Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chasing the Sun...

Sunday started off well. I had a nice easy cruise to Lysterfield on the Unit 29er with a backpack full of stuff needed for the day ahead. It was a pretty relaxed atmosphere pre-race, even with plenty of big hitters present. Rolling up to the start line I was a bit unsure of where to put myself. Looking along the front row I saw another dude on a rigid single speed 29er, so I pulled in next to him. The gun went off, I found myself in the top 20 or so riders as we headed along the access road before entering a small section of single track. I can remember thinking this is probably not where I want to be due to the amount of pain that pace would soon have me in. That is exactly when Troy Bailey took care of that notion. A simple gesture of a pat on the back ended with the two of us on our arses sliding down the gravel road. Feeling a tad pissed, I waited for almost the entire field of 200 or so riders to pass me before I grabbed my bottle and took off. There was a bit of damage control in the first lap. I passed a steady steam of riders whilst trying to assess the damage to my body and decide whether it was worth continuing in the race. From what I could tell, a nasty cork in my quad and some skin off my left arm and shoulder was it.

I quickly got myself into a sustainable pace and settle down for a nice day riding the single track of Lysterfield. All was going well (as well as can be considering) and it wasn't until about the fourth hour my legs started to feel the climbing and constant flogging they were copping. The biggest thing I really noticed about riding SS was the way you need to stay on top of you gear whilst climbing, if that cadence dropped, the hurt really kicked in. I wasn't making it any easier by running a tallish gear either. The other stand out for me was the crossmax 29er wheels, these things roll so fast, I found myself descending past riders with gears as they pedalled and I hadn't been able to get a stroke in.

I haven't seen my result yet, but I'm pretty sure I was a lap down on the top three in male solo. If this is the case I am very happy with that. It was a great days trailing and seeing how the tough guys do it. The injury list stands at, 1/ no skin on right forearm and shoulder 2/ sore right knee due to corked quad (ITB) 3/ pretty sure I have a broken scaphoid. Still, it was good fun.

It's surprising how little you need to race, all my stuff fitted in a 20L backpack.

How cute, my race number was the same as the amount of gears on my bike.

The upper body copped a bit of a hiding with all the rack, roots and logs. Thanks Stephen for the pic.

PS Happy Mothers Day, Robyn!


Mak said...

what gear ratio did you run for the race. I couldnt be there due to injury.I ride a 29er SS and am just curious to see what others run when solo as I am planing to race the next CTS.

Troy Bailey said...

Again really sorry mate & hope your recovery is as speedy as possible.

Pats on the back are for off the track! Definitely giving that gesture up, once & for all.