Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Race within a Race

It just had to be done.  After our epic battle at WEMBO, it seemed like a logical move to team up with Ian Bridgland as a pair for the 6+6 at the Rocky Trail JetBlack 24 hour.

In the lead up Ian quipped it would be a race within a race and I guessed he meant we'd conduct our own little personal challenge to try and beat each other's lap times.  Of course he might have been thinking something completely different, but it is amazing how close our lap times were and we were just enjoying the thrill of being able to put out a fast lap and then recover instead of the usual slugfest where survival is the name of the game.

It was also great to see my son Tommy riding so well and getting closer to my lap times and playing a big part in his team taking second in the Junior team of 6 for the 6+6

Tommy makes the Juniors 4 podium
As for us, shall we say. "more mature gentlemen", Ian and I were stoked to take out Masters Category and post a solid result overall.  The track, the weather and the general vibe on the track from other riders could not have been better.  It was a thrill to ride with living legends like Cory Wallace the Canadian who seems to have been made an honorary Aussie, Andrew Lloyd who was happy enough to sit on my wheel for the last 500m of a lap.  He was clearly taking a breather and sucking in a gel whilst I rode beyond my limits trying not to hold him up too much. And "The Jeebus"; what can I say, I think he did about 480 laps on a SS.  Good mates Phil and Pete were there as well, smiles all round, not to mention the newly formed JetBlack team who looked great in their new bright yellow kit and featured frequently in the top finishers.  Kudos to team manager Grahame Sonter

The event was chilled with great beats and lots of families all out for a fun weekend of camping and comradeship and for me it was the perfect end to a stellar season with 7 podiums from 7 starts including 4 1st places.  Certainly my leanest year for some time in terms of actual races entered, but 2013 is a year I will never forget with highlights including riding the Tour of California, taking the family to the Northern Territory and winning WEMBO.

Mike and Ian take 1st place

The rest of the year has been pretty relaxed over Christmas with a bit of road cycling and some service combined with a little recreation in beautiful Brunswick Heads cooking for the SUFM Mission team.  I was even persuaded to participate in the Brunz World Title Aquathon; a hotly contested local event where health nuts have been competing for bragging rights for more than 15 years!  No bike leg unfortunately but the 2.5km run was just enough for me to actually enjoy running :)  It's been around 20 years since Sarah and I were last involved in a mission of this type, but to see the respect this team had in town, the participation of so many kids there on holidays and trust from parents, and the passion this team had for sharing the Gospel has put a new perspective on everyday life.
The Master Chef team from Brunswick Heads SUFM
2014 is looking huge and I couldn't help but get excited at the state of Australian cycling after an amazing Road Nationals on the weekend just past.  In my mind this positive energy must flow across all levels of cycling and the number of cyclists enjoying the outdoors Last Sunday morning around West Head/Akuna Bay just goes to confirm this is a hugely popular sport.
My season plan will see a mix of new events including the Alpine 3 Peaks Challenge as well as a return to the Choc Foot STM series as my main staple of races and a few 100km marathons sprinkled in between.  I can hardly wait to get amongst it again

Keep Riding

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