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  • Steve

Ard Rock 2023; a retrospective.

Ard Rock 2023 was a great event. We got to meet a lot of people; many riders as well as some new faces from the trade.

It was a very friendly and well run event with seemingly most 'i's dotted and 't's crossed. (We even had to submit our risk assesement for the gazebo/tent several times before finally getting the thumbs up.)

There were lots of stands to visit with some interesting products. We took it in turns to man the stand but, personally, I still failed to to try out any demo bikes or to get round to talk to all the other traders.

The King of the Mountain stand. We featured a few props to help explain hubs, how they work and what makes our Xeno hub layout so different to all the others. Some of these subjects are explored on other blogs.

Ard Rock happens annualy in the North York Moors. At the time of writing this it's too early to enter the riding events next year (but keep an eye on the date tickets go on sale as they usually sell out very quickly.) For more event information look at the Ard Rock web site.

Use the postcode DL11 6AW if you want to have a look at the area on Google Maps.

There are loads of photos and content on-line about the riding this year. We didn't manage to get out on any bikes so we can only report on what we saw at the event field.

On the first day the queue to register gave some idea of the number of riders.

The numbers at registration gave an indication of the number of riders. 5500 entrants we were told. (See bottom of this blog for official stats.)

Once the riders left for the trails we did not see them again for hours. On such a long course the advantages of e-bikes was clear to see; they were first back.

Other attractions

In the meantime there were other attractions at the expo field. The airbag was very popular, mostly with youngsters. There was always a big queue of riders to get up the scaffold ski-jump ramp that lead down to take off. It looked quite frightening just landing on the airbag, even without the back flip. Fortunately it all seemed fairly low risk providing your bike didn't land on your head.

Later the airbag was rolled back and the Long Jump started.

However, when the airbag was rolled back and the ramp reduced slightly, the destruction really started. The competition was called, "Long Jump." You may have seen those slow motion huck to flat videos. Well this was far worse. The height some managed to get off the ramp was truly impressive. But the arrival back on the ground looked brutal in some cases.

Great to see the girls flying too.

Unlikely to beat the best jump so far (white line) but he should ride it out.

There were oohs, aargs and groans from the crowd punctuated with sharp cracks, the sound of breaking bike frames (rather than bones) followed by screams from the riders. (Some of the audience, especially parents, found it hard to watch while others just counted the broken frames four, five, maybe more.)

Faster higher further. What could possibly go wrong?

Closer to the line but did he ride it out? Well not really. (Best wishes to the rider. I hope he is fully recovered now.)

One of the other exhibitors comented to me, "I would have like to have seen the risk assessment for that." The weather got worse but a sense of humour was maintained which was just as well.

Sunday: Rain Rain Rain.

Some guys just can't resist riding through muddy puddles!

People did abandon. Even some on e-bikes, but those who made it round seemed to be pleased with themselves. So I think they 'enjoyed' it and certainly felt they had achieved something.

So what were the stats for Ard Rock 2023?

Ard rock quoted some stats after the event but here are some of the main ones plus a few nice postcards from various riders.

Lots of riders.

Lots of campers and traders

Lots of people but I think some feet must have been counted more than once!

He'll be back!

Fun in the mud.

Less muddy on some days

The performers on stage were great too.

That's all folks!

Bye from Ard Rock That's all for 2023. Time for a shower!

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