The Girl On A Bike tackles my first British Extreme Enduro Championship [BEEC] at Cowm Quarry

How it happened

With a thirst for hard extreme enduro having survived the Valley’s Xtreme [read more here] I realised I needed a way to fuel the new found addiction… introducing the British Extreme Enduro Championship [BEEC].

Having recently levelled up my riding from the 2020 Husqvarna 150i to the 250i I was ready to tackle Cown…or at least that’s what I hoped.

British Extreme Enduro finisher Vanessa Ruck

BEEC Cown Leisure

The BEEC, a five-round championship, is designed to push both riders and their bikes to the limits. After a very slippery round 1 at Tong, Cowm Leisure hosted round two offering a multi-terrain mega circuit of an old quarry. The quarry provided growling hill climbs, huge rocky technical sections, bogs and some downhills to make even the bravest stomachs go wobbly. It’s a favourite with many different riders from the top extreme riders in the world down to the everyday rider wanting to show their abilities in the tough conditions.

Here’s a track walk of Cowm to see what the riders were up against:

The event hosts a two-hour morning race for Sportsman, Sportsman Vets and Youth and a two-and-a-half-hour afternoon race for Clubman, Elite Vets, Experts and Championship. This year saw the two big guns of British Extreme Enduro, Billy Bolt and Jonny Walker go head to head in an epic battle of supremacy with Storm Dennis showing his hand too and making a full-on test of stamina and nerve.

For more see: Fast Eddy https://www.facebook.com/groups/eddysxtremeenduro

Ladies out in force

It was fantastic to see multiple women out there riding. Including Chloe Richardson riding the PM race and finishing a very respectable 42nd! Other females in the AM race included Rose Roswett,  Brook Johnson and me, Vanessa Ruck. It felt amazing to be riding among other ladies, however, the female portion still look up a tiny percentage of the total riders.

Recent posts:

Cowm Round 2 in a few words

Wet and windy, steep and aggressive, and definitely a crowd pleaser with many sections giving a serious displace of bike acrobatics…including full back flips, loop outs and completely bogged down mud roosting.

Did I finish?

Hell yeah I finished! Marshals and spectators a like reported hearing my little whoops of delight after surviving tricky sections and by the end I was absolutely buzzing. I was exhausted and wet but the thrill of making it and actually thoroughly enjoying it  is like nothing else. Still new to hard enduro finding my race pace is something I’m working on. I tackled Cowm gently, and as a result managed to finish without burning out. However, I’ve still not found my balance. A bit more aggression for round 3 will have a good few minutes off my time.

Before the race I set my sights on two goals:

  1. Making a lap – which would involve successfully navigating every kill climb, rock and descent to complete the course
  2. Then, if I managed a lap…I wanted to make 4 before the two hours was up.

I manged four laps placing me 37th in the AM sportsman race.

One might naturally think that with each lap the riding gets easier and easier, you’ve done it before, figured out the line and can repeat…right? However, with a race in such gruelling conditions and a named Storm Dennis throwing his weight in too, the track was changing dramatically with every lap. Two particularly nasty downhills absolutely terrified me. Every lap forcing me to kick myself to get down them. They were step, curved and had huge rocks that lay there waiting to have you off. By lap four they were ever trickier and no less horrific. In fact, one actually had a medic on permanent station due to the falls. Thankfully I wasn’t one of its meals!

Finish line feeling

Crossing the line saw me covered in mud, my bike had half a clutch level, a wobbly rear brake pad and a broken spoke but my body was in one piece and my mind was on fire with adrenaline. The course definitely pushed us like you would expect with extreme enduro. I was satisfied and over the moon to have finished. And with March marking the 6 year anniversary to my life changing accident it was an incredible feeling standing there covered in mud and sweat knowing I’d made it. I’d finished a British Extreme Enduro Championship round.

But… as I stood there, I also knew I could do better! Time to recover, refuel and crack on with training. It’s also time to get some proper Acerbis protection on my poor bike, which took a beating.

2020 season goals

I’m going to continue with the ACU Michelin British Enduro Championship [BEC] and the British Extreme Enduro Championship [BEEC] in reparation for RedBull Romaniacs Iron in the IRideWess hard enduro series. I’m riding a 2020 Husqvarna 250i and will be training harder in more extreme conditions. Let the training continue!

More than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story here plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me, Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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