DIRTY SANTA 2019
Event Name: DIRTY SANTA
Event Date: 8th November 2019
Event Organiser: Trail Break
SWICK Riders In Attendance: Craig, Robbie & Bazza
What is DIRTY SANTA [according to the website]?
“Head out into the Surrey Hills for a frantic festive hack on some superb winter trails. 55 & 30km distance options will be available*, all fully signposted, with all the usual top level Trail Ride support and infrastructure their to compliment your ride. In addition there will be a manned feed station on route handing out tea and mince pies, plus Xmas goodies for finishers, including a limited edition Dirty Santa woven badge and a specially brewed Dirty Santa bottled beer!**
The routes will as ever, be chosen to give you the very best ride for the time of year, and along with full route marking, you get maps, GPS files, full rider timing and on site catering to make it great day out!"
Prizes and Giveaways are available to participants; “Collect your free Dirty Santa beer, Kendal Mintcake protein recovery sachet and finishers medal at the finish by handing in your wrist band. And check to see if you’ve won anything in our great Lezyne prize draw too! Prizes will be given out at random from the Results Desk. Check your ride time on the results screen to see if you’ve won (if your name is highlighted yellow, you’ve won a prize!). Event photos will be hosted on our Facebook page and photo competition prizes for Best Outfit, Best Decorated Bike and Dirtiest Santa will be awarded and sent out post event.”
After a night of no sleep for the majority of the team (due to work Xmas parties and socialising / partying) and a general lack of sleep due to the excessive wind and rain pounding everyone houses on the Saturday night… its safe to say SWICK riders were a bit ‘groggy’ come Sunday morning!!
However- everyone was up at 6am to get ready and out the house to travel to participate in DIRTY SANTA!!
Event start time was 9am to 10am, with riders being set off in ‘bunches’ at 5min intervals. Long & short course riders started at the same time- with the route criss-crossing one another at various points.
The weather was great- cold, but bright.
The event HQ / Registration / Start & Finish was located at: “Tillingbourne Junior School, New Rd, Chilworth, Guildford. GU4 8NB”. Easy to find using GPS postcode, supplemented by ‘road sign posts’ as you got nearer the venue. There was reasonable parking on site- however this quickly filled up and spilled into the local roads and houses… but no major issues. Toilets etc were readily available at the start. Registration was super-efficient… once the riders attached their number boards, and ankle timing tags everyone was ready to go!
SWICK set off on the ‘long route’ around 9:40.
The ride started with a short road segment, followed by some trails taking you up into the Surrey Hills. Overall the general consensus was of being ultra-impressed by the route. Something for everyone: some long technical hills which really tested the legs; single track with flowy sections; road sections; and some superb views to reward you… there was even an ‘unofficial water section’ aka a path which turned into a river!!
Aside from the river section- (which was fun & helped clean the bikes- TIP: remember waterproof socks!), the course itself weathered surprisingly well. There was minimal “boggy unpleasant mud” places, and although everyone finished ‘caked’ in Mud- this was largely due to spray from the trails and roads etc. Considering there was a full night of unpleasant rain before hand- it was running well!!
Midway round the route was a ‘refuelling stop’- including hot mince pies, bananas, energy drink, fig rolls biscuits, jelly babies!! Energy drink top up, and tea & coffee we also readily available. This was a welcome stop.
On finishing the ride- everyone had to cross the timing board. This meant what coloured medal each rider would receive. There were ‘time target’ ranges to finish within - e.g. Gold, Silver, Bronze. Everyone got given a tasty Beer & protein / recovery drinks sachet.
SWICK did the whole event in 3hours 44mins (-ish)… however, it was not ridden at a race pace (actual “moving time” was under 3 hours). It was a relaxed ride, including; plenty of conversations with fellow riders and helping fix another riders’ unfortunate breakdown. The team riders each individually clocked just under 3000 ft of climbing, (including 3 x Category 4 climbs). Distance wise the long route was around 27.5 miles (44 km), so a little short of the 55km stated online (note 45km stated in riders pack).
SWICK’s aim of participating in this ride was to explore more of Surrey Hills, find new routes and see what there is to offer. This ride did not disappoint- in fact there is talk about returning next year. It was one of the best organised rides SWICK has experienced. The atmosphere was fun & light hearted- with rider’s of all abilities taking part.