Sunday, June 20, 2010

STM3 and Husky100

A big couple of weekends have just blown by, first with the STM3 7 hour at Yellowmundee and today the long awaited Husky100. The training is starting to pay dividends with two very satisfying results,
Yellowmundee was the race that might have been and after a good start, riding my Giant XTC 29 1 for the first time it was eating up the rocky trails and it certainly wasn’t slowing me down after setting the fastest lap in my category. The dual for 2nd and 3rd continued for a few laps between Jeff Rooney and myself, but about the same time that Jeff put a gap between us I realised my back tyre was steadily losing pressure, not good when riding a tubed wheel on a hard tail at speed over a rocky trail! I stopped a couple of times to pump it up but sure enough on lap 7 the tube gave up the ghost and I was left to run back along the trail to the event centre to find a replacement. Now there is a story here. The bike is an ex-demo, apparently straight from the guys at AMB. When I inspected the blown tube there were no less than 4 patches on it! Thanks AMB! I must write to thank you for this learning experience! The guys at Lifecycles were great and swap out the dilapidated thong for a brand spanker and I was rolling again, but down to 6th place. I fought my way back to 5th, and finished feeling pretty happy with my effort and glad to still be in the series points. One other thing, Giant can you please put some decent brakes on what is otherwise a brilliant bike? This bike deserves better than Avid 3’s!!!
The Husky today was an awesome race and starting just behind the Elite’s the pace was furious to start with but I soon settled into a nice steady rhythm and again the 29er was rolling beautifully. This trail was made for a 29er and having ridden all these trails over the last few summer’s I knew this would be a fast race. There were a few mud puddles to contend with but basically the track was in great shape until about the 85k mark and then the mud really started to bite. Our dear organiser Amanda who did a fantastic job today quipped that it can’t be a MTB race without some mud, but let’s be clear. It is one thing to jump off for a few impassable pools, but wading through 4-5 thigh high slop traps is not what we want. MTB’s are not cheap to run at the best of times and it is about time MTB event organisers realised that replacing multiple drive train and suspension components after every race is not sustainable. Please guys show some consideration for the people who support your events and avoid running on really wet muddy trails. There are still folks out there that crumble into a sobbing mess at the mere mention of Capital Punishment
OK so having got that off my chest, let me repeat this was by and large a fantastic course, with plenty of fun single track and fast flowing fire trail often over hard baked clay, nice and fast. I had the nutrition dialled and felt pretty fresh at the end, perhaps I should have gone a little harder? I achieved a PB today, finishing a solid 4th just 2 minutes behind 3rd place. A podium would have been nice but
It’s been great racing this last two weeks, but even better chatting, riding and recovering (eating!) with top people I have met through this sport, there are too many to name! Also congrats to the other TORC riders, Larri Brittan winning her category and Kelly Mapleston 2nd. Peter Cheesman and Sandy Logie also completed the 50km and 100km races respectively
Keep riding

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