Sunday, 15 August 2010

15/08/2010

Chase the Sun: 7 hour

I was a little cheeky at the start, arriving late and slotting myself in the very front row of the race. By the time we were on to the course proper I'd settled somewhere into the top 30 or so riders. The course was essentially a reversal of the last round's loop, so once again featured a heap of long flat fire road. Thankfully I found myself near Mikkeli Godfree (editor of enduro mag) who judging from his tempered speed was also a solo rider. I felt the pace was maybe a scootch high given how long the race was, but I dismissed the thought as I knew things would settle down once the first few laps were done.

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About 3/4 of the way around the first lap my rear tyre started to feel squishy, very squishy. I stopped and performed one of the slowest tube changes in history. Needless to say, I was no longer in the top 30 by the time I was finished and back under way.

Like always, I found it hard to be motivated after losing a bunch of time to something silly, but a line from a TV ad seemed to ring true. "Character is what happens when no one else is watching", so I set about riding a sensible tempo and seeing who I could chase down.

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Who's a good boy?

The rain came through several times, each lap the course would be quite different, old lines would now be bog holes of death, new roots would have emerged, a rut that didn't exist before, now crossed the apex of a turn. All the recent fatties rides served me well and I worked on ensuring I was a driver and not a passenger through the sketchy parts. A photo taken by Tim Arch shows that I didn't always succeed in staying calm and in control. :D

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The reason why I only consumed 3 bottles the entire race.

One area of the course was faring badly with the rain. A piece of straight, false flat, fire road was getting chopped up and very wide. It was here around lap 4 that Simon Moody chased me down, and threatened to drop me as quickly as he did at the last CTS. I kept him in sight on the fire roads and closed the gap on a short punchy climb. The "lead" changed a few times in the next 5-10km, until I took the shorter line over a big pile of logs on an uphill, giving myself a few metres of breathing space. From there I used a bunch of tickets to ensure I crossed the line in ahead of him, but I loved every second of it. :D

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They changed the course around the 5 hour mark, it cut out the sloppy fire road and a nasty climb I only managed to clean on my first lap. Instead of that terrible pair we had one long arse, mind numbing, grind up a fire road, it was tough but it was rideable.

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The nasty climb.

On my 6th lap, I caught Mikkeli, I honestly thought I'd never see him again during the race, so it gave me a fair boost of confidence to get around him and ride out of sight.

The last lap was a bit off the pace, many people had pulled the pin due to the weather, so there were few rabbits to chase, which meant that my tired aching legs weren't able to be convinced to push hard.

The highlight of my day was on the first lap a dude mono'd straight through some upright wooden barriers. It was so fluid and natural it took my brain a minute to realise what he'd just done. Despite wishing not to slow down and do an unco bar wiggle to get through, I knew I'd cream a knee if I tried.

15th out of 56 open solo men. Not fantastic, but not too horrible. Mostly I was happy to get a good long race in, it's the longest solo one I've done so far. Full results are here, I'm at the bottom of page 5.

Tim Arch had a couple other photos that I like. I'd like to think this was my attitude/demeanour all day. This was just after I finished the race, having done the last km with a flat back tyre.

D: 99.2km (kilomuds?)
A: 2,135m

PMPW: 95kg

3 comments:

Diesel said...

Love your wit mate. Very descriptive blog although maybe you make it sound a bit more fun than it was. Pitty about your flat. Your one chance finally to give me a hiding! Never a next time. ;)

Neil Robinson said...

Dude, it was fun! All the team riders in transition, looked mighty unhappy.

If getting loose on even a straight bit of trail isn't enough to bring a smile to your face, surely seeing 65kg whippets in absolute misery should. :D

Diesel said...

Ur right. It was fun. I was smiling whilst getting loose on those very straight bits of trail right up to the point where I went down.. twice. Started questioning the skills! Loving the layer of fat on a day like that one.