Wow, what a ride.
Woke up at 5am to meet the boys at pheasants nest at 630am. First mistake of the day is leaving your mobile at home. Not knowing how to get to wingello from pheasants nest meant i had to meet up with the boys or my ride would be cut short. Incidentally though the boys waited for me and i never really needed to worry because all i had to do was follow the endless stream of bike-racked cars on the highway.
Parking was interesting and the weather was damn cold. I wished i had more appropriate wear and stared at ppl with wind breaker jackets in envy. For some strange reason we arrived 1.5hrs early and for most of that 1.5hrs we just mucked around doing nothing but consuming jelly beans and bread from hiace’s ute.
10am comes around and we line up near the start. I never got anywhere near the start as i wasn’t feeling all the best and the element of competitiveness was simply not there that day. This ended up to be a fairly bad mistake because the traffic was just insane. Lets put it this way, if you were an ass or you were very proficient in passing you most likely could have made up a good 3-4 minutes near the start. The firetrails reminded me of sparrow hill and staring at the occassional clearings made me do a double take. On more than one occasion when i was tired i swore i made a wrong turn off and rode to sparrow hill. Hell with the amount of fire trails it might just seem like its possible too.
It wasn’t all firetrail though and relatively early on we were rewarded with singletracks. The singletrack was of the awesome windy variety with narrow trees to dodge *my fave* that seemed to take advantage of the terrain awfully well. Most of the singletrack felt like it was heading down which was great after a long fire trail climb. However the previously mentioned traffic made the singletrack slightly less enjoyable. I say slightly less enjoyable because i am not going to be an ungrateful bastard.
The elevation changes were impressive on the fire trail and the water bars were sketchy and i found myself having the most fun i have ever had on a firetrail based race. I have the Garmin 500 unit and it has plotted the exact route and i am looking towards going back there to go on a few training rides. The garmin 500 should be able to guide me on the same route that i plotted on Sunday.
Early on in the race near the wall section i somehow chainsucked my bike and wasted about 5 minutes trying to figure out how i was going to fix it. I thought that was my ride over but luckly i sorted it out. Luckly i had frameskin wrap on my chainstay or else i am confidently sure that i would be in for a new frame or at least rear swingarm. Once i got home i took off the frameskin to confirm that indeed there was nary a mark on the chainstay. Me = happy.
I felt like i had no real urgency for this ride. In between all the traffic and knowing that a 50km ride will usually end up with me cramping i took it nice and easily. It proved to be not enough though as the tell tale signs of cramps came on at 13kms to go. To me once you get this feeling it is pretty much game over. Whilst i did not cramp once during the whole race i know myself when i am about to get a cramp. What this makes me do is go into limp mode and every hill results in me grinding up it at a slower than walking pace. Hardly fun. In fact very frustrating.
Cramping must be the central theme of my race reports by now and soon enough i might just change my blog name to Crampers fullstop :p. But nope even though its ultra frustrating it wont keep me away and i will be booking in a bike fit soon. I think i am doing something wrong and i simply do not have the knowledge to figure out exactly what so i will enlist help in doing so. In the mean time you might find me spending a little less on bikes and a little bit more on myself. ie proper riding gear, bike fit, proper energy food etc etc