What's The Nutcracker
Long story short, “The Nutcracker” was born in 2010. It was the end result of various ideas from founders James & Adey to restore competitive mountain biking to the North of England. Just another regional series you ask? Not a chance! The Nutcracker takes mountain biking back to its roots. Off the beaten track, natural terrain, lung busting climbs and exhilarating descents. That’s not to say we don’t visit the odd trail centre. But don’t expect those courses to follow the trail markers; Each course Adey designs is absolutely unique and crafts the best the terrain has to offer to give you, the rider the race of your life!
Who Are We?
James is usually the one stood with some paperwork, having a natter on the walkie-talkie and looking busy. We’re still not sure what he really does but he tells us without him, the races simply wouldn’t happen. Don’t know about that!
When he’s not stalking through woods looking for some virgin single-track or fettling the Nutcracker Team bikes, Adey is found on the trials bike making sure the course is safe and the riders are getting around okay. He’s also a World Champion Track Cyclist don’t you know?!
The guy running half way across the course chasing some loose tape? That’ll be Matt. He keeps everything running smooth; keeping the course in check, the marshals in check, and making sure everyone’s been fed (very important!)
Resident spreadsheet man, Rob is found sheltering under the timing tent and when the weekend is over and you’re enjoying a hot shower or a hearty meal, he is crunching lap times and race results. Or Photoshopping the next race poster.
Brad is instrumental in helping us setup the courses and event village and also doubles as our Chief Marshal on race day. When he’s not on Nutcracker duty he’s usually at the velodrome sculpting his thighs. It’d be a much harder job without him.
And possibly most important of all, our race weekends wouldn’t happen without the involuntary help of our other halves. Joyce, Laura and Helen take care of all the hard work sorting out all you riders and keeping everyone happy.
Why Do We Do It?
Ever seen a race organiser arrive in a Ferrari? Thought not. The thing that keeps us coming back year after year is you guys. No seriously! The joy on your grinning, muddy faces as you tell stories of your racing at the end of another Nutcracker is what makes us tick. To hear feedback on how many of you enjoyed the course, thought that descent was ‘sick’, ‘lost a lung’ on that climb or just generally had a right laugh is fantastic to us. It makes all the hard work worthwhile. We just wish we could race them ourselves!
And when we do make a bit of money? We pump it straight back into our junior development team: Nutcracker Racing. The Legacy of the Nutcracker Series is that we are funding the future of up and coming British mountain biking talent. In the 5 years we have been running the series we have helped produce two National Champions, Michael Thompson and Frazer Clacherty from our works team Nutcracker Racing. And we now look forward to 2015 where we wait in anticipation to see how our junior stars do this year!
Our events rely on the thankless involvement of our team of volunteer marshalls. Most of the guys who support us are regulars, and come back race after race to spend the day stood in a muddy field in the wind and rain to keep all you riders safe! Give them a cheer when you pass them – it makes them feel appreciated and keeps them coming back to pick you guys up when you fall off, which you will. Watch out for veteran marshall Ian – if you blink you’ll miss him as he’ll blend seamlessly into his surroundings in full camo-gear! Also keep an eye out for Big Adi and Louise – husband and wife team who are always smiling and cheering as you go past. Forget Fireman Sam – we’ve got Fireman Steve. Hopefully there will be no fires for him to fight during the course of our events, but he loves nothing more than watching you guys take a comedy tumble! Then there’s Peter, who keeps getting volunteered by wife Jill before he can back out! We feel your pain, Peter! These are just a few of the guys who regularly help out, and we really couldn’t do it without any of them.