Sunday, February 15, 2009

D2D Race Report

I entered this years AYUP Dusk 2 Dawn with a couple of goals....
1) test out the legs to gauge how I am progressing
2) come back and do it after last years early exit due to injury
3) practice my race fuelling and night riding.

I was excited about racing something other than solo for the first time in forever. I made the decision not to push any really long solo efforts until July as last years racing, with over 6 x 24 hour or longer events, definitely left a mark. Since this was a 'B' race I didn't have that fresh jumping out of my skin taper feeling, but nevertheless I arrived ready to go.

TR agreed to ride the first lap - I hate the combination of frantic attacks, crush and delays that are inevitable in lap one. He set a solid pace which I surprisingly matched (yay!) and we set about it. We had good competition and early on we found ourselves in 4th place. Nothing to panic about, but I knew then we were going to need to earn any podium spot.
TR smashing it up
Lap 3 I noticed I was having trouble seeing the track, but put it down to the dust. Lap 4 had just started and BANG. No light from my helmet. I quickly realised I would not make the rest of the lap and keep my teeth unless I did something. Stopped to take the battery from the bars and swap with the helmet. A few minutes of controlled fumbling and done, off to ride the remainder of the lap with one light. Got back and switched to the 6hr batteries on both so there would be no further hassles. It is the first time I have ever had a problem with my lights - AYUP were awesome, I already have a replacement in my hands no questions asked. Once I could see, lap times picked back up again and we set about getting the job done. We had ridden up into second, and although first had about a lap and a half on us I had not given up the idea of catching them. It's an enduro and anything can happen.
Happy Laps!
In the early hours of the morning, things started to go wrong for TR. The first sign I saw was when a lap time blew way out. We tagged in transtion and I could see he was headed for trouble. I sent him back to the tent to eat, guessing somewhere in the last 2 laps he had lost the nutrition plan - easy to do at 2am! I think he had only ever ridden a 3 or 4 person before - and there is so much more leeway on eating with extra recovery. Pairs was going to teach a hard lesson.

He was in transition waiting for me when I got back and went for another. It must have h u r t. Again he went AWOL on the lap, and when he got back in he looked seriously bad. Wobbly and glassy eyed. I rode past our camp and called out to Bec 'find him and SORT HIM OUT'. I already had it in my mind that I might need to pull a double so he could try and recover but it was not to be. Rolling into transition I got the news TR was in a bad way and would not be riding again. I had to respect where he was willing to go, one look made it clear he had left it all on the track. I figured if Race Elements hard woman Bec couldn't put him on a bike no-one could.

Damn. 4am. We were in 2nd and the other teams were not far away. I was tired and briefly considered pulling the pin, as the idea of holding against teams of two riders seemed tough. It was only a 'B' race afterall. And how can you race pairs with one person?? Nope, I put the devil back in his box. If I was here for race practice - race practice I was going to get. I decided maybe I could hold 2nd for us and you know, just for fun, maybe I would see if I could catch first.... I stopped and grabbed food Bec had organised for me from the tent which we had trackside and rode. It was 3 laps down, before I saw TR regain some kind of consciousness. I rolled around as slowly on my 4th back 2 back knowing I had held 2nd for us and thinking I would come in after 7am. I need to buy a watch. Wasn't to be and I was sent out by everyone at transition chanting 'do another' and my team telling me the other team was only 1 minute behind us (it wasn't true). I'd held them and we'd ended up less than half a lap behind first.

Managed to crash twice in the last 500mtrs of the race after keeping it on 2 wheels all night including one in the chute. Munter. A quick check of the race goals:
1) test legs - TICK. Legs are strong!
2) ride the whole race - TICK . Rode my whole race, and a chunk of TR's!
3) practice fuelling - TICK. Felt good - expect for the 2nd last lap when I assumed it was my last and I let it slip. And then crashed my brains out. Lesson = last lap or not you GOTTA eat.

Enduro racing is hard. Before, during and after. Physically and mentally. This bit is fun though!
Ride Inn Robots
The next few weeks will be mad. Dealing with termite damage to our home, a car smash for some asshole in a car park who just drove off, a flying trip to London and of course plenty of kms on the bike.

We'll get busy too planning for TR to give him some written race plans to fuel his racing to practice at inferno race 1. When he gets that together he is going to be unstoppable. Oh yeah, and to those who might be mumbling about TR training with someone to slow and weak. IN YOUR FACE. That is all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Trickle said...

Nice work guys, wana sell those wire bead tyres and ill fitting shirts

Jeremy said...

Well done BD!

Sorry to hear about the termites & car.

Belge said...

Well well well...once again I see. As a prior victim of Rachel "Black Widow" Edwards racing team, I feel for TR. Just goes to show you Rach that solo is a great category for you (lol)!! Great to see the continued improvements...keep kicking some A$$ !!!

A dream that was once lost but now found... said...

Rach, you are absolutely AWESOME. The strongest chick I’ve met on the bike. Wish I could do what you do on the dirt track. Sounds like fun but torture at the same time. You guys did great. TR well, we all have our bad days. Fantastic team work.

TR said...

More blog needed.
You must have heaps of riding related bloggage to post from over the past week.