpark which includes a decent four metre drop with about a metre clearance. a couple of smaller doubles and some really flowey berms; it sounded like my kind of trail! We originally thought this was just another climb to the top of the red so we were stoked to check it out. We hit this line and quickly decided that this was our favourite line at stain burn and rode it a couple more times. There was nothing on it we couldn’t handle and its a great line for keeping the speed, which is definitely necessary for that big drop! Believe me, you don’t want to nose dive off that, a gnarly set of rocks build up the drop with a metre or so before there is trail again with a nice tree stump to cushion your fall… Nose dive and this drop and a part of your body is going to need replacing! This drop was the biggest we’d hit; now, I had had warning about it from our new chums but Lew hit it without any knowledge; i remember him muttering something about needing new undies… In the end we loved this drop so much that we headed back to the car park, hit the line again and then sessioned the drop over and over to get some killer shots.
All in all our second trip to Stainburn was much more successful, the first trip left me feeling under geared, under skills and a bit beaten in general. This time I definitely feel like we conquered it. Main goal of our next trip there is hit that big Roller!
If you haven’t checked out Stainburn I really do suggest a trip out there, especially if you want to test out your skills a bit. But don’t worry if you don’t feel up to the big bits! There are easier routes around all of the technical stuff so you’re never out of your depth. Give it a blast!