Text by Jannik, postet by Jochen July 9th 2019
Photos by Jannik, Jörg, Birk and Patrick
During the Whitsun weekend, Jörg, two friends from the Bingo Bongo Racing Team and myself visited the Tweedlove Trancsend Festival in Scotland and took part in the Transcend Epic Enduro race. "Epic" Enduro means the higher focus on the downhill. So, we reached a depth of almost 5,000 meters on two race days. In order to reach the respective starting points, however, we only had to climb a total of 1,500 meters of altitude by bike and were happy about a shuttle support for the rest. Although we initially thought that the 5,000 meters were the daily dose of "rapture of deep", we were initially a little disappointed. But in the end, we were glad that it was a misunderstanding. The very demanding trails also caused tired arms and a very good sleep after the race.
Jörg has been traveling to Scotland at least once a year for ages and I have joined him four times in a row. We are always attracted by the trails around Innerleithen and Peebles. In the two small towns the mountain bike spirit is lived as we have hardly experienced it at any other place. In addition, there is also an amount of trails for which a single holiday will never be enough. We started our trip from Dortmund to Rotterdam. From there the ferry brought us to Hull overnight.
From here it was another four hours by car until we reached Innerleithen near Edinburgh.
The race format of the Transcend Epic Enduro is "blind". This means that all stages are ridden directly timed without any training. On Friday we explored many other trails to get used to the terrain and the typical "steepness" of the Scottish trails.
The conditions were surprisingly dry and by Scottish standards almost dusty. But this shouldn't last long.
Just in time for the sunset on Friday evening the sky opened its gates and it rained until the start of the race on Saturday morning.
So, the conditions were pleasantly Scottish, and we were allowed to complete seven stages in finest mud on day one of the race.
After about 40 minutes of effective race time, Jörg found himself in sixth place in the category 40+ and I had reached tenth place in the class Male (16-39). The second race day started with more friendly weather, so that even some sunbeams broke through every now and then.
The still wet trails were not necessarily easier to ride because the drier mud became tougher and more sticky and so man and machine weighed heavily.
Jörg apparently found the perfect conditions for a chase to catch up and so he was able to fight his way up to third place in the stage ranking after a few mad stage times. Finally, this got him third place in the overall results, thus on the podium.
For me, the day was a little less lucky and so, after a few minor mistakes, I only finished the day's classification as 19th, which made me 13th in the overall ranking. All in all, a good result and even more important a lot of fun with great people and a perfect organization.
It was remarkable how neither the riders nor the Scottish spectators let the weather take away their pleasure and had a good time together on the muddy festival meadow with or without rubber boots. So, if you want to enjoy challenging trails in your next holiday, the Tweed Valley is the place to be for you and you will feel very welcome. But I can also recommend a road trip through the Highlands and the Isle of Sky. Bring along spare brake pads.
If you are lucky, the sun will shine when it´s time to return home.