Roy Hunt: My Day at Big Dog - Kinesis Bikes
Roy Hunt: Kinesis X

Roy Hunt - My Day at Big Dog


ROY HUNT: MY DAY AT BIG DOG

Words by Roy Hunt

Brighton Big Dog is a highlight of the MTB racing calendar, famous for its great woodland singletrack race course, chilled arena vibes, tea and cake tent, up-beat commentary, finish line beers and mountains of prizes and trophies.

For me it's always worth the long drive down from Lancashire and because the race is a Saturday there is still Sunday to enjoy a day out in Brighton by the sea with the Mrs!

This year was going to have added excitement as I would be racing the new KinesisUK 'X' handtail, the bike I raced to a win at the Legends XC race in the Malverns Classic this summer on the weekend the bike was launched.

For Big Dog the folks at Upgrade Bikes had skinnyed up the build with some fast rolling Ritchey Shield 29x2.1 tyres and the LAUF TR29boost fork to get the weight of the 'X' build even lower for the hilly Big Dog course.


My Race started well and by the second lap I was in first place in the 50+ Solo category. Being a mass start 6hr race across all mixed categories it was important to go out hard and get clear track early on.


Roy Hunt: My Day at Big Dog

The tight, twisty, rooty trails in Stanmer Park are challenging both physically and on equipment. On my third lap I had an issue with the rear wheel which forced me to mix running the climbs and freewheeling the descents for about one third a lap. This was less than ideal but good training for the Cyclo Cross season at least!

Getting back to my KinesisUK trackside pits I had good help from the Pivot Boompods guys next door and one of them repaired the wheel quickly and I was back racing. I had only lost 20 minutes and slipped to 6th which was a surprise so it was 'Game On' again.


Roy Hunt: My Day at Big Dog on the Kinesis X

Big Dog is a 'short 6hr' race so any laps finished after 6pm will not count. With my lap times averaging 45mins there was no way I was going to get another one in when I came though at 5.25pm so it was time to finish there after nearly five and a half hours of hard racing and enjoy a Dark Star beer at the finish line festivities.

My final result was 4th in 50+ veteran Solo and although I narrowly missed a podium place I was pleased with the race. Apart from the wheel issue the 'X' performed fantastically well and was a real rocket ship on the climbs but also well mannored in the fast singletrack.

Being used to racing a Lauf fork, it was great to experience the new boost version which is certainly much stiffer laterally and was a great choice for the 'X' frame.


Roy Hunt: Kinesis X

Before the race started a lady from the audience gave a little speech about how her late husband, Nigel, had enjoyed Big Dog so much and won his 50+ age category last year. She asked us to enjoy our race and to spare a thought for Nigel and punch the air for him and do a lap in his honour.

I certainly did both and whilst my own race did not go entirely to plan, it reminded me of all the good times that mountain bike races like Brighton Big Dog give us and to be thankful for them every day.

What an awesome weekend.


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