Race day dawned, and despite two days of heavy rain I awoke to the sound of nothing. No rain!
After several frantic tyre conversations and course condition reports I'd been told to plan for mud. I had never seen OHV anything but bone dry and dusty, but I had heard the tales of the dreaded black soil. As such I'd spent the evening busting up a tubeless set up to put together and emergency ignitor and tube clad mud set up on my spare wheels. Just in case. Generally I am a ride what ya brung (Trickle TM) type girl, mainly through not knowing any better. I am learning!
Steve and Shan arrived on time and Koiled convoyed out. I realised it was completely clear skies, and we may infact get filthy mud AND heat for the race. Awesome. Harder the better. Rego provided a good shot of adrenalin as I was handed the primo number of the day. I reminded myself that pressure comes 100% from ourselves, and opted to roll with it and get ma race face ooooon! I expected this, being the shortest race of the series, would be my hardest.
Gun goes off and I get hooked up with some dude who rides at 45' to the course and straight over me. Dog gives me some pointers along the lines of Elbows Out. Sometimes I wish I was bigger!! I stay upright, and lift my visitor off my bar end offering some words of encouragement to stay off my bars. By this time I'd dropped about 20 wheels or so and knew I would have mucho traffic to deal with. Bummer.
Is what it is, ride it out. Anna was gone up the road but I had stayed in front of the other girls. With the traffic hold ups I knew Anna would be making time, but tried to focus instead on good places to pass, smooth lines, and STAYING UPRIGHT in the mud!!! Some of it was so full on I am not sure any tyres would have helped.
Once you were through the worst of it, it cleared pretty quickly from your tyres and the fenceline climb took your mind off simple things like clagged tyres and replaced it with PAIN. To give you an idea, the mud was so thick that this is the only wet race where no-one wore out any brakes. Why? Because the mud stopped you, and you had to pedal HARD the entire time to get your hard fought momentum. Jaman's Zen Moped was not the vehicle of choice - you needed to be on your Mashertronic 5000. This long hard climb was the scene of many a chain snap or clean your derailleurs with a stick and I knew being able to ride without a mechanical may well be the deciding factor. It was. On Lap 3 I saw Anna running back down the course with some kind of bike problem and knew it was my chance to get off the front.
Click click click, dump the gears and GO! I smashed it out and started to ride like I meant it.
By the next lap I had still stayed away and Anna was either still holding a stuffed bike, or was over it after her bad luck - she retired. Hope all is good Anna!
From there I had my trusty pit goblins, Trickle and TR check the timing. I was up with a good gap so I started then to begin recovery. I took the time to enjoy, encouraged lap buddies, and gave out a bit of encouragement to fellow tallboy riders ('it's legalised cheating!!!!!!'). Two more laps with a focus on smooth lines, and no pressure through the drive train and my swweeeeet Tallboy rolled me across the line - 72km of mud in 4.16.
Matt, Nick and Jax all rode well - but ride of the race for me goes to Shannon.
He has gone from zero to hero through some seriously hard work over the last 6 weeks. A bit of consistency and he cranked out 6 of his own laps, SS for 4th overall. Nice One!!!! Special mention for Frosty who was there to REPREZENT for all weekend warriors, smashing a couple of trainers along the way - you know who you are. Top work Frosty.
Now it is on to Race 2. The 6 hour at Murrenbong with the PINK Series Leader #1. My lunarC practice will stand me in great stead for this one. Let's turn it up.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Sunday brings about the first race day of the Tailwind superseries. A short, sharp, rough 4 hour.
As always I can rely on my Koiled teamies to bring out the best in me with a bit of inhouse rivalry. My money is on Steve out of our Koiled contingent to get up this time around, as the 4 hour format favours him - and he has put away the fat wheel and dusted off the real race bike.
Nick, as always, will be the dark horse. You never know what he is going to pull out and training with Dr. Mick has put some good miles in the legs. Shannon has been the master of secret training over the past few weeks and will smash the SS.
I will be interested to see how my leg speed goes, something I have usually lacked in shorter races. Will the crits and road work translate? Will I remember how to ride dirt??? Will I eat my teeth??