Innerleithen MTB Racing are for 2011 putting on the Proper Mountain Bike Series. It features an enduro, a push-up downhill and the traditional Alistair Lees Memorial TT.

First up was the enduro. The basic idea of this is timed descents from the highest point of the downhill tracks, riding back to the top. There is a time limit on the total time, but I doubt you’d have problems with that even on a DH bike.

I entered, and only having the one MTB at the moment, I used a XC race hardtail with 100mm SIDs on it. Most other people were on 5-6” travel bikes, probably the ideal machine.

The first stage had a rough start followed my a more mellow second half. The second stage was flat to begin with, went through the Plora Craig rock gardens, then finished on the super steep ‘Classic’ section. The third was down some of the easier DH runs.

I went very early, and posted a time just under 27 minutes. The fastest chaps were doing it in 18 minutes, and fellow XCers on more appropriate bikes were doing it in around 20. I was a little disappointed with the result, but had to be objective about it given the handicap the bike provided.

On the other hand, it was possibly one of the best MTB events I have ever taken part in. The atmosphere and banter with other competitors was spot on, the riding (including the climbs) was fantastic, and the organisation was clockwork.