Emerald MTB Mountain Biking in Ireland

Killaloe Gravity Enduro 2019

Some video footage from each of the five stages at this year’s Gravity Enduro in Killaloe.

This is the second time I’ve ridden at Killaloe and they must be some of my favourite trails in the country. Each of the 5 stages was different.

Stage 1, also known as the Trail of Three Halves starts right at the top of the hill after a long fire road slog to the top. The upper ‘half’ is in the open with lots of open turns and small jumps. Once you cross the fire road the trail dives into the forest, where it becomes very tight and twisty. With the right technique, I imagine this is a very fast trail, unfortunately, my cornering skills need some work and I struggled to maintain my momentum.

Stage 2 required a bit of an uphill hike a bike, which was a little tortuous on race day as it was warm and humid. But the trail through the trees, even if I wasn’t particularly quick, was great fun. Further down some ruts and steps required some confidence and quick reflexes to conquer.

The third stage was a little more open but still through the forest. A very fast trail but with some tricky rock sections thrown in to keep us on our toes. In practice I’d spotted the line through the biggest of the rock sections and was all prepared to hit it, only to fall off right before it! Rather than waste time trying to get back on the bike and set up to roll through the rocks, I picked up the bike and ran through it before remounting further down.

Stages 4 and 5 were my favourites of the weekend. Loamy forest sections with fast straights and steep drops. Stage 4 was amazing on race day, but unfortunately, I pushed a bit too hard on the final stage and managed to come off twice.

Not a great result, about par with my previous efforts. Maybe if I had managed to stay on my bike a bit more I could have finished higher. I certainly felt like my pace and confidence were higher than last year. But even so, what an awesome weekend riding bikes on incredible trails with friends old and new.

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