Jim Barrow's Battle On The Beach - Kinesis Bikes
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JIM BARROW'S BATTLE ON THE BEACH

Battle on the Beach 2016 Race Report

After last year's awesome Battle on the Beach I was up early on January the first, making sure I got my place in this years event. Just as well as it sold out in under 24 hours!

Last year I rode my Kinesis Sync with a rigid fork, it was great but I found it was lacking in a bit of top end along the beach.

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Video from last year's event: Battle on the Beach 2015

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This year I thought I'd try my Tripster ATR, while it may not be quite as quick through the singletrack I knew it would be great along the beach and as most of the singletrack is pretty smooth I knew I could go for it on it.

We rode a practice lap in the afternoon and I soon found that the deeper sand sections were pretty hard with the thinner tyres, but with a bit of momentum and keeping the cadence up it was looking like a good choice.

The evening came round and we had all entered the Battle in the Dark evening race. This time being set off at 30 second intervals to avoid a dark pile up! I set off and for once was feeling amazing, picking people off all the way along the beach I was looking forward to getting into the singletrack. Through the first singletrack section quickly and up the second short climb I was blocked by someone who stopped suddenly, unable to unclip I comedy tumbled into the undergrowth, I got up and moving again quickly. Up the next climb I shifted into bottom gear and BANG, my rear mech snapped off. I guess I bent the hanger in my tumble. I was only a couple of minutes from the finish and walked to the end with the bike on my shoulder, meeting the boyz at the end and headed straight for the bar!

So the following morning I went to the kinesis stand in search of a mech hanger, mental note; take a spare next time, they didn't have one though. Bruce very kindly offered me a lend of the Kinesis Phase for the race and I was happy to be back in the game.

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I've not had a chance to ride the Phase so was looking forward to giving it a spin, it looks just like all super fun hardtails do, big tyres, big forks and super slack. Just riding it back to my car to set it up I could tell it was going to be a hoot in the singletrack.

Twelve o'clock came round and we were all lined up on the beach, I guess I was about a third of the way back, the gun went and we were off! It soon became apparent that only having a double on the front was going to be a bit of a handicap along the sand, I tucked into a group and drafted my way along as fast as my legs could spin. I was waiting for the singletrack and once on it it was clear where my fun would come from on this event, the Phase just ripped it's way through it. I'm already a convert to plus sized bikes so I knew that I could lean it over and really let the tyres do their work to keep me on the trail no matter how mad I was.

The singletrack sections were the highlight of each lap and although overall I was slower than last year I enjoyed blasting the last part of each lap, especially the roller coaster section towards the end of the lap where I could just go brakes off and pedal through like mad.

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So a good weekend, I'll definitely be back next year. Now I want to get my hands on the Phase to try it on my local trails....

Cheers,

Jimbo

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'Battle on the Beach' and 'Battle in the Dark' images are now online Anthony Pease Photography

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