Yesterday, I attended my first clubbie round at Yellomundee. It has being a fair while since i have last ridden this trail (actually close to one year ago i believe) , but true to my memory it is still a very good racing course. The course yesterday was sandy and utilised the more techy parts of the loop (i don’t know the exact names). This is my experience of the day for my future references and also for some light reading.
Clifton and I decided to bring our partners along and they helped make the day that much better. They hardly get to see us ride so i suppose this was an interesting intro into what we do on our weekends. They also got in some photo practice so the pictures you see below are all thanks to them!
I got to Yello by 830ish and after the rego it was around 9ish. To my surprise ukalipt and the fast boys were going for a lap and i realised we had around 20 minutes to play with. Straight away we all set off for a recon lap. I wanted to get a recon lap in because it has being so long since i have last ridden here. You can always ride faster if you know the trail’s very well. It is a distinct advantage. It is akin to looking up whilst riding. Your brain has more processing time for what’s coming up so you can react accordingly. Apparently within 5 minutes or so Trieu slashed one of his tyres and the rest of the guys stopped. I however did not know this. I kept going and after the tech part i realised no one was actually behind me. So i started freaking racing around the course trying to get to the end as quickly as possible so i wont miss the start. I didn’t miss the start but my warmup lap was hardly a warmup lap.
I managed to line up on the far right side of the starting line and it was a pretty decent position. First laps are always crazy but this one was slightly better. No where near as bad as the 4hr’s but that was to be expected with less riders around. I spent most of the first lap sussing out the people in front of me taking note whether i could keep up with them on a few different facets of riding. I realised that i was marginally faster than most of the people in front of me when it came to descending technical, climbing and going round corners. This obviously gave me huge confidence as i knew i had a chance. I wasn’t in too deep. I started overtaking a few people and noticed a rider that was going pretty full on. I decided to let this rider keep his pace because i had a feeling it was pretty hard to maintain from his body language and that if he was capable of keeping up such pace i would most likely not catch up to him anyways.
Third lap came around relatively quickly and i noticed the rider going full on was slowing down whenever it came to a climb. Past him pretty easily and kept heading towards the finish and the result was a 4th in my c cat. I do think that is no real achievement but i felt pretty good about it. A grade to me is never considered so B grade is the grade i aspire to. I have to remember to be not too harsh on myself because you reward yourself a little to motivate yourself to go further next time. I came into this race with no expectations and no gauge on my fitness and i walked away pretty happy. That’s the short of it, now here are the points i want myself to remember.
1. Jing, you are faster than most of the people in your grade in front of you when it comes to climbing/descending/turning but you aren’t faster than them when it comes to firetrails. When i come across a firetrail, it is like i am instantly off race mood. It is almost like i have no motivation when it comes to the “unfun” stuff. This is sosososoos wrong. You are supposed to hammer the firetrails as that is when your passing chances are and when others are looking to pass you. You idiot. If you had wisened up you could have came 3rd. I came into the finish line with a rider called Simon. I had awesome fun riding with him throughout the race and since i had no idea of my overall standings (i thought i was like 10-11) when it came to the last firetrail i cruised and actually asked if he wanted to pass me. WTF? Are you a freaking retard? LOL As soon as we got past that firetrail i was on his ass again looking to speed up slightly but obviously too late. Stupid, plain stupid. Never let up on firetrails even if there is no one behind me. Never ever let people pass you out of courtesy unless you know you will be holding them behind on whats to come.
2. Learn to drink and eat on the bike. Because of how hard it is to grab the bottle from my bike i freaking slow down to a walking pace every time i drink. I actually dropped the bottle 2 times and had to pick it up and at other times i felt like crashing every time i drank from my water bottle. It was so bad that i would put distance between the guy behind me only for him to catch right back up when i took a sip of my water. This went on for a few times each lap and it was definitely pissing me off. By the end of it i wished i had a camelbak. Also learn how to remount on a bike. The proper remount, not the put one leg over the bike, clip in and roll off kinda mount. This way you wont get past by 2304922093840 people when you remount after picking up your stupid water bottle. ARGh!
So the two lessons i learnt the most this race is to be smarter and be ruthless and to never ever let up on the firetrails. If i am not at 180bpm on a firetrail in my next race i am going to shoot myself. Also it is time to learn some of the subtler things on the bike. How to drink at an appropriate pace (prolly needs a sidecage for that), when to best drink and how to remount bikes at a rolling tempo. All of this would help me considerably.
My fave pic of the day, Clifton chasing Kevin (special mention goes to Kevin for talking me into racing again, i owe you one for that!)
Me behind ukalipt who unfortunately had a bad day as he was sick. He was still fast on anything with corners pointing downwards though! Weeeee I do like my cornering form in what you can see of me in this picture though.
Another race done and dusted on the Yeti. Can’t complain at all about the bike.
Here are some extra vid clips Ley managed to get.