Saturday, 6 November 2010


Gravity 12 hour:
Before the race doing a pair with Ryan seemed like a good idea, heck riding single speeds seemed like a good idea. In hindsight it wasn't a bad idea either, it was my opinion during the race that's the odd one out. It hurt, remind me to gear down or even bring a gearie next year. Wait, am I really talking about next year already? That is keen.

I volunteered for the start lap, but was caught out in a bit of a foot-traffic-jam, I took passes where I could but came in a bit further back than I felt I should be, still 15th overall wasn't a shocking start.

The next two laps passed without a lot of incident, I was clearing all the climbs on a 2:1 ratio by carrying as much speed into them as i could, then when things got tough just grinding out the one legged deadlifts. The 3rd lap did see me start to ride a bit more like a SS racer, accelerating the gear up to speed and then tucking and letting it coast on the flat open sections.

The next few laps is where things started to test me, the sun despite giving us a mild low 20s day seemed to have a bit of bite to it. My legs despite being pretty and looking like those of someone in their mid 20s were lacking a bit of bite. I backed the speed back a notch or two to ensure I would still be alive at the end of the day.

I used the doubts that arose here as an opportunity to train myself against them. To review each one in a harsh light and dismiss it with prejudice. Everyone hurts, my pain was not unique. I could finish, I'd proven so many times. I was able to ride this hill, I did it last lap.


When the voices were starting to get the upper hand we started to get some good news, we'd crept from 5th in pairs up to 4th. Even more incredibly we'd progressed overall from 15th up to 13th. It didn't stop there though, as night was approaching we quickly went through 3rd up into 2nd (11th overall).

Suddenly, despite the failing light, the day looked very bright. I had only two laps to go and not only were we on the podium we'd done so on single speeds.

I shoved some extra sugar and caffeine into my gob and hit the course with some renewed vigour. One lap at dusk without lights, one lap after with them. My legs were threatening to cramp, my hands were red and sore, my back ached but my mind soared. I came through with ~10 minutes in the race and a 15 minute gap on 3rd. Ryan to his credit still went out for another one, which due to 1st place not going out again, put us on the same lap as them.

If we hadn't stood on the podium I would have pretty much written this race off. Ryan had the upper hand in speed all day, his smaller gear was definitely the right choice. That's not the case though, we did get up for a result, so it's neigh on impossible for me to now feel anything other than pride (and fuck off tiredness) with how it all went.

D: 102.5km
A: 2,505m


sole Devotion said...

tough guy~!

BK said...

One speed? Here? Owwww, you bet!
Well done big fella.

Diesel said...

Nice Neil. Love it. Hope to join you up there next year. Glad to know you're talking about it already.