Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Race Report - Merida 24

I used the routine of race morning to try and calm pre-race nerves. Having looked at the entry list the night before, I knew there was strong competition and to get on any of the steps at the end of the race, I would have ride to my absolute best, and probably a bit past that!

Race morning, the koiled gang came together and set up camp. I felt surprisingly calm. The week leading up my head tried to go to bad places, knowing that there were girls who had better results than me turning up. The voice always popped up in my head saying 'just ride'. It's funny how words said so casually and forgotten by one person might stay with another forever. Those words struck a chord with me, and they work every time my brain starts to think too much about what is ahead. Just ride.

As always I seeded myself up the back of the start pack, and immediately regretted it.
I will not do this anymore. I don't need to. I am faster now than ever before. Someone please remind me when I try and saunter to the back of the pack at the next start line that I have learned enough to move up.

I have been working hard on trying to improve technically and I think my improvement took some by surprise, not least myself. Shannon got a first hand view of the 'race switch' being flipped, and I suspect next time we head out for some technical work he will not be accepting my usual tentative approach. Time to push some boundaries.

Highlights for the race:
* being part of team Koiled.
* watching Nick bury himself to qualify AGAIN for the worlds.
* seeing TR get it together and just ride his way to 3rd AG.
* watching the WRB gang set goals and work to them - they have the BUG!!!

* cracking the secret of gooch management - no missing SKIN!!! hahahaha!
* breaking my race goal in 20 hours. Note to self: Set harder goals.
* actually recording some laps faster than the national champ.
* having no crashes.
* being the dropper rather than the droppee on technical sections - that is fun
* having a brake mech fixed and rolling again in under 15mins (thanks Shannon)!
* being well safe in second, and knowing I couldn't catch 1st - putting my feet up to kick start the recovery.
* being able to get on a wind trainer on MONDAY and feel ok!!! Note to self: Go harder.
* taking out second overall

Big thanks to Jimmy, Shannon and Mick for supporting all of the Koiled riders.

The tallboy was flawless. I hope there aren't anymore in the country because I think it might just be my secret weapon. Given the rocky rough course, the sheep stayed in the barn. I will take it for a run out to GC tomorrow to make up for it.

up next Tour de Timor.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Race Week!

The Merida 24 hour is just around the corner and isn't it going to be a smashfest! Plenty of solo buddies out riding - Nick, TR, Bekkers, Omo, Alistair, Mick, Sean, Scott, Russ, Ky, Tim and young Josh giving his first solo hit out a crack. Should make for good company in the dead of night....

There are a great number of girls entered and most are top shelf riders. There are a few names that mountain bikers might not recognise, but are familiar around the AR circuit. And let me tell you, the AR girls have some form under their belts. I think this will pack a few surprises as MTBers are pushed by people they have never heard of. I am looking forward to getting in there and being part of it all. Half the girls field has already qualified and entered the worlds, and with three riders who have elite worlds experience under their belt it is bound to be an exciting race. For those that are hunting a worlds slot, while there will be enough to go around, the lap requirement is bound to be up there with Jess our current National champion heading up to race. Bring your A game legs!!!!

In typical form, work has ramped up to be very demanding this week and I haven't had the opportunity to sort much out yet. Like most things when you have a stupid amount of stuff to do, do one thing at a time till it is done and move on. Come Thursday afternoon the phone and laptop are going to be switched off and my focus will shift to race prep.

This year I am riding with the new Koiled team. If nothing else I will look great, which as we all know is the most important thing!

Koiled will offer a range of dream bikes in custom and rack models from people like Form, Quiring, BlackSheep, Santa Cruz and Vulture Cycles. In addition there will be a Koiled range offering more affordable Ti options.

I'll be taking the new Tallboy out for the OHV rocks and I can't wait. In combination with the BlackSheep HT I really do have the dream quiver of race bikes!

Stay tuned for more info as Koiled is launched -> www.koiled.com.au