Hi all, and welcome to my 1st post. I was going to start with the usual crap and introduce the blog but had something more interesting to share.
Began the usual way, entry the week before, bike prep etc. My brother(Fritz) was coming to town for the race, his 1st taste of an XC race and 1st decent off-road MTB ride on his new Stead. Was set to be a fun day. The weather leading up to the day had not been the most encouraging but the weather(person) ensured us it was getting better, well for a change they were right.
Early Sunday morning I woke Fritz to get ready for the race, it was round 4 of the State XC hosted by PMBC at The Goatfarm. We had a quick bite and piled the bikes and gear into the car and set off up the hill to Greenmount. Bit of drizzle on the way but nothing to worry about. Almost got held up behind a couple of haulpacs trying to get under the overpass, talk about tight squeeze. Once on site met up with a mate(madrapper) who was joining us for the race, his first on the dirt this year.
We put our bikes together and sorted outselves before rego opened. Then it was off for a warmup & recci lap. Thankfully we did the warmup lap as it gave us an idea of what was ahead and find out really how much climbing there was. Plus it gave me a chance to drop a grade, because i didn’t feel up to battling the usual guys on a demanding course. The warmup lap went well and we got back with a bit of time to make minor adjustments and to get the new timing chips PMBC were trialling. Was a bit sceptical about them as they basically just looked like stick on jam labels, but they held on well considering the amount of water and mud thrown at them. I would be interested to know how they faired with the timing sensors.
Anyway we headed off to the start line at the bottom of the hill, this provided a bit of road to self seed. This is were the day went downhill (not the downhill we loved on the trail though). Somehow while waiting i fell over, don’t know whether i slipped on the gravel, overbalanced or moved the wrong way, but the next thing i know i’m on some poor guys bike(apologies) and into the fence. Normally this gives u a bit of damaged pride and gets a few laughs, but not today. Once i finally managed to get up i found i had ripped the major buckle off my shoe and my foot was hurting(later finding out i had broken my toe…again!!). Thankfully both bikes were ok. Disregarded the shoe and thought i could battle on for the race.
The catergory waves began to start and madrapper somehow missed his and started with Fritz and myself. Off we headed, i got a few hundred metres to the official start point and had to stop. The shoe really wasn’t going to hold, especially with all the climbing. Hit up a few people for tape but the best i found in the end was some zip ties in the back of the PMBC trailer (thanks guys, owe someone some ties or a beer). These were to be a life saver for the race and held on pretty well, til near the end of the last lap where it slipped.
I then headed off to try and catch the field, got to the 1st corner and there is Fritz walking down the hill, poor bugger snapped his chain, thankfully he got a warmup lap in and a taste of the mud. I continued on and headed up the hill quickly accumulating a good dose of the mud, by now the course was already starting to mush. Halfway up the hill i managed to catch one of the tail guys in my category, this wasn’t looking so bad. As i got closer and overtook I realised this poor guy would be lucky to make the end, he was struggling already.
First lap finished with no major issues and continued on to the 2nd, things were going to be even more fun as the course had now become a bit cutup with all the traffic. A few corners were getting deep including once nice blind right hander that got a few riders including myself. By now there was a bit of light drizzle around and the hills were taking there toll on my legs, been riding too many flat roads of late i think. Rest of the race went pretty well a few slips in the trying conditions and an OTB in the rock garden(spectators say i had a good recovery). The last bit of my final lap prooved some fun as it was at the bottom of the hill and water had kept building up all race, combined with the course traffic and tired legs it was a hard slog, but the site of the finish was encouraging. It was at this point i caught a few stragglers including a guy from the next category and knew it wasn’t just me having a bad day. Also at this point i see madrapper standing taking photos and think WTF? Turns out he had some issues of his own, flat just into his final lap.
I hit the finish and was thankful to have made it without damage to my bike, just my shoes and myself. It was now home to hose down the bikes and get a good feed into us, which ended up being a Fast Eddy’s burger with the lot.
All in all a good day was had by all, but at a small cost of broken bits & pieces. The course was challenging but fun although conditions did mess it up a bit.