Albany Urban DH
The weekend of 21/22 June has made the history books, with the inaugural Albany Urban Downhill! Despite my hotel's tourist brochure boasting of Albany's renowned year-round 'perfect cycling weather', horrendous conditions ensued! But it couldn't keep the competitors or the crowd from coming out to celebrate a fantastic event!
The urban features consisted of double-black diamond ramps, gap jumps, car jumps, wall rides, shipping containers and stair cases, all erected the morning of the race and promptly dismantled at the conclusion of the race - which was an impressive engineering feat in itself! The final step down off the walkway had to be abandoned due to intense cross-winds on the day, so thankfully the brave boys made good use of it at Saturday night's Whip Competition. And I've heard rumours of whip competitions becoming the norm at future downhill races...
Apart from the course, perhaps the greatest aspect of the weekend was the families coming out and getting excited about the Mountain Bike action on their streets. Kids were cheering and getting up close to some spectacular local riding talent. The event really brought the local community on board, with businesses even sponsoring the trail features! Dave Marshall, the Albany Mountain Bike Club, all the volunteers and supporters all deserve a huge congratulations and thanks for bringing mountain biking closer to the community and being an inspiration to all of us trail advocates (and perhaps future urban downhillers)!
Louise Wallace, WAMBA President
Photo: Sam Hill on his way to first place by Jon Lloyd