Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Single Track Mind - Round 6

It's hard to describe just how ideal conditions were for this race, so I'll just resort to bullet points
- perfect weather
- virgin single track carved through pristine native eucalypt forest
- a great bike and great company
- a team mate you'd give your right arm for
- all within 2 hours of home

My training has been a bit hot and cold lately, so I figured it couldnt hurt to head out for a gentle road ride on Saturday. Of course there is really no such thing as a gentle road ride when you tackle West Head and McCarrs creek in the company of other Peloton Sports members, so by the time I got home I was worried I'd overcooked it and would be fatigued for Sunday, but as soon as the gun went I felt totally primed. The Ellsworth motored almost effortlessly up the first climb with the leaders and together she and I held a solid pace for the first lap to return to transition in 1st place for Masters pairs. The laps continued on this gorgeous track, with barely 30m of vertical over a 10km loop. Later on a few riders were almost critical of the off camber corners, tight meandering and lack of a climb, but personally I loved it. It was the sort of track that rewarded smooth, controlled, smart riding, and as I was to learn on lap 3, punished those with poor timing or technique. It was a relatively straight forward double that I had already cleared twice, but 3rd time was to be unlicky as I dumped the launch and buried the bike into the front side of the landing ramp, therby ejecting myself over the bars in superman style. As I got back to my feet, I was amazed to see such little damage to the body, but both wrists were damn sore, and it was with a little concern that I rolled back to transition. A quick clean up thanks to St John's and a pair of socks from SRAM for my war story and it was time for another lap.

Dave looked worried for me (and himself!) and told me "Take it easy, dont do anything stupid!" Too late mate, but on I rolled just a minute behind Dan and Gav. And that's pretty much the way it stayed all day. In the end we just couldnt bridge the gap and my last lap was one of resignation as realised today we'd have to settle for 2nd.

Special thanks to Hugh at CBD who spent atleast a total of 60 mins fixing my brakes, it's a long story that I wont bore you with, but it's all good now. Also special mention to all the guys from TORC who made the effort to come and race, it's always such a great vibe in the tent when you have a few more riding buddies to share it with; Danielle and Daniel, Theo and Arainer, Simey, Jeff and Mick, and of course Farkas who brought the tent. Big props to CTMBC who cut this track in record time, especially to the guy in charge of the track who went on to claim the Merida gift voucher, a worthy winner for sure! Thanks to the organisers Chocolate Foot who always run a faultless event, to the sponsors for my prizes SRAM, James Estate Wines, Aussie Butt Cream (anyone need butt cream I'm your man!!!) And finally to my mates from that other bike club HORCC, an awesome bunch of guys who really know that MTB spells fun.

That's probably my shortest blog of all time, it sums up another memorable day on the bike. There was a moment on the track, when the XPT train slowed quite nearby and I pictured myself sitting on the train watching the riders and thinking "Wow look at those lucky people out there being active, riding bikes through the bush, how good would that be?" and then coming back to the present and realising how blessed I was to be actually doing it. I love it!

Keep riding

PS thanks again to Dave Bateman for a great photo

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