We had a great weekend in Kielder Forest with 70 riders competing each day. The competition area took in Kielder, Wark and Kershope Forests and Jens had produced 2 excellent and very large maps. I expected some high scores because it’s very fast riding with not too much climb and lots of excellent forest roads and tracks. I tried to make sure that there were plenty of points without going to the edges of the maps and encouraged riders to use the brilliant Lakeshore Way on Saturday. I wanted to use more bridleways but many of them don’t exist on the ground. They were created years ago but haven’t been re-instated where the trees have been felled. The weather wasn’t too bad over the weekend with very little wind and some sunshine on Saturday but we all got wet on Sunday. Fortunately, the midges haven’t started biting yet! Hawkhope made an excellent event centre with a marquee and superb catering from Kielder Organic Meats. The Sunday roast beef after-race meal was probably the best I have ever had.
Thanks to Jim Imber who checked out and photographed most of the controls then put out lots of them with a bit of help from me, Martin Edwards and John Rawden. They all helped me collect them all in again on Sunday along with Graeme Thompson so thank you.
There were some familiar names competing with Andy Conn scoring a magnificent 938 points (out of 1200) on Saturday to lead overnight by nearly 100 points. Mark McPhillips was Sunday’s winner with 660 points (out of 800) despite being 20 minutes late but couldn’t overhaul Andy (1548) who was the overall winner. Mark (1456) finished 3rd because Tim Martin (1471) finished second both days. Maggie McPhillips won the women’s category with 1160 points and 7th overall. Conrad & Jill Ellison were the first Mixed team and 6th overall with 1178 points (but they were on a tandem).
Final thanks to Stuart Hamilton & Andy Williams from ARK who have kept the event alive despite last year’s disappointment and making a loss again this year. We need more riders to make it viable so we hope you will return for the Autumn OMM BIke on September 6th/7th. It won’t be as far north or east and definitely very few forest roads but I have already ridden most of the excellent bridleways and the views are stunning. Please let your mates know and, with more publicity, we will get back up to 150 riders.
Hope to see you there. Steve Willis. Event Planner.