Joe Barnes Euro Blog - Part Three
September 05 2011
Joe Barnes and the Dudes of Hazard have been trucking for some time now and after van issues in Chamonix, they continue on their merry trip of adventure. Along the road Joe's sending updates, a sneak peak of what we'll see when the movie of their travels is ready this autumn...
It has been a while sine the last report and a lot has happened. Last time we were stranded in Chamonix with a broken van and races to be getting to. Long to short we got spannering on the van and fitted a new water pump in the sports centre car park and made it to the next race in Alp D'uez (Oz) the following weekend. The next few weeks passed very quickly, racing a Euro DH cup, two World Cups and lots of gid (good) single track decents.
The trip definitely picked up on the arrival of Fergy-baby and the lure of the drive to Sweden. The catch phrase of the summer (f*ck it boys we're going to Sweden") was about to come true. We finished off Val Di Sole World Cup and driving down the road we were in two minds, throwing in ideas of just going to Morzine down the road or going home. "F*ck it boys we're going to Sweden".
Looking just like home on route through Sweden.
I am not going to lie, the drive was not too pleasant. a good 2100 miles of straight trucking. A good chance to test out the new air conditioning pipe for the tranny through hot Germany and then over the ferry and the remarkably Scottish like drive through Sweden. After a night and a large bonfire beside the Baltic Sea we headed over to Are for the Maxi Avalanche enduro race. After catching up with some friends we set about learning the race course. It's a different style of practice to DH, looking for over takes, protecting inside lines and then just knowing your way down is good. The track was great fun with a good mix of singletrack and open rocky sections. After some rain and general autumnal conditions the track was pretty muddy. In my Quali run I was sitting good in second when my mech hanger pulled off in a rut and I had to walk it home to tenth, not ideal for my grid position the following day.
Joe making good use of his Orange Patriot on this summer's roadtrip
In finals I fought through the field and was making the pass for 4th after Al Stock crashed, but then his bike caused me to flip over the bars and my brake lever snapped off. The race was a disaster for me but was a great laugh and practice for the series next year. Fellow "Dudes" man Liam-man had a great race to finish 9th for his best result this year.
The last week has been a highlight for me, after a couple of days freeriding it up in Are we hit the road to Norway and have generally just faffed about for a week. Driving until we see a bridge then getting the dig depth test stick off the roof, giving the water a prod and then hucking it. Doctors orders for the knee stop me from the good ones but as chief stick man I still feel required.
Scaring the locals, Fergus Lamb floats a naked belly flop
We have ridden some sketchy Norweigen walkers paths and had a good fire of an evening. The weather has been pretty mixed and the van has started to smell a bit (not that it didn't before) but we are making the most of the last week away and have just arrived in Hafjell bike park for a weekend's riding before the truck home.
Almost forgot to mention, a scooter has been obtained and we no longer have to walk anywhere anymore. Yes.