Escape to Gisburn – Did You Make It?

Published on: Oct 01 2013 by Jon Swift

NigeSunday saw the first major mountain bike event at Gisburn in a while, and the sun shone. Borderline Events sponsored by Escape Bikes put on a 3 stage Enduro taking in key sections of the existing trails and a brand new off piste stage created just for the event. With 280 entries and over 250 turning up on the day we had a really good field of riders competing in 7 different categories.

Riders started to arrive on the Saturday as the course was being taped out, camping was available on site next to the Forest Den Cafe but the main action started on Sunday. The morning was dedicated to practice runs with most riders making a circuit of the full course followed the three timed stages in the afternoon.

The first stage was on the volunteer built Homebaked section of trail, starting from 

the top of the descent, much to the disgust of a number of riders who rode the ascent flat out during practice! The line ran down the twists and turns of this tight section before taking in the staircase bypass (controversial move there from Kev Duckworth, course engineer, according to Kev the bypass is actually harder to ride at speed than the staircase so more of challenge, I can’t disagree as I don’t ride the staircase at speed full stop) crossing the fireroad and plunging into Shortcut. The stage end took in the rocky drop and berm jump to end at the blue trail on the railway line. Riders started off at 12:20 at 30 second intervals with the last riders clearing the start 2 hours later.

ETG05Stage 2 was the new purpose built line that nearly didn’t happen. Work had started to clear the original choice of line only to discover it was in the middle of a section slated for felling. It’s amazing how much damage a tree harvester can do. Kev, Nick Moor, Ste Tomlinson, Tim Dixon and Daniel Shaw then had six weeks to select and build a new line, finishing touches were made at 5:30 on the Saturday, it was a tad close. The line started on the gravel pile at the top of switch back climb before coming down hill and into the trees. It then crossed some temporary boardwalk to access the fire road before heading off to Bottoms. This time it was the alternate route that was closed with riders tackling the full rooty goodness of this section (not such a controversial choice by Kev that time). The stage finished after the final berms (which meant a rather steep short climb after the roots, that got a few moans).

Stage 3 again made use of volunteer built single track of the Swoopy section. Starting up on the fire road the first section is smooth and fast before becoming more technically challenging as the swoops get bigger and the penalty for missing the trail more severe. At the mega swoop both chicken run and main line were open for riders to choose (Kev mixing it up a bit this time and sitting on the fence). Quickly across the fire road and into Park Wood to finish the stage as the trail starts to climb after the S berm. The last of the riders were through before 4pm and making their way back to the hub for cakes (coffee renoirs and lemon drizzle cake were staples at the Forest Den cafe) and the podium photos.

The day was pretty relaxed in format and management (the marshals were still on lunch as riders got to stage 2) but went pretty well. Only one serious accident resulting in a broken arm during practice and nothing to report during racing. Rider feed back has been pretty good with people asking when next year’s event will be. Well nothing firm yet but Mike Marsden of Borderline Events and the volunteers were pretty up for it next year and started to discuss possibilities before the EZ-Ups were down. Kev already has half a dozen ideas for new lines and stages. Financially the day panned out really well with all the costs more than covered which means there will be a donation back to the Gisburn Volunteers / PMBA for trail development as well as money heading to the FC. The Forest Den Cafe also reported record takings so smiles all around (especially when they gave the last few coffee renoirs to Nick and Terry for free).

Category Winners

Overall 1st Lee Kermode ETGP04
2nd Jack Reading
3rd Matthew Howson
Pro 1st Lee Kermode
2nd Jack Reading
3rd Sam Flannagan
Senior 1st Matt Rushton
2nd Ben Clarke
3rd Matt Ineson
Master 1st Matthew Howson
2nd Jan Czugalinski
3rd Nigel Pilling
ETGP03 Veteran 1st Marcus Jones
2nd Richard Ellis
3rd Gary Britton
Under 18 1st Joe Harrison
2nd Dan Farley
3rd Peter Hook
Women 1st Sarah Newan
2nd Helen Gaskell
3rd Angela Coates

Full results can be found at SPORTident.

All pictures are courtesy of Nick Moor,, avid trail builder and photographer. Nick took over four hundred photos and has uploaded them to for you to peruse and purchase. He’s even gone through and tagged them all for you. Here’s a few more of Nick’s Photos.

Stage 2 – Bottoms Stage 3 – Swoopy
Stage 3 – Swoopy

Under 18s Podium Masters Podium
Pro Podium Veteran Podium

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