ENDURO magazine is excited to announce that we have become media partner for the UK Gravity Enduro series. Steve Parr has recently moved close to our fastest test rider and contributor, Andrew Cooper. So with first round of the UKGE i
Fast approaching in just over a week we sent Coop round to sit down and have a chat about a few things we can expect in the up and coming season.

Steve now has views of the Shropshire hills.
Steve now has views of the Shropshire hills.

Congratulations on the birth of you daughter, what’s it like becoming a father?

Many thanks from Liz, myself and Imogen. The birth was amazing, Liz was so strong through it all and our first feeling wass of ‘WOW, this shit just got real!’ Reality hit’s very quickly when the midwife tells you there is a problem. She was then taken in an ambulance to an ICU unit and put into an incubator. We spent the first six days of her life in hospital; not the start we had hoped for! We are now back at our new home and Imogen is getting stronger every day, Liz is going to make a great Mummy. Me on the other hand will be waiting, baseball in hand for the first boyfriend who steps out of line!

A proud man, new father and new house with Liz. He's been a busy chap!
A proud man, new father and new house with Liz. He’s been a busy chap!

Having just moved to Shropshire, will this make things easier at the races?

Yeah we finally got into the Shire, into a lovely, run-down, stone cottage; it will certainly make it easier for the Welsh rounds. It also means I have hills out my front door to get my fitness back at long last.

How did the 2014 season go for the UKGE team?

What can we say about 2014, absolutely bloody amazing, finished off with the stunning round at Grizedale. The team we now have around us are really passionate like Charlie, Liz & myself. The real bombshell was BC dropping the Enduro format, WTF were they thinking?
This discipline is the way to increase their membership base and get bum’s on saddles racing, I know there are issues, but nothing that couldn’t be sorted by sitting down around a table. There was only one solution; form our own MTB federation in 2015.

Steve may also like a tipple of the local brew!
Steve may also like a tipple of the local brew!

How can you top this for 2015?

I’m Pretty sure we will struggle to top 2014, but we have a couple of new things for 2015, an improved timing system from Chris Roberts, new sponsors, more prizes, new venue, plus a National Champs and a season party type race on October 24th re-inventing an old format. Also the Billycan has a new set up, which we look forward to seeing and eating in!

Steve also is the happy owner of his very own large 'man cave!'
Steve also is the happy owner of his very own large ‘man cave!’

What’s you favorite venue that we will be visiting?

My favorite venue is a tie, Dyfi and Grizedale. Grizedale because of stages two and four finishing on Coniston Lake and Dyfi because it’s a man’s course. The locals are so helpful at Dyfi, big thanks as usual go to Tegid and his motley crew from Machynleth.

Steve will still be bringing the MDE's, Ancillottis and Shaman into the UK, as well as running a team and the UKGE.
Steve will still be bringing the MDE’s, Ancillottis and Shaman into the UK, as well as running a team and the UKGE.

What can we expect for national champs?

Probably the biggest stages and length of course we have ever put on, it will be worthy of the first ever Champs.

Are you excited to be media partners with us?

Who wouldn’t be, it will be a great outlet for us into Europe, plus it will highlight what UK enduro is all about. Giving the sponsors more coverage into greater market places, it’s a win win for all involved.

We shall be official media partners with UKGE for this season, exciting times indeed.
We shall be official media partners with UKGE for this season, exciting times indeed.

Do you have any new sponsors on board?

Yeah we have lots of them, big thanks goes to Paligap for bringing Amplifi into the fold as well as keeping Marin and ENVE onboard. The category sponsors has some new supporters as well, Sealskins, Stans, Ridgline (Tuscan holidays) Alpine attitude, Smith optics, DHaRCO (Australian clothing) the list goes on.

Podium backdrop 2015.
Podium backdrop 2015.

New for 2015 are the ‘Riders Representatives’, what are their roles?

This is great for the riders, Helen Gaskell for the girlies and James Green for the boy’s, both these riders have been with the series from the start. If any racer has a concern and wants to get this across, then he or she can go have a chat to the rider rep, they then come to us and a solution will be found. We take great care in setting up the race, but we do miss things; if we do hopefully the racers now have a way to pass this info back to us.

James Green, ripper and now Rider's rep.
James Green, ripper and now Rider’s rep.
Helen Gaskell, lady's representative.
Helen Gaskell, lady’s representative.

What’s the situation with helmet straps undone and helmets not on riders heads properly during transitions?

No rider is indestructible, if you fall off on a fire road (people do) it could be a lot worse than on a stage. So the answer is in the rules, first offence is a warning and second offence is a DQ. It’s quite simple you have one head, use it! I really don’t want to see pictures of Elite riders on fire-roads (Grizedale) with their full-face helmets purched right on the top of their heads, either on Saturday or Sunday. A roving marshal on an e-bike or motorbike will be at every venue checking this.

What would you say to the ‘keyboard warriors’ with regards to insurance abuse you have been receiving?

The keyboard World Champs, what a bunch of wankers on MTB forums, hiding behind the forum names, if only they could ride their bikes as fast as they can type! Why don’t they spend more time actually doing something instead of being an Internet Troll, they should get their arses out of their chairs and actually go organise something. They might understand some of the decisions organisers have to make then, good and bad. Over the past four years we have strived to improve and drive the discipline of enduro forward, we have not done a bad job of it thus far. I know my communications have not been amazing in the close season, I have apologized for this, having moved house, become a father, sorted sponsors and venues; all whilst still having a day job and trying to actually get out on my bike.
If any of the MTB forum Trolls would like to come say their comments to my face, we can go discuss it man to man out of sight of people!

Anybody you would like to thank?

I also need to say a massive thanks to Charlie Williams for pretty much sorting round one venue on his own, without him, Liz, Dominic, Ed, Rich, The Billycan, Chris Roberts and any marshals there would be no UKGE. All that remains to be said is see you at Triscombe folks.

Words: Andrew Cooper

Pics: Doc Ward

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